Monday, October 6, 2014

Stay Organized

A couple months ago I posted about how to get organized. However, I'm here now to tell you that being completely and 100% organized will never happen. It just won't. It's impossible. I realized this sad fact this weekend while trying to balance my to do list, budget, calendar, blog planner, and long-term things to remember for the week. It takes at least 6 physical devices to keep track of my life, and it's often not even enough. As someone who's strived their entire life to find the best and most flawless method of organization, I can tell you that whatever it is, it's not carrying around a day planner, to do list, journal, and notepad everywhere you go.

While I'm in the process of negotiating a better (and more practical) method of keeping my life in check, I figured I may as well share a little bit about this insane system I have. If I'm being honest, though, I just wanted to show off my favorite buys from Heart & Arrow and Lilly Pulitzer.

Pictured are my agenda, blog planner, journal, and to do notebook. I also keep a budget on my computer and a CollegeFashionista notebook, but I use those less often. I've always been a complete sucker for office supplies-- especially when they're cute and colorful-- as I never really feel bad about making such a "productive" purchase.

Staying organized (or at least attempting to do so) helps me combat stress and anxiety, and organization in general has always been a compulsion of mine. It's hard to find the line between organized and obsessive, and it's definitely still a line I'm trying to find. My system of organization, while not entirely practical, is very useful to me on a daily basis. It may not work for you, but here are the essentials of what I do to stay organized.

  1. Color code. Everything from my school supplies to the ink with which I write my to do list has an assigned color to indicate its purpose. The pink in the agenda and the journal just happen to be an awesome coincidence.
  2. Plan ahead. Knowing what's coming up in the next week is super important-- it allows you to plan what you want to do without worrying that you'll be conflicting with what you need to do. I've especially found that pre-planning my blog posts helps on days when I'm slammed with schoolwork and don't have time to come up with an entire post the day of.
  3. Coordinate. About once a week I sit down and go through all my notebooks to make sure they're all up to date across the board. I hate when I've marked down an assignment that's due in my agenda but forget to remind myself to do it on my to do list. I also do this with my family's calendar when I'm at home so we don't end up living in the same house but never seeing each other.
  4. Be nice. Your future self will thank you for your kindness when you write, "clean room" instead of "get your shit together." Remember: you deserve kindness from yourself as much as anyone! Plus, you're much more likely to clean your room than get your shit together. It's not nearly as daunting and quite a bit more doable.
  5. Be consistent. I have a specific pen that I use when planning and organizing. The cohesion of the same ink being used across the board makes me feel that much more organized, and therefore that much more inclined to continue to be organized. I used to write with whatever I had on hand-- pencil, pen, crayon, etc.-- but that only served to make me stop keeping to do lists and calendars because they were "too messy."
How do you stay organized? If you're not organized, check out some of these awesome items below that I've saved on Shopcade. Organization looks different to everyone, but that doesn't mean it can't be similar.

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