January has come to an end. The excitement and inspiration of the new year are waning. Life is getting busier. How do you stay organized? Are you losing inspiration and is your to-do list getting longer? Are you on track for your 2017 goals?
Here are some tips to stay organized and motivated throughout 2017
Tips to Stay Organized
- Use a planner. Digital or Paper, find out what works best for you. For me, I still like to write things out because it’s more effective for me that way. When I write it down, it adds significance and importance.
- I LOVE the planner I bought at Michael’s during the post-holiday sales. It is the Create 365 Happy Planner. Some of the things I love about it include the dated monthly and weekly calendars, note sections within the monthly and weekly sections, inspirational quotes, stickers and flags for visual inspiration, pocket folders for storage. I personally don’t like the calendars that I have to fill-in. I always forget and I end up not using the planner.
- For online apps, I like to use Google Calendar. You can share it with others which is perfect for family events and scheduling conflicts. As the kids’ activities start to pick up, it’s a great way for us to keep things straight.
- Set realistic goals. I like to start off my year creating my main goals for the year. Once I know what my goals are for the year, I break those goals up into monthly goals. As that month approaches, I break them up into weekly goals. Do you need a to do list for the week? Use those weekly goals you just created and make a daily to-do list. At the week’s completion, I review what didn’t get done and immediately add that to my next week’s to-do list. You’ll be surprised at how much you got done and how much closer you are to your primary objective. Those big goals are less daunting when you break it up into small, realistic goals.
- Create a regular schedule. This isn’t a must for me but it does provide me with a guideline for my week. I’m pulled in so many directions on a daily basis so adaptability is high on my list. However, a schedule is a great way to create a base. I know on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, I will do a load of laundry in the morning. Friday evenings, the dog gets a bath. On Saturday mornings, I always evaluate my weekly goals from the week prior and plan for the upcoming week.
- Trello App: As a creative, I often need a place to brainstorm or organize my thoughts. The Trello app is my favorite. I like to put in my yearly goals into categories. Within those categories, I throw in all the ideas and “to-do’s” that go with that category. It helps me develop my weekly goals. It also provides me with inspiration for new blog posts or photography projects. Having the app also allows me to jot down ideas as they come to mind. This is big for me. Most of my great ideas come while I’m sitting in traffic. By the time I get home, I forget what came to mind. Being able to jot down an idea is so helpful and serves as a great reminder.
- Notes App. The Notes app on my iphone is also a great tool. As I mentioned above, most of my grand schemes come to mind while I’m sitting in traffic. When a light bulb goes off in my head, I open the Notes app and will use the voice feature to “jot down” a thought. I organize those notes throughout the week.
- Celebrate! If it means a sticker next to a completed goal or simply smiling as you cross something off your list, celebrate it. Positive reinforcement is always a wonderful thing. Understanding and realizing your achievements will lead to your continued success and make your organization a positive thing.