You know you do something well when people start recognizing you for it. Not only have I been noticed for my organization skills lately, but people will often reach out to me and ask for some tips.
So I decided to systematize some of my strategies and tactics that help me stay organized.
Let’s start with the fact that being organized is one of my main strengths. Order is one of my top five core values, which means it is one of the things that make my essence shine (brighter than the Sun).
So whenever I organize something, whether my room, my home, or my notes, I feel like I’m living with excellence, I get clarity on what’s important, and that gives me more enthusiasm!
Yep! Enthusiasm! Having my life and my things in order makes me feel enthusiastic.
I think that’s the only reason I am so good at it. Enthusiasm for me is equivalent to water or air. There’s no living without it. And if you’ve ever talked to me in person, you know how enthusiastic I am about everything (haha).
“Okay, Nat. But what does being enthusiastic have to do with being organized?”
Well, just about everything, from my vantage point. You see, I know I am moved and ruled by my heart (aren’t we all?). That means if something doesn’t make me feel good or it doesn’t give me pleasure, it will not get done. Period!
Before discussing the actions and behaviors, we should first focus on the strategy.
In this case, having a solid strategy means connecting the idea of being organized with positive emotions, preferably a profoundly ingrained feeling that makes you radiate. In my case, organizing relates to feeling order, excellence, enthusiasm, and even love.
I got to all of that knowledge going through and coaching others. There’s a detailed framework I use to get to your core values and main strengths. But for now, I’ll use a different tool because the idea here is to find a way to connect being organized with a good feeling.
The 5 Whys
This means you will ask yourself “why” at least five times, and answer each one, to get to the core of your motivation.
Q1: Why being organized is essential?
A: Because I wake up every day feeling overwhelmed by all the things I know I need to do. And waste a lot of time trying to figure out where to begin.
Q2: And why is that important?
A: Because when I’m organized I feel relieved.
A: Because I get a clear sense of everything I need to do.
Q4: And why is that important?
A: Because it makes me feel like I’m moving forward and focusing on what’s important.
Q5: And why is that important?
A: Because I want to live with excellence and with integrity to the best version of myself.
Perfect! That’s what we want to find.
So for me, the whole thing comes down to living with excellence and getting closer to the best version of myself.
And that works because every time I’m organizing my day, for instance, I remind myself of that specific feeling, take a deep breath, imagine greeting my best version with a high-five, and smile!
Now we can move on to some action. What are the behaviors and tools to assist you in becoming and staying super organized?
Here’s what I do:
# 1 Everything has a home
Happy with my boxes
The best thing about being organized is knowing where everything is and save time. Or in case you forget where it is, at least you know where to look for it. That is true for physical and virtual things.
I prefer to digitalize everything. It’s less clutter around and more comfortable to look for (thank you “search engines”).
About a year ago, I made the transition for my notebooks as well. Now, all my handwritten notes are also digital, making it so much easier to organize and find later on.
Having everything stored in the cloud helps a lot, especially when you need that particular document, from 2016, on-the-go.
You can’t store your keys and wallet on the cloud. So it would be best if you designated one place for your physical things as well.
I am a minimalist, which helps. There’s one place only to store all my essential belongings, and I love using boxes to keep them.
One box is for electronics, including chargers, cables, headphones, external HDs (I’m old school that way), pen drives, adapters, etc. Another one for my wallet, keys, hand sanitizers, and everything else that goes into my purse. One folder for relevant documents (that I have copies digitalized) such as my marriage certificate, ID, passport, etc.
I only keep the bare minimum and genuinely essential. The best part is that it all fits in a tiny shelf of a closet.
# 2 Technology as a way to facilitate
I love technology! But being a minimalist, I am very mindful of apps and software. It only gets installed if it’s super useful.
So I’ll only share tips of 3 apps that make my life easier. I use them all every single day to stay organized and on top of everything I need/want to do.
My home for all digital references. From documents to books I want to read, my track of experiences with specialty coffees to all notes from sessions I have with my clients, my personal goals to details of every single one of my projects. All in one place, visible in all my devices, and you can share it with anyone.
I can’t tell you how many templates I created and shared through it.
My primary note-taking app, with the advantange of being date-focused. Since I have many meetings during the day,I can remain 100% focused on the meeting, take all my notes and afterward decide what’s going to become of them: future projects, to-do for the day/week, etc.
Also, all ideas I have gets jotted down here first, all insights, drafts for future articles, etc. This app is my go-to for notes in general, primarily because I can link them to my calendar.
My virtual notebook app. Where all my handwritten notes are, divided into seven infinite notebooks.
Besides being able to write by hand, you can draw, add PDF files and images, choose different colors for your pen, highlight, type in multiple fonts, etc.
One of my favorites is a six-subject digital notebook I got from this website. I use it to track all my goals, my to-dos for the week (this keeps me accountable), and my daily reflections/ideas.
All note-taking from courses and lectures goes on another sectioned notebook, and in this specific case, I use the Cornell method to make it easier to recall my highlights for that class.
# 3 Make it simple
It is hard trying to describe in detail all my strategies and actions to stay organized because I tend to simplify it as much as possible. So I hope this video helps you see it better.
If I could summarize it all in one sentence, it would be: write everything down and create a home for all physical and virtual items.
Just in case you’re looking for a super practical book on the subject, try: Getting Things Done, by David Allen.
Having everything safe in only one place allows your mind to relax. So keep in mind the more you can free up space in your mind, the more creative, focused, and relaxed you can be.
If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.
Let’s connect to positive emotions, get organized to free our minds, and strive to do our best every day.
Liked it? I would love to know your impressions. Share them with me in the comments
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