There will always be times when you feel like your life isn’t on track. For me, it happened a few weeks ago. I’ve just moved house to be quite far away from work, I still have a lot of DIY to do, I need to make time for friends and family. I hadn’t had a weekend to myself to organize my life and our work goals were stepping up to the next level. While I was at work, I had this feeling I was forgetting something, constantly. My mind just felt blank. I ran home in the evening to a house that wasn’t even furnished, made to-do lists in a random notebook and did it all again. I realized that being unorganized just wasn’t me, and having two notebooks in my bag didn’t make me more productive, it just confused me more.
There’s a reason why everybody is more stressed in the last few months of the year, it’s because goals become bigger, it suddenly dawns on us that we haven’t achieved our resolution (for another year!) and we try to do too much. In between moving house, sorting out my personal life and staying on top of work I felt like I was being pulled and pushed every which way and couldn’t get myself back on track. So I took back control of my life and got it together in around half an hour, and it was the best thing I ever did!
1. Start by learning how to organize everything
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I rely on Skillshare for a lot of things in life. Skillshare’s CEO Michael Karnjanaprakorn’s class Real Productivity: Create Your Ideal Week was the first class on productivity I’d ever done. I couldn’t have got my life back on track without it because I needed to feel like there was a way to stay in control and organize everything. He helped me to realize I needed to throw those two notebooks out of the window and start fresh, creating a smarter plan to stick to.
I decided I would use Skillshare to teach me how to organize my life, and learn a new skill every week. But also, to help me manage the things that were stressing me out and turn my weaknesses into strengths. For example, I had a shoot coming up and I wasn’t sure how to get the exposure of the photos right. I turned to Skillshare and in under 5 minutes, I had it all under control again. Because we love Skillshare so much, they’re giving CGD readers two FREE months of unlimited access to more than 17,000 classes for a limited time only! Click here to start your two free months and get your life together right now.
2. Get an A3 sheet and plot your pain points
You’re going to need one full day off to get your life together. I used the Saturday before our Career Girl Academy to actually organize my life. It’s good to do this when you have one full day. Sit down and figure out which areas of your life feel chaotic and unorganized. Get an A3 sheet of paper and start writing down areas of your life you want to focus on. I took four highlighters and four corners of my paper and wrote down, work, family, health, and house, and then underneath action points and ‘pain points’ that were stopping me from being organized
3. Plan your work week first
Start with the most chaotic area. For me, it was work. Things were getting a bit overwhelming. I had two notebooks and I couldn’t keep track of what was coming and going. So I decided to get smart. I needed some supplies, so I went out and got post-its, highlighters, and my fresh Getting Things Done planner. I started from the very beginning with my goal and then added all my to-dos in order of urgency. Knowing which tasks I had hanging over my head really made me feel a lot more relaxed.
4. Take the effort out of the things you want to do
Once I’d planned out my work week I felt some of the pressure coming off. But I was trying to do way too many things. I wanted to be healthy, make time to work out, decorate my house, complete all my work goals and make time for friends and family. We all wish we could be perfect, but you can’t do all that without losing your mind.
So, I started with my healthy goals. I booked a personal trainer twice a week starting in October. I started cooking meals from scratch to make sure I’m eating healthier. Automating these things took the pressure off, so booking in my trainer to come to my house means I can’t worm my way out of it. Signing up to a meal subscription service took the effort out of grocery shopping while keeping my meals healthy and delicious!
5. Create spreadsheets for everything you’re planning
Everything from my housewarming party to the potential plumbing work we need to get done is on a spreadsheet. I took one hour to try and take the pain out of all that I needed to do. So for example, planning out upcoming birthdays and making a list of potential gifts, and breaking down the party planning, and house decor, into actionable lists with deadlines. As long as I’ve done certain things on my list by that date, I can relax.
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