How to Be More Organized & Productive | 10 Habits for Life Organization

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Hello, my loves.

Welcome back to Lavendaire.

Today I want to talk about how to get organized with your life.

I'm going to share 10 tips/habits on how to be more organized,

how to be more effective, and just improve your workflow.

First off, productivity is not about doing more.

It's about making more use of your time, so it's about being effective.

And if you want to be effective and productive,

then you have to have a good system in place.

Today I'm going to share how to build that system, and you can start from scratch.

These are things that you can implement starting today and they will help you immediately.

By the way, if you're new here, make sure you subscribe down below.

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The first tip is to: Give yourself a space to get organized.

It really is a consistent habit that you build.

“Space” means giving yourself time to plan things,

to organize things, to figure things out.

You can't expect yourself to be like, go-go-go,

taking action all the time, jam-packing your schedule,

and expect to have extra time out of nowhere to organize your life.

So you have to create space, give yourself an allotted time.

What you can do is: Set an admin day

where you have a time slot of one or two hours each week

on a certain day to review your week, resolve any missed deadlines,

put things in your calendar,

mark off any unnecessary tasks from your to do list –

you know, just do the general upkeep

to keep your life organized and ready for the following week.

A good day to do this is Sunday,

if you want to do it Sunday afternoon, Sunday nights.

I always feel like each week I need some time to review what I need to do,

what can I get rid of, reset my state of mind,

and build a solid foundation to start the new week off with a fresh start.

This past year I really learned a lot about

balancing the yin and yang energies of your life –

and if that doesn't make sense to you:

Yin is feminine energy.

Yang is a masculine energy.

It's kind of a nature of our worlds that you need a balance of both, you know.

You can't be too much of one thing.

And in productivity, yang is like when you're really fast, taking action, hustling, and going.

And then yin is the rest, the time to breathe, the self care, the time to reflect.

You can't have too much of one.

You have to have a balance of both.

So you can't expect to have a jam-packed schedule

and hustling all the time without taking any breaks

because you're just going to be burnt out.

And then if you take too much time for breaks

and vacation and self care, and you don't do anything,

then you're going to just be sluggish and not at your fullest potential.

So you really want to balance the yin and the yang,

meaning it's okay to take a break,

and you really need to make sure that you're not doing too much of one or the other.

The second tip is to: Keep things out of your head.

You cannot trust your short term memory.

I know some of us think we can remember things, but you really can't.

The average human can remember around seven things in their short term memory,

and that's not a lot.

So really, I live by this tip.

I write everything down.

I always take notes.

I don't trust my own memory, I forget things all the time.

You just have to get in the habit of brain dumping everything that comes to mind –

reminders, things you have to do – in your notes.

Most likely, it'll start with the simple note app that you have on your phone.

Just brain dump into the place where it is easiest for you to brain dump.

For me it really is the phone.

For you it might be a notepad, a notebook, your computer.

It really doesn't matter where you brain dump

as long as you decide one place that is easiest for you

to dump all your reminders and information onto,

and then you can worry about organizing that information later.

That brings me to my next tip: Build a system you can trust.

So this might take a little bit more time and a lot of tweaking as you go.

You want to consider what do you need to get organized

and what is your favorite app or method to do so.

There are digital ways and physical ways to organize your workflow.

You just have to test things out and see what works best for you.

This is all about finetuning your system to work for you.

You have to make sure it's effective for what you need.

Don't just follow someone else's format or a format that you think is pretty.

You have to do what works for you, for your to do list system.

You can use a notepad, sticky notes, a Daily Planner –

like the one from Lavendaire – or bullet journaling.

For more complex task and project management,

you can use apps like Trello, Asana, or Todoist.

For your calendar, you can use Google Calendar, iCal,

Fantastical, or just your traditional analog calendar.

My personal favorites are Trello,

the Notes app on my phone, the Daily Planner by Lavendaire,

and I still use Wunderlist, which has become [Microsoft To Do],

but I'm still on the old app just because

I have a lot of old info that I've collected there that haven't moved over yet.

But anyway, comment down below with your favorite apps to use for productivity

so we can all share our information and resources.

When you're building your new system, you want to keep in mind:

How can I keep this as simple and accessible as possible while still being effective?

For example, if something is too complicated for you, you probably won't keep it up.

Bullet journaling is something that is really popular that a lot of people love

because it sparks their creativity,

but it's something that I know that I can never do or never get into,

because it takes so much work to create your own layouts.

I love when I have a system already in place,

a layout already created for me,

which is why I use like my workbook and the Daily Planner.

If you guys want to get more help in creating your system for productivity,

there's a really great class on Skillshare by the YouTuber Thomas Frank, called

“Productivity Masterclass: Create a System That Works”.

I'd like to thank Skillshare for sponsoring today's video.

If you guys don't know:

Skillshare is an online learning community

with thousands of classes covering dozens of creative and entrepreneurial skills.

Premium membership gives you unlimited access

so you can join the classes and communities

that are just right for you.

Whether you want to fuel your curiosity, creativity, or career,

Skillshare is the perfect place to keep you learning and growing.

The class that I mentioned on productivity,

it will help you create a simple, customized productivity system.

And he goes over task management, digital and physical file organization,

how to take notes, email tips and tricks,

and staying organized for the long haul.

Also, Skillshare is really affordable,

especially when you compare it to pricey in-person classes and workshops.

An annual subscription is less than $10 a month.

Because Skillshare is sponsoring this video,

you can get a free two-month trial to Skillshare

by signing up down below at that link in the description.

All right, the next tip is simple:

Understand the difference between events vs. tasks.

“Events” are specific to timing and should go in your calendar,

because they happen at a specific time

and you need to block out your calendar for them.

“Tasks” are things that do not necessarily have specific timing,

and so they need to go into your to do list system and task management system.

There are certain times where tasks have a deadline,

and so you want to schedule them in your calendar.

That's something that's helped me,

because sometimes I feel like tasks will stay too long in my to do list.

Even if I put a due date there, it doesn't happen unless I actually schedule it in.

So tasks can also become events if they are really important

and you want to prioritize them.

The next tip is a huge one and I love, love, love using this,

is to: Batch similar tasks together.

You want to avoid something called “context switching”.

I've talked about this before,

but basically when you switch from one task to another,

you lose effectiveness because

1) your brain takes some time to like recalibrate itself

to mentally prepare to do another task.

And also: 2) you lose efficiency just by the physical switching of things.

For example, from writing an email to going out and running an errand.

If you don't want to waste time and energy,

you want to make sure that you are batching similar tasks together

so that you stay in that flow.

For example, you want to batch emails together.

Set a specific time where you're going to answer all your emails.

And then you want to batch errands together because once you're out,

it's better to stay out and keep doing the things that you need to do.

You want to batch things like planning together,

batch writing together, batch your calls together,

batch your meetings together.

You guys get the point.

Once you're doing one thing,

you want to stick to doing that one thing in whatever you need to get done,

rather than switching from one thing to another,

because you just lose a lot of time and energy.

A bonus tip for batching that I learned in the book,

"Getting Things Done” by David Allen,

is you should: Batch all your short microtasks together.

It doesn't have to be in the similar vein,

but any task that takes one to two minutes to finish,

you can easily do those right now and together at the same time.

So whether it's sending a text to someone,

writing a short email, or maybe wiping off your table,

those short tasks that are just one to two minutes long can be batched together.

It's just best to do those short tasks as soon as possible

rather than procrastinating on them,

because there really is no point in procrastinating

on something that you can knock out just like that.

I'm really bad at snapping, but you guys get it.

The next tip is another one that I live by is to: Do the most important tasks first.

This is why I set up the Daily Planner

to have that section of your three most important tasks.

