It is difficult to stay present in your life, find clarity and go after your dreams if you are constantly consumed with “urgent” tasks and endless to-do lists swirling around in your head.
Before I made the conscious decision to get organized, I constantly felt like I was being reactive vs. in the flow, feeling like there was something important I was forgetting or not knowing where to begin when it came to actually getting things done.
Thankfully, those days are long behind me and I have since put systems in place that give me a sense of calm and the space to dream. I know what I need to get done and am otherwise able to take action towards the vision I hold for my life.
Few things make me happier than sharing what I have learned on my journey, which is why I want everyone to have access to these tools. Being organized = clearing space. When we clear space we are making room for anything and everything that lights us up: spending more time offline, being with community, starting a business, traveling, more rest - you name it and it is possible.
As I was writing this post, I realized I could write a book on the subject so I am going to begin by sharing the foundational tools I use. If it is supportive to the community, I can dive into more detail on how I create each of these systems.
The first step in getting organized is to get everything out of your head and in one central location. I love using Asana for this (but really any system you stick to will work). For those that are new to Asana, it is a task management platform. I use it for tasks ranging from personal to business and find it extremely user-friendly and easy to understand. I often use it on my desktop but they also have a great app. All projects I am working on (personal and business) go into Asana under the proper project and have a due date assigned. This keeps all tasks out of my brain and in one place.
While all of my tasks live in Asana, I also always have a notebook on hand. This is for writing out thoughts, musings and ideas that come to mind when I don’t have access to my phone/computer or if I just prefer writing it out.
The second most important tool is my calendar. I strive to put as much in there as possible. Beyond just appointments, calls, etc. I will utilize time blocking (carving out time for specific tasks) so that I can have focused work time — for example, writing for a few hours or answering emails. I have even scheduled time in my calendar for naps, baths and just “do nothing” time to recharge. I find that if it is not scheduled I will just become consumed with whatever it is I am doing and before I know it, the day is over.
Every 1-2 weeks I will schedule an hour to review any written notes (adding any tasks to Asana that I need to remember), scanning papers that are floating around (I use Google Drive and Evernote for this) and reviewing my calendar so I feel clear on everything I have going on. I picked up this tip up from productivity expert, David Allen in his book “Getting Thing Done: “The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” (I told you I am an organization/productivity nerd!).
This is a big picture look at the tools I use to stay organized. Within this are many more processes like automating workflows, utilizing the Pomodoro Technique, scanning/properly labeling and of course daily practices like Kundalini, Breathwork, and journaling that allow me to get present to what needs to get done.
I know this can seem like a lot at first but I promise once you get through the initial steps of seeing what needs to get done and setting aside the time, it will become second nature. A great place to start is just by typing (or writing) everything from the smallest task to the biggest project, getting it all out of your brain and in one place. Small tasks add up and take a lot of energy, you will be amazed at how good it feels just to see everything in one place.