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5 Tips For How To Organize Your Life For Success

Are you wondering how to organize your life for success?

Have you found that recently you feel like you can barely stay ahead of the chaos that is your life? Are you weighed down by obligations to work, family, friends and self- care? Are you just exhausted and feeling hopeless and helpless?

The good news is is that there is hope and help! There are ways that you can organize your life so that you can stay ahead of the fray.

Here is how….

#1 – Use a calendar.

The number one most important thing as far as how to organize your life for success is to have a calendar. And use it!

I had a new client who was really struggling with getting things done in her life. She worked full time, and sometimes overnight, and had two little kids. She came to me because she needed help getting organized.

The first thing that we looked at was how much time she had available in the week. It turned out to be very little so I encouraged her stop beating herself up for her lack of organization. You can only do so much with so little time.

That being said, we set out to make her operate efficiently in the little time that she had. The first step to do that was to use a calendar.

Every Sunday night my client would sit down with her calendar and make a plan for the week. She would write down everything that was non-negotiable for the week, like work, appointments, after school activities etc.

Once she had those things registered, she could see where in her week she might have time to get other things done, things like haircuts, grocery shopping and time at the gym. She registered those things on her calendar as well.

The thing about having a calendar and checking it Sunday night is that you familiarize yourself with what your schedule looks like, big picture, for the week. You also know when you have time on your schedule for things that need to get done – you don’t just try to get them done whenever you have might have time.

Calendar use – the number one tool for how to organize your life for success.

#2 – Have a routine.

Once you have your calendar up and running, it’s time to work out a routine.

I encourage my clients to look at what they need to get done every week and to establish a routine around getting them done.

For me, when my kids were young, I went grocery shopping every Tuesday (complete with a typed up grocery list, organized by aisles in the supermarket). I knew when food would be coming into the house and organized accordingly.

I also did laundry on Sunday and Thursday nights. I would do the laundry during the day and fold it at night after the kids had gone to sleep. I chose these days for a reason…TV. In the pre-DVR days we had to watch TV live and Thursday nights was ER. I could justify watching TV because I was folding the laundry!

So, make a routine around your weekly chores and put them in your calendar. You will be glad you did.

#3 – Keep a running list.

An important part of getting things done is to keep a running list.

I used to recommend that clients get a small spiral bound notebook to write down things that need to be done as they think of them. So many of us are remember things that need to get done while driving home but then forget them by the time we get home. If you have a notebook with you at all times you can keep a running list. And if you have a bound notebook instead of a scrap of paper you are less likely to lose it!

Of course, many of my clients now like to keep their list on their phones. Whatever works for you!!

Once you have a running list, when you look at your calendar on Sunday you can see where in your calendar you could get these things done and register them accordingly.

If you know that something on your list needs to be done right away,  you can review your calendar for the next few days and see where you can fit it in.

You can also, if you find you have a few free minutes, check out your running list and see if there is something that you can get done in that time. It’s amazing how much one can do in 10 minutes.

So keep a list. Refer to it often. Get things done.

#4 – Get professional help.

If we were all in charge of the world, I am sure that we would delegate our chores to professional help. Who wouldn’t want a personal organizer, a chef or a cleaning lady to take the load off a bit?

I am here to give you permission to do that, to hire some professional help, should your budget allow.

It’s okay to ask for help. This is a chaotic world that we live in and we can’t do it all, in spite of the fact that we think we can.

Imagine all of the free time that would appear if you had someone to mow your lawn once a week. Time that could be used for self-care or so that you could attack that pile of paper on your desk.

If your budget doesn’t allow for professional help, consider bartering with someone to get things done. I used to help organize my friends’ houses in exchange for driving car pool. It was a win-win for both of us as I was a great organizer and she had a bigger car!

So don’t be ashamed to ask for help! We all need it!

#5 – Take care of yourself.

More than anything, at the top of the list of how to organize your life for success is self-care.

Imagine that you have read the list above and are raring to go – to get a calendar, establish a routine, keep a running list and get help. You are so excited to get it done and then….you are so tired on Sunday that you spend the day in front of the TV instead and never get started.

Taking care of ourselves is a key to organizing our lives for success. It is important that we get enough sleep every night, eat a diet that includes at least some fresh fruits and vegetables and that we get at least a little aerobic exercise weekly. If you can add a massage or a pedicure in there even better.

In order to be able to think clearly and act efficiently we need to be healthy. These days it is almost badge of honor in our society to be so overworked that we are exhausted but don’t kid yourself. That kind of living is unsustainable and will ultimately stop you short.

So, when you are building your calendar on Sunday night, make sure you make room in there to take care of yourself. If you don’t, you are doomed to fail.

So there are a few tips for how to organize your life for success.

I know that it seems daunting, doing all of these steps, but really it’s not. All you have to do is start at the beginning.

Get yourself a calendar and start using it. Once you get into the routine you will find that the other pieces fall into place – the establishing routines, keeping running lists and asking for help will come naturally.

Just make sure you take care of yourself. It is always important that you do.

 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Get Things Done – Even if There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day

There just aren’t enough hours in the day, are there? There are school lunches to be made and buses to be caught and meetings to attend and dogs to be walked and homework to be done and mothers to be called and TV shows to catch up on. The list is endless and impossible to manage.

Or is it?

Believe it or not there are ways to get on top of your to-do list.

Here are my 5 Ways to Get Things Done – Even if There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day.

#1 – Use a notebook.

A spiral bound notebook. A notebook that makes you happy to look at and that you don’t want to lose. This is the key to being productive. Every organized person you know has one.

It is in this notebook that you keep your running to-do list. When something new comes up you add it to your list. The to-do list in your notebook.

You do not keep your to-do list on a piece of paper that gets lost between the car seats or gets eaten by the dog. Your to-do list is in a notebook that you can’t throw away and you refuse to lose track of.

And then, when you get something done, you get to cross that thing off of your to-do list. And I am not sure if there is anything better than crossing something off of your to-do list.

Seriously.

#2 – Set priorities.

Every morning take 10 minutes to review your to-do list and to set priorities. You can do this by starring or highlighting the things on your list that you need to get done that day.

Many of us do first the things on our list that we don’t mind doing and don’t do the things that need to be done.

One of my clients HATED making phones calls to set up appointments. As a result she never did set them up and her dishwasher didn’t get fixed and her son missed his doctor’s appointment and her daughter’s permission slip didn’t get signed. This was not good

Once she started setting her priorities my client 1) didn’t have to make all of her phones calls at the same time but made them when they needed to be made (which made them less daunting) and 2) things that usually fell through the cracks (and made more work for her) no longer fell through the cracks.

#3 – Say No!

This is key. It is very, very hard for us to say no. We don’t want to say no for a variety of reasons, whether it’s because we want to do something or we feel like we should do something or we think we need to do something. So, before you say yes, take a good hard look at why you are saying yes.

One of my clients always said yes, no matter what was asked of her. She liked to keep busy and didn’t want to let anyone down. But of course she ended up letting everyone down because she couldn’t be as effective at all of her tasks as she might have been. Once she started looking at why she was saying yes, and why she wasn’t saying no, she was able to pick and choose what she said yes to. Once she did that she was able to manage her time more effectively and successfully complete each task.

#4 – If it takes less than 10 minutes just DO IT.

Next time you have a few minutes, while you are waiting for the bus to arrive, or for a phone call to come in or while the kids are watching TV, take a look at your list. Is there anything on it that you can get done in 10 minutes or less? If there is, DO IT! It’s those little things that are daunting and tend to add up.   And, again, let me tell you, from personal experience, there is nothing more mood-enhancing then crossing something off of your list.

#5 – Check your computer only 3 times a day.

Yes, I know. This is the hard one. We are all totally addicted to our screens. Totally. And I am sure you are familiar with the phenomenon known as “screen sucking.” This is when your computer/phone/tablet screen sucks up all of your time before you even know it. A great way to add time to your day is to stay away from your screen.

I have a client who used to check her phone every moment she got, at the expense of everyone and everything around her. At my suggestion, for one week she checked it just three times a day: once in the morning, once at mid-day and once after dinner. It was painful in the beginning, she reported, but by the end of the week the amount of time she had to be productive had dramatically increased. So try it. For one week. See what happens.

So there you go: my 5 Ways to Get Things Done.

There are 24 hours in our day and everyone should sleep for 8 of those hours. That leaves you 16 hours a day to use wisely. Part of using them wisely is to do things that feed your soul but also use those hours to be productive. Staying on top of things will go a long way towards making your life a happier place.

So use my tips. Get some things done. If you do your life will be simpler, you will be happier and those around you will thrive. And that is the goal, yes?


 

Work smarter – not harder! Need more ideas for doing so?

Contact me NOW and I can help!

 


 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

7 Easy Steps to Get Rid of Stuff, Even if You Think that You Just Can’t Do It

We all have stuff. It’s just what Americans do. We collect stuff. Some of us have more of it than others and some of us have a harder time keeping that stuff under control.

Having too much stuff can cause a ton of stress.

There is an efficient way to get rid of all of that stress-inducing stuff, a few secrets of which I am going to share with you here today.

Here are 7 Easy Steps to get Rid of Stuff, Even if You Think that You Just Can’t Do It.

#1. Identify what room needs to be de-stuffed first. This is the key. If you look around the house and think “I need to get rid of ALL this stuff” you will get so overwhelmed that you will just go watch an episode of “Orange is the New Black” instead.

Choose one room. Any room. If you want to start small, do so. Like the mudroom or the laundry. Or even a dresser drawer. Actually completing the task of de-stuffing that room, or drawer, will make you feel so good that it will make you want to tackle a larger room next.

#2. Give yourself a good chunk of time to start and finish the project and make it a priority. This is key. You need to make a date with that room, one that you won’t break. If you try to do this “when you have time” well, you know. Most likely it just won’t happen.

#3. Set up your IPOD and your speakers. Throwing away is way easier when done to music. Get out your favorite playlist, put on some comfy clothes and get ready to get down to it.

#4. Start in one corner of the room. This is a huge secret and one that WORKS!

In the chosen corner of the room, garbage bag in hand, start throwing things away. Things that you aren’t using, that are broken, that are expired. Put them in that garbage bag. Things that you are still using and keeping get placed nicely back where they belong.

If you aren’t sure whether or not something needs to be thrown out, consider when the last time was that you touched that thing, or even thought about it. If it was over 3 months ago, it’s gone. Acknowledge and be thankful for the role that it played in your life and then say goodbye.

Work your way around the room, repeating this process over and over. Don’t skip ahead. Do all four sides of the room.

#5. Use the middle of the room. As you throw away the things that are broken and leave the things that aren’t, you will come across things that can be 1. recycled or 2. given to the Salvation Army. Put those thing in the middle of the room, in two piles. When you are done you can put the recycled stuff at the curb and you can call the Salvation Army to come pick up the rest.

NOTE: if this step is overwhelming just skip it and get a bigger garbage bag.

#6. Take a minute and look around. Stand in the doorway of that room. Appreciate how de-stuffed it is. Notice how it makes you feel. Less stressed? Recognize that YOU DID THIS. All by yourself.

If you can do this, just imagine what else you can do….

#7. Do not buy more stuff. I know this seems obvious but, really, it’s what we do. We go to Sam’s Club and think to ourselves “Oh, look. This croquet set is so cheap and summer is coming and we could play together as a family and…” The reality is that, maybe, it will get used once and then put away to gather dust.

Consider purchases carefully before making them. You will not only reduce your stress but you will save yourself money. Money that you can used for a massage or something else that will make your life a better place.

So there you are… 7 Easy Steps to get Rid of Stuff, Even if You Think that You Just Can’t Do It.

Getting rid of stuff can change your life. De-cluttering your house can de-clutter your mind, freeing it up for way more important things.

Like living the life of your dreams. Get in touch with me NOW to get yourself started. You will be glad you did!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!