This is something that is important.

I've said it before, but it's worth saying again:

You have to be good at prioritizing what is most important for you.

If you were to only get done three things off your to do list today,

which three things would they be?

What are the things that are important and most impactful?

This actually goes against what's comfortable and easy.

It's not easy to do the most important things first.

The important things are usually the things

that we push back and procrastinate on,

because they're so hard.

They're so big and scary.

We usually like to do the easier, smaller things first,

but the trap of doing the easy things first is that you make it harder for you later,

which means you want to procrastinate even more.

So if you don't want to procrastinate, just knock out those important things first.

The next tip is to: Use the Eisenhower matrix to your advantage.

This is something that you could do during your admin day

when you're reflecting and preparing

and prioritizing what you should work on this week.

If you don't know what it is,

the Eisenhower matrix is this square with four boxes

and it's labeled with the columns “Urgent”, “Not Urgent”

and with the rows of “Important” and “Not Important”

This is a way to fill to your tasks

and also reevaluate how you're spending your time by seeing,

“Okay, is this task something that is urgent but not important?

Is it not urgent and not important that I'm doing?”

I'll link to an article down below

so you can fully understand the Eisenhower matrix and how to use it.

But the basic notion is:

You want to focus on things that are important and not urgent.

Those are the tasks related to planning,

investing in yourself, preparing for the long-term,

and putting more energy into that area

will help you be more prepared and have your life together.

The next tip is a reminder to: Schedule time to make plans.

A lot of us, when we're making to do lists

– and I'm guilty of this, is to write down the actions you need to take:

“Okay, I got to do this, I got to start my project.”

And before you even start your project, you need to plan out:

Okay, what does it mean to start?

How do I plan this out?

And we oftentimes forget to set time to make the plans.

We think we can just get started right away without doing all that leg work.

So this is just a reminder to schedule time for the planning,

for the very boring, meticulous things that need to get done

before you get to the exciting actions that you really want to take.

The next tip is to: Process all of your life inboxes regularly.

This could mean your email inbox, your physical mail,

or just anything that tends to pile up,

whether you have a lot of documents or receipts

or things to deal with on your desk.

You want to have a system where you regularly check in to process this stuff.

Otherwise it really builds up and you get overwhelmed.

And when it's a big pile, it's harder to tackle than when it's a small pile.

Generally what you want to do is,

you want to decide what items to archive,

what items to save to deal with later,

what items to star as important - to deal with as soon as possible -

and then that category of

"What items do I need to deal with that are really quick?”

like will take one to two minutes to deal with.

You do have to take your time sorting through everything,

deciding which pile this goes into, whether it's Archives,

Save for Later, Important, or a short task.

And then after you're done organizing or doing the best that you can,

do the important stuff first, the stuff that you starred,

and then do the stuff that is really quick to do, like one to two minutes.

Batch them together, and then do the stuff that you save for later,

that are important but not super urgent right now.

And from now on, make it a consistent habit to process these inboxes regularly,

whether it's once a week, every other day, or whatever you decide.

The last tip I want to share today is to: Plan your day the night before.

This is something that I've been doing for a couple of years already,

and I just love the feeling of waking up,

seeing my to do list already ready, my important tasks ready,

and then I'm just ready to tackle it.

Like I mentioned before,

you want to make time for planning

and a good time to do that is the night before your next day.

That way, you don't wake up feeling like,

“Oh, I don't know what I have to do today. I have to figure it out.”

You already know.

All right, I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to organize your life

and build a better system for yourself.

If you know anyone who is unorganized and needs these tips, feel free to share.

I really appreciate it if you do.

If you want to watch more videos on productivity,

I'll have a playlist link down below and in the card right here.

And that is it for today.

I’m sending you so much love, and I hope that you can get your life together.

It might take some time figuring out what works for you best,

but I promise you we'll create a system that works for you.

Love you so much.