It’s the end of the year and our minds are bursting with holiday plans, vacation dreams and a growing to-do list for the new year. When life piles a lot on our plate, it’s tough to keep a focused mind through it all. But, it can be done! It just takes some planning, some deep breaths and maybe even some help from a technological tool or two. Check out these tips for keeping your mind organized when your daily grind feels chaotic.
1. Devote 10 minutes each day to organizing your space
How can you stay organized if your space is a mess? Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the clutter all throughout the day, devote at least 10 minutes each day to tidying up your workspace, kitchen or whatever area causes you stress. This could take place at the beginning of your day to put yourself in a focused mindset, or at the end of the workday. Our environment affects how distracted we can be—take some time to make yours inviting.
2. Eliminate mindless web surfing from your day
Even if your work computer has certain websites blocked, everyone has a smartphone nowadays. If your gadget gets in the way of being productive, set a timer and put your phone out of reach. You can reward yourself with a five minute social media break afterward—one you will feel good about after crossing a bunch of things off your to-do list first. There are also apps to help you, such as Strict Workflow, a customizable Chrome extension that will block certain sites during the work time you’ve programmed for yourself.
3. Keep your calendar or to-do list updated
If you don’t keep a calendar or to-do list already, experiment with some different organizational tools to see what fits for you. Maybe a phone or desktop app helps you keep everything in line, or perhaps pen and paper is better. The Stickies app can also be a friendly tool for Mac users who want to jot down reminders throughout the day. Don’t stress yourself out trying to remember every little thing you have to do—get it out of your head and into an organized structure.
4. Schedule time for food, exercise and breaks
Working nonstop throughout the day does not support an organized mind. We are organic creatures, not machines, and we need breaks and fuel every now and then. If you are someone who routinely skips meals or finds themselves sitting at their desk for hours on end, set an alarm to remind you when it’s time to take care of yourself. Fuel up on healthy, non-processed foods and stretch your muscles a bit – your brain will thank you.
5. Sit down and clean out your devices once a week
In such a technological age, stuff can still pile up, even if it’s inside a computer, tablet, or phone. Not only does this accumulation of stuff slow down your devices, but it can overwhelm your mind to try and sort through it. Take some time once a week or once a month to clean out your inbox, your camera photos and your computer’s trash can. Delete any apps you haven’t used in a while, update your rotation of music to keep you in the zone, and change your wallpaper to something new and fresh. These small housekeeping tasks will make a big difference in the long run.
6. Delegate duties to others
If you are finding there is simply too much on your plate for one person to accomplish in a given day, you absolutely have the right to ask for some help. Hold a family meeting to revisit the division of labor in the household. Have a sit-down with your boss or colleagues about how to equally divide up labor on an upcoming project. Closely examine the requests that come your way—can you really take another thing on right now? If not, it’s okay to decline. Not only will delegating tasks destress you, but it will free your mind up to feel more productive and organized with your day.
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