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How to Be a More Organized Person This Year

Is your resolution to become a more organized version of yourself this year? Are you looking for ways to reduce stress, eliminate confusion, and restore some semblance of emotional balance to your life?

The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think. While some people have brains that have a greater tendency for systems, processes, and organization, you don’t have to be a certain letter or number on a personality test to be organized. It’s all about setting yourself up for success. 

With that being said, here are several proactive things you can do this year to make yourself a more organized person. (And who knows? Maybe – just maybe – you’ll reinvent yourself and become the tidy person you’ve always wanted to become.)

  1. Keep a Notebook on You at All Times

Quickly answer this question: What did you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner yesterday? It takes most people a fair amount of time and mental processing power to recall information this basic. That’s because the human brain doesn’t hang onto information it doesn’t deem vital or important. And while it’s not super critical that you remember what you ate yesterday, there are plenty of other things that happen in your life that you need to track. But if you don’t have a way of recording these ideas, thoughts, and deadlines, you’ll constantly feel flustered.

One of the best things you can do is keep a notebook on hand at all times. It can be a physical pocket-sized notebook or just the standard notepad app on your phone. There’s also a great application called Evernote that makes it easy to organize all of your notes, bookmarks, online articles, etc. in one place. It doesn’t matter what you use – just make sure you’re keeping all of your notes in a single notebook (rather than using a bunch of sticky notes and to-do lists that easily get lost).

  1. Practice Mise En Place

Mise en place is a French culinary term that means “putting in place” or “gather.” It’s the term that chefs use to describe having all ingredients measured, peeled, cut, grated, and sliced before beginning the actual cooking. Every utensil, pot, pan, and dish that you need is already prepared. And as soon as you use something, it goes back to its original place.

While it may seem excessive, taking a mise en place approach to your own life can help you become extremely organized. Every item in your house should have a specific place. When you need something, bring the item out. When you’re done with it, immediately put it away. Clutter breeds more clutter. By keeping your things out of sight, you lower the chances of having new messes form.

  1. Buy a New Wallet

Your wallet is more than something you toss in your purse or back pocket – it’s one of the fundamental organizational elements in your life. It’s where you keep identification, credit cards, cash, and other important records. If your current wallet is bursting at the seams (or doesn’t have a very good system for organizing your money and cards), upgrade! Leather bifold wallets like these are especially useful options. 

  1. Plan Your Day the Night Before

Being organized goes beyond physical possessions and things. You also need to architect your days for greater purpose and intentionality. One tip for doing this is to plan your day the night before. 

Before you go to bed each night, pull out your notebook and write down three categories: Must Do, Should Do, and Could Do. Under each heading, list tasks based on urgency and importance. Anything that’s urgent and important goes into the “Must Do” category. Items that are important but not urgent go in the “Should Do” category. Anything that’s only semi-important and semi-urgent goes into the “Could Do” category. The objective each day is to finish all of the “Must Do” items. If you finish them and still have time in the day, you move on to “Should Do” and, finally, “Can Do.”

Kill the Chaos With Better Organization

Stress, chaos, and overwhelm are all natural byproducts of being disorganized. By addressing the physical and mental clutter in your life, you can dramatically improve your life. And as you can see from this article, it doesn’t require any massive shifts or upheaval. It’s as simple as adopting a few new habits and being more disciplined in the details of your life. If you’re willing to make a few tweaks, you’ll get good results!

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