Life is busy. Days move fast. And if you're like me, you've had days where it feels like you are just barely keeping up with the pace. In between the busy and the overwhelm, taking a moment to slow down and seek joy in these moments helps me enjoy the busy times.
And in "slowing down", I mean productively organizing the busy times so that when they approach, I don't feel as overwhelmed. Staying on top of things can bring us a sense of joy and responsibility, and it shouldn't cost money or cause stress to do so.
If you're looking for ways to organize your days a little more (I mean, you're reading this, so I'm guessing you are!), here are 5 simple ways, as well as two free printable worksheets: a daily planner and monthly calendar that I've made and linked here for you to download. These will help you get started and maintain organization.
1. Make Notes
Making notes is a great way to keep track of important information or events without having to keep track of it all yourself each day. Plus, it can actually become a relaxing part of your day.
Notes could range from a to do list, to marking dates on a calendar, to writing in a planner, and more. Check out my free worksheets if you're looking to get started: Printables
If you have many big projects or events on the go on a regular basis, it may even help you to have multiple calendars/planners - one for each category.
2. Set Realistic Goals
When we're busy, it can seem hard to set goals that aren't rushed or overwhelming, but it is important to focus on setting goals which we actually have enough time to complete. Try setting realistic goals with suitable time frames, plan any applicable tasks as required, and leave yourself some extra time (because life happens).
This is a very powerful habit, and while it costs us nothing of monetary value, it can cost us a LOT of stress and panic if we don't set our goals realistically. Take it easy on yourself, be gentle, and keep doing the best you can.
3. Set Reminders
We can't remember every little thing. Setting reminders is a great way to help, however. To help ease some of the stress that comes with trying to remember everything and balance priorities, setting reminders is a wonderful tool. The best part is that they can be set up on your phone to prompt you at the time of your choosing.
Take the following, for example:
Monthly reminders: every 1st of the month - pay insurance bill, or change out monthly contact lenses, etc.
Bi-weekly reminders: every 2 weeks - transfer X amount to saving on pay day
Weekly reminders: every Sunday evening - meal prep lunches for week ahead, or check new flyers every Thursday morning
Daily reminders: every evening after dinner - pack tomorrow's lunch, or set coffee maker up so you don't end up buying a coffee in the morning instead
Reminders are important because they remind of of items we need to complete, and in turn, can help remind us of our priorities. Even something as simple as setting up coffee the night before can help us avoid the temptation to buy a coffee in the morning, and in turn, save us quite a bit of money over the course of a month.
Reminders = remember your priorities.
4. Look At How You Spend Time
Sometimes I wish there were more hours in a day, so I could get more done. But then I think, I wouldn't want to lose any sleep time, so where else can I take these hours from? If you feel this way too, try tracking or thinking about how you spend your time, and seeing if there are any areas you can cut back on to help you reach your goals or even just have more time to relax if you are feeling overwhelmed.
After tracking my own time for a few weeks, I was shocked at how much time I had been spending playing on my phone or watching TV. While these things are okay in moderation, I was only doing them "just because". It was habit. Once I realized this, I suddenly found it easy to carve more time out of my day to focus on what I wanted to be doing.
My favorite way to organize days - schedule in time to rest! This isn't always possible at a certain time or in a certain way each day, but try to keep a little bit of time each day to simply be, and rest. You deserve it.
Just because there are 24 hours in a day, minus what we sleep, does not mean we need to be busy for every hour of that which we are awake. Its great to spend time of the things we love, and on our priorities - but rest is also productive - it will help us feel better later, too :)