Christina Scalise said it well, “Organization isn’t about perfection, it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.”
If you are living your life in a mess, it is because you don’t know how to organize your life.
Most people are reactive when it comes to organizing their lives. They react rather than act.
They allow things to come to them and happen randomly rather than being proactive and make things happen.
Let me give you an example…
Imagine you have a pet dog with you. But because you always give the excuse that you don’t have the time to train your dog, she has grown out of control.
She barks at your neighbors and chases after motorists that passed by your house. And she will just pee and poop in your house. It is a mess!
But if you could only a couple of minutes teaching and training your dog, things will not be out of control.
The same could happen in every other area of your life.
If you let your life happens randomly, things could become chaos and your life will be a mess.
The good news is that you don’t have to let things happen to you. Instead, you can be the one who proactively organizes your life and live in harmony with your dream lifestyle.
You can organize your life around your dreams, and then watch them as they come true.
And in this guide, I’m going to share with you the 10 tips on how you can organize your life for better productivity and success, so that you can live peacefully without stress and feeling hectic.
The 3 Areas Where You Should Organize Your Life
Before we talk about how to organize your life, we need to cover the 3 biggest areas of your life that you should put your focus on…
1. Career and Finance
This is one of the most common areas where you want to focus and organize your life around. Regardless of whether you are running your own business or are holding a job, you need to manage your career and your finances.
Without consciously tackling your career, you will end up spending most of your life working in a career that you hate.
Not only that, you have to learn how to manage your finances as well. When your finance is in a mess, it will affect other areas of your life, especially your health and relationships.
If you don’t want to live a hectic and stressful life, learn to manage and organize your career and finance. Make it a conscious decision so that you will get things in order in this area.
2. Family and Relationships
You may be in your twenties and you are yet to have your own family. If you are single right now, this is the best time to focus and put in more time on other areas of your life, like health and career.
However, once you have your own family and with kids, it will be a different story. Your commitment will be higher and your family will require more of your time and energy.
And this is why organization becomes even more important. You want to learn how to juggle everything by working on things that give you the most results, not just anything.
3. Health and Fitness
And then we have health and fitness. Far too many people ignore their health until it is too late. You don’t want to happen. You don’t want to be diagnosed with a chronic disease only to start taking care of your health and fitness.
Whenever possible, you want to make it a habit to eat healthily and to exercise regularly. Besides, when you are fit and healthy, you will have more energy and able to focus better on your work. This allows you to shine on other areas of your life too.
10 Tips How to Organize Your Life for Better Productivity and Success
Organizing your life doesn’t need to be something rigid or complicated. What you want is to create a set of guidelines or framework to show you what to do.
You already have enough mess in your life, so you don’t want to stress yourself by creating even more mess with how to organize them.
Just let it flow and slowly implement these 10 tips below.
You have to understand that everyone’s life is different. Your circumstances will be different than mine.
I work from home as a full-time blogger and digital marketer while you may need to go to the office every day.
I’m married and expecting a newborn into my life soon while you may have your own family of four.
Thus, everyone’s different. So, you want to learn and slowly apply these tips. Use what works for you.
As Bruce Lee famously said:
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”Bruce Lee
1. Define Your Dream Life
If you want to live an organized life, the first thing you need to do is to define how an organized life looks like to you.
In other words, you want to know your dream lifestyle.
- How many hours do you want to work every day?
- Do you exercise every day?
- What will you do when you are free?
- How are you going to spend your weekend with your loved ones and family?
- What’s your hobby?
- How does your ideal workday and weekend look like?
Knowing how your dream life looks like is the first step in turning it into reality.
I believe in conscious engineering, a term coined by Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of MindValley and the best-selling author of The Buddha And The Badass. If you haven’t read the book yet, please do so right now because it will change your life.
Hence, define your organized life. Find out how your ideal life looks like so that you can focus your intention and create the lifestyle you want, consciously.
2. Set Goals and Make Conscious Decisions
If you study the lives of extraordinary people like Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, Richard Branson, and my recent favorite, Hal Elrod, you will notice they all shared one thing in common – they have a clear goal of what they want out of their lives.
This is because when you are crystal clear with what you want out of your life, you can make conscious decisions to move in that direction.
Here’s what you need to know – Your direction is more important than your speed.
So if you want to live an organized life, you need to create a goal, or a mission, and organize your life around that goal.
Rather than allowing things to happen randomly to you, you become proactive by intentionally working toward the life that you desire.
What you need to do is to identify two goals:
- One professional goal related to your work, business, or career, and
- One personal goal to help improve the quality of your life.
You don’t need to have 100 goals. You just need to work on one professional and one personal goal at a time.
Knowing what you want allows you to plan and create schedules so that you can organize other areas to fit into your goals. Not the other way round.
For instance, I know my priority is to grow my online business, hence, I schedule my tasks according to my priority. Other things like exercise, reading, and watching the TV will have to wait.
So, take a piece of paper and write down your two goals right now.
If you want to learn more about setting empowering goals and achieving them, check out this guide:
3. Plan and Schedule for Execution
Identifying your ideal lifestyle and knowing what goals you want to achieve is just one part of the equation.
If you want to make your ideal life comes true, you need to work on it.
In short, you need to execute and take action so that you can have the organized life you want.
There is no point talking and thinking about having all the time to enjoy yourself with your family but you are doing anything to make it a reality.
You can imagine yourself having the best-organized workstation in the world, clutter-free, but if you are not taking any action, your dream will remain, well, a dream.
This is why you want to execute and take action. And the best way to do so is to schedule and plan for your action commitments.
If you say you want to declutter your workspace or clean your storeroom, put it into your schedule. Write it down on your calendar, “I will organize and clean my office at 3 PM, Friday before I enjoy my weekend.”
When you write and schedule this way, you are giving clear instructions to your mind as to what you want it to do.
When the time comes, when it is Friday 3 PM, your mind will remind you that you need to clean your office before you go back home to enjoy your weekend.
This is why planning and schedules are so effective. They make sure you follow through and do what you need to get done, done.
Here are some good resources to help you in planning your dream life:
- How to Create a Life Vision Plan that Drives You to Success
- 10 Tips How to Plan Your Day and Live a More Successful Life
- How to Plan Your Week: 10 Effective Tips to be More Productive
4. Kick-Start Your Day Earlier
Here’s an article from Wall-Street.com:
- AOL CEO Tim Armstrong wakes up around 5 or 5:15 AM to work out, read, and tinker around with AOL’s products, as well as answering emails.
- Xerox CEO Ursula Burns rises at 5.15 a.m. even though, sometimes, she’ll work until midnight. When she rises, she’ll catch up with her emails. Further, she schedules a bi-weekly 6 AM workout.
- Richard Branson, founder, and chairman of Virgin Group usually wakes at 5.45 AM, irrespective he’s holidaying on his private island. He always leaves the curtains open to allow the sun to wake him. His habit is to exercise before breakfast, and then go to work.
- Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who also co-founded Twitter, wakes at 5.30 AM and meditates before going for a six-mile jog.
- Disney CEO Bob Iger rises at 4:30 AM and reads the papers while exercising, listening to music, watching TV, and checking emails – all at once. It’s his “quiet time,” but he’s still intent on multi-tasking.
The list goes on and on.
Successful and extraordinary people wake up early.
If you want to live an organized life, try to wake up early.
Well, you may argue that you don’t have to wake up early to become organized. That may be true, but I have been waking up as early as 6:30 AM every day for years and I have to say that getting up early has been one of my most productive habits ever.
But don’t get me wrong. You can wake up at 5 AM but if you are not doing anything productive, it is better to get more sleep than to wake up early.
The key is what you do with your morning and undisturbed hours.
For me, I write down my goals and repeat my affirmations. After that, I will proceed to plan and write down what I need to accomplish throughout the day. I will make sure I have at least 1 action commitment that will move me toward my main mission.
Once I have done planning, I will read for about 30 to 45 minutes before I take a shower and go for my breakfast.
Getting up early allows you to jumpstart your day with better clarity, which also promotes living an organized life.
It gives you extra time to plan and get yourself ready for what’s coming.
Do you know that most successful people wake up early? Read this amazing book from Laura Vanderkam – What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.
5. Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
Yes, make sure you get enough sleep. It may seem counterintuitive and has nothing to do with living an organized life, but lack of sleep will affect your mood, which eventually leads to creating a mess in your life.
Here’s an easy example. When you want to organize your finances like save and invest a portion of your income, but due to the lack of sleep, it makes you procrastinate on that decision.
When you are tired and exhausted, it will affect your ability to make better decisions. You will want to spend the money on items that you don’t need rather than save it and invest it.
If you think that sleep is overrated, you have to listen to these words from Bill Clinton, the ex-president of the United States:
“Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.”Bill Clinton
Lack of sleep will affect every other area of your life.
There is no way you can get organized, be productive, and accomplish outstanding success if you are someone who can’t think straight because you don’t get enough sleep.
There are so much research and studies that have been published about the importance of getting enough sleep. Just Google and read them, and I’m sure you will never look at sleep the same way again.
6. Organize and Declutter
If you want to organize your life, you need to organize and declutter, and I mean physical things.
Imagine your work desk is in a mess. There are piles of papers, notebooks, and folders on the table. And you don’t have enough space to even squeeze in your laptop to work on the table.
Do you think you can be productive and focus on your work this way?
You know the answer.
There is a reason why Apple’s store is cleaned and organized.
According to the Jam Experiment, more isn’t always better.
When people were given 24 varieties of gourmet jams to sample, it attracted a large crowd but with fewer sales. However, when researchers reduced the sampled jams to just 6 varieties, it attracted less interest, but the sales went through the roof.
This is why you want to organize your workplace, your home, and your life to become more productive and effective.
- Spend 5 to 10 minutes to declutter and clean up your workplace before you leave your office every day.
- Once you wake up, develop the habit to make your bed.
- Take care of your hygiene. Bath every morning and dress comfortably for work.
- Plan your meals in advance.
- Get rid of unwanted items properly.
For more practical organization tips, I suggest you read these 2 articles:
7. Collect Memories and Experiences, Not Things
If you want to live an organized life, you must learn to collect memories and experiences, not things.
The media and society at large have trained us to want to get more things into our lives.
This is also true when it comes to setting and achieving our goals. Most people set goals to achieve the things that they want. Things like…
- More money
- Luxury cars
- Expensive watches
- Big houses
- Phones, gadgets, cameras, etc.
But the majority of them fail to realize that things are just a means to an end.
What you really want from a car is the ability to go from one place to another. The same goes for money. Money allows you to buy foods and acquires necessities.
But because of the way we have been influenced by the world around us, we have been conditioned to want to collect more things.
When you buy a new car, you think you owned that car, but it is not. It is the other way round – the car owns you.
Let me explain. When you buy a new car, you take care of it so much. You can’t help to think about it all the time. You want to drive it, you wash it every week, you keep its interior clean, and you feel good about it.
So, who owns your life right now? The car, not you.
You will have to spend more time, energy, and money to take care of the car. So, the car owns a part of your life.
This is why you want to collect memories like having a great date night with your wife, or create meaningful experiences in your life such as holding an amazing 18th birthday for your daughter or bringing your parents to travel around the world.
As Anthony J. D’Angelo said…
“The most important things in life aren’t things.”Anthony J. D’Angelo
Check out this article: 15 Reasons to Collect Memories Not Things
8. Delegate and Outsource
Another great tip to help you organize your life is to always delegate and outsource what you find painful to do.
For example, if you always find maintaining your lawn is something difficult and that you always procrastinate doing it, get someone else to it.
If you have the budget, you can outsource the work to someone else. But if you don’t have the budget, perhaps, you need to come up with a better way to delegate it.
We only have 24 hours in a day, yet, there are so many things we want to do every day.
And we simply can’t cramp everything into our day and try to do everything by ourselves.
If you study extremely successful entrepreneurs, they don’t do things all by themselves. They build a team and hire great people to help them in their journey.
You have to think the same. There is no way you can do everything on your own.
Think about that you have to spend a huge amount of time working every day, and then you need to spend time exercise, read, declutter, clean your house, take care of your home, spend quality time with your family, hobbies, Netflix, social media, etc.
It is a never-ending list of things to do. Therefore, the best way is to outsource and delegate your tasks.
You can start with low-impact tasks like cleaning your house or if it is your business, outsource or delegate tasks that bring you the least results.
You should read this book: The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.
9. Develop Productive Habits for Organization
Pretty much of what we do daily are habits. Think about the way you brush your teeth or the way you wear your clothes and shoes, they are repeated every day until the behaviors become our habits.
And therefore, if you want to organize your life, you should focus on developing habits that help you to live a better and more organized life.
Think about it, do you always delay paying your bills? Or do you always procrastinate on getting your workstation organized and let files and documents pile up on your table?
These are bad habits you should get rid of. Focus on building good habits such as if you want to have a clean and organized workstation, make it a habit to clean your desk for 5 minutes every day before you leave your office.
If you want to stop delay paying bills until the very last minute, you can either make it automatic by setting up the auto-payment, or make it a habit to pay the bill right when you receive it.
Here are a couple of good habits you should develop to make your life more organized:
- Schedule time for planning.
- Always put things back from where you take them.
- Make your bed every morning.
- Get rid of or donate unwanted things.
- Make good use of reminders and to-do lists.
- Always organize your emails into folders.
- Focus and do just one thing at a time.
Develop good productive habits so that your habits will develop an organized life for you. As Jim Rohn said…
“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.”Jim Rohn
10. Take Time Off and Recharge
One of the biggest mistakes most people make about living an organized life is that they only focus on organizing and decluttering, they forget that they need to take time off and recharge.
You don’t just want your spaces to be well organized, you want to declutter your mental spaces too.
And the best way to organize your mental spaces is to take time off for relaxation and recharge.
When you are in a relaxed state, your thinking will be sharper, which allows you to do make better decisions.
Similarly, when you are fully charged, you are able to follow through and stick to your plan. Regardless of whether you plan to clean and organize your life or to pursue a project you have been working on for years.
The key is to keep a balance so that you will not suffer from burnout.
I have published a few great guides about taking breaks, you should read them:
- The Importance of Taking a Short Break According to Research
- 13 Creative Ways How to Take Short Breaks During the Day
Now that you have discovered the 10 tips on how to organize your life, but one thing you must remember is that living an organized life is not about getting up early or where you should keep your documents. Instead, being organized is a principle – a way of life.
You don’t want to get caught in all the details on how to organize your life and thus create another mess out of it.
And not all the tips above are going to work for you. As I said earlier, you’ll have to adopt what works, change what doesn’t, and improve your way of living.