The Secret To Organizing & Balancing Out Your Day
I have always been curious about learning how to be more productive throughout the day. I always wanted to feel accomplished and not have anything to do once the day was over. Just be able to sit back and relax. Of course, as I grow older, my responsibilities will get bigger, and now that I have a son, a fiancé, and a house to take care of, I really need to find ways to get the important things done during the day and throughout the week. I’m not an expert in being organized + productive, but I there are a few things I’ve learned to do to help me organize and balance out my days:
Use time to prioritize
The best way to get organized is to use time to your advantage. For the last 9 weeks that my son has been born, I break my days up through time blocking. My days are divided up by 3-hour shifts. For example, when I wake up in the morning, I prep for dinner between 9 AM - 12 noon. Dinner usually happens around 6/7, but prepping earlier in the day gives me more than enough time to actually cook. This is a good way to visualize + plan out your entire day.
Think about your day in 3-hour shifts. What can you get done before 9 AM? 12noon? 3PM? 6PM? And, the best way to use your 3-hour shifts is to get the hardest thing done first. If you can manage to get done your most difficult thing on your to-do list before 12 noon, you have the rest of the day to yourself. You will see just how much time you actually have in a day.
Write things down
I've always been a paper and pen kind of person. I love writing things down in a journal or on a notepad/sticky note, whatever. I can’t keep everything in my head and neither can you. We’re human and we forget things. Our days can get very busy and sometimes we end up forgetting to do the most important things.
Get in the habit of writing things down. Your to-do list should not only exist in your head. When you write things down you have a better chance of actually doing it. When you go to the market and you don’t have a list of things to get you usually start grabbing anything you want.The same goes for not writing down a to-do list or things to do, period. Without your list, you end up doing whatever you feel like doing, causing you to waste time and energy on unnecessary things. All of this is what leads to an unproductive day.
"You will end up wasting more time multi-tasking than you would if you batched your tasks together” - NK
Whoever said that multitasking can help you get more done, is wrong. You will never get as much done or feel accomplished if you spend your time doing everything at once. The best way to get things done is to batch task. What that means is doing similar tasks by batching them together. If you need to prep for dinner, try prepping dinner one night for the next 2-3 days of the week. If you need to pay bills, try paying the majority of the bills at one time. Whatever your task, try batching it together. You end up getting more done that way since you’re focused on that one task for a longer time than you would multi-tasking all that you have to do.
Do what needs to get done, first
This is easier said than done. On any given day you might feel you should do the small and easy tasks first, but in reality doing the hardest, difficult and most important task can free up your day, especially if you can get it done before 12 noon. Doing what needs to get done means you have to focus on urgency. Think about all that you have to do in a week. Now, figure out what has to happen before Day 1 is over, before Day 2, before Day 3, etc. If you create your tasks based on urgency you can better prioritize and get what needs to get done, completed.