So you spent an entire day being less productive than you’d like. Maybe social media was super distracting, too many unplanned things popped up, or the news got t to you. As the popular saying goes, there’s always tomorrow. Tomorrow provides an opportunity to start fresh and get back on track.
I’ll let you in on a secret: organization is one of the biggest keys to success. Time is limited, and organization allows us to optimize our time to meet our goals. Regardless of your current goals, it takes time to reach them. Since starting an online business, