I wouldn’t say my life is a mess necessarily, but I would say that there are quite a few complicated aspects of it swimming around my head on a daily basis. Between finishing up finals, packing up my room, getting ready to travel for three months, trying to better my health, and personal things going on with my family, there is certainly a lot to think about, and most of the time I’m inclined to just shut down about all of it and lay in bed, watch youtube videos, and eat junk food. But, unfortunately, that wouldn’t solve any of my problems, and might even cause more.
So, what do I do? I make lists. I make so many lists. Every week I find myself writing down every goal I can think of for the next two years of my life and how they’re all going to happen. I visualize these times in my life, and I have vision board on my wall for when mental images won’t do. That said, those aren’t the lists I’m talking about for this post as much as the practical, less-over-the-top ones. It’s great to have long-term goals and know how you want to achieve them, but it’s the smaller lists that I use each day that help me sort through the fog in my brain to reach those long-term goals.
(my apologies for the less-than-desirable pictures on this post)
My planner doesn’t come with a monthly view, so as a break when I study sometimes I plan one out myself. I don’t own a ruler so of course it doesn’t look perfect, but it gets the job done. I use different colored pens for different things – in this case it’s green for daily tasks, red for final deadlines, a yellow highlighter around the days in which I’m traveling, and a purple highlighter to cross out the days that have already passed. Visualizing my month in such a way helps me keep track of how many days I actually have left before something big happens, so that if I’m putting off something like studying or packing, I know when I can’t afford to waste time anymore.
This one gets taped up on my wardrobe each Sunday night before I go to bed, so that each time I walk in and out of my room, or even just look around my room, I see what needs to be done this week. It’s a great way to reflect on the week and track progress, as each Sunday evening I take down my list of goals from the week and see what I accomplished and where I could improve, and use that to make my new list. It’s also a way of keeping track of my many different goals: making youtube videos, blogging, studying, working out, etc., and breaking them down into small tasks that I can then write in my daily planner.
I try to keep my daily planner all in one color, (unless a deadline needs to be marked in red), and use it as a to-do list. I write down at least half of the day in my planner the night before so I know when I should wake up and why that is, and then fill out the rest as the day progresses. It’s ideally chronological, but if I sleep in and miss my work out I can always try to fit it in later and just check it off then. I find flexibility is key when trying to get a lot done, because you can’t even rely on yourself to always stick to your own schedule.
This all may seem a bit excessive, but I promise it’s a great system. I write them out in the order I gave them to you, and then I can backtrack – when something gets crossed off of my daily to-do list, I can then check it off of my weekly goals, and see how I’m doing for time on my monthly calendar. It’s great for times like these when there’s a lot to keep track of, but I actually started doing all of this when there was little in my life going on and I couldn’t help but be lazy all of the time. This gave me a way to set goals for myself to progress in my personal ventures and to hold myself accountable for accomplishing said goals.
So, there you have it, a glimpse into my personal organization system. Maybe it gave you some ideas, maybe you just like seeing how other people organize themselves, or maybe you feel a bit more motivated to set some weekly goals and tackle this Monday. Let me know in the comments how you like to organize yourself and if you have a particular way to see through your goal-setting. Happy Monday! x.