Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tips to Staying Organized

So for those of you who know me, understand that I cannot live without my agenda or my lists. Sometimes, I am annoyingly organized and I over plan everything. Therefore, I wanted to share with you some of my tips and tricks that work for me and keep my sane on my day to day life. 

I am currently a full-time high school teacher, a part-time grad student, and a blogger. Therefore, staying organized is something that is a must in my life. 

Tip One: Invest in an agenda that works for YOU. This comes with trial and error. I've had numerous agendas before falling in love with my Lilly Pulitzer agenda! The prints are so fun and summery, and the weekly layout is has plenty of space for all my daily checklists. Also, a new recent trend that I want to try is bullet journaling. My best friend created her own Agenda layout and customized what she wanted her planner to look like through this method. There are so many links on Pinterest to various bullet journaling tricks. I am just not sure I can be that neat and creative and I would be frustrated if the lines weren't straight and even. I am weird, I know. 

Tip Two: Figure out the purpose for your agenda. Will you be using this agenda to organize your day to day appointments? Will you be using this agenda to map out trips or work related elements? Will you being using this agenda for everything? If you're like me, you will use it for everything. I use my agenda for work, school, and my personal life. I put in my assignments, things going on within work, and trips I have planned. I also make to-do lists on the side of each monthly overview. 

Tip Three: Once you figure out your purpose for you agenda, begin to place things within your agenda. The picture is above is from the beginning of the school year. I put my grad class in, I put when I was starting to teach again, and also various meetings for the first week back. I usually go through and color-code each element. I'll outline each "type" of appointment in a different color. For work, I outline it in blue highlighter, because our school colors are blue and white. For personal life, I usually use purple because its my favorite color. For grad school, I usually use yellow because it seems academic to me. Now with this blog, I'll highlight it in green (still trying to find a teal highlighter!). Therefore, using these color clues helps me to quickly glance at what my weekly overview looks like. I am a visual personal, so this helps me to map out my week/month. 

Tip Four: Make lists. You can make these write in your agenda or in a separate notebook. I utilize both because I am neurotic. I'll make shorter "to-do" lists in my agenda and longer more detailed lists, for an event or party in another notebook. I always make check-boxes next to each item on my list so I can check it off once its completed. Making that simple check mark, makes me feel so accomplished for the day! 

Tip Five: Don't get overwhelmed. If you're feeling pressured figure out a calming solution. I enjoy drinking coffee, it wakes me up and prepares me for the day. Sometimes I find myself drinking multiple cups during a longer or more stressful day. However, some people enjoy tea to calm them down. Whatever works for you, use it! It sometimes feels stressful to map out your weeks and months, so having a stress-reliever or a calming solution is always helpful! Sometimes, after work I have wine to reduce my stress. It's healthy right?! 

Tip Six: Finally, make friends with labels and post-it notes. I always am jotting down lists on post-its and sticking it in my agenda and I label everything! It helps keep me organized everywhere. It also makes my routines go much quicker when everything has a place and its easy to find. 

I hope the tips helped you! I know its seems like a lot of information and it is hard to get started. However, once you find out what works best for you, it will change your life! I hope these tips helped or at least motivated you to try something new and begin the organized lifestyle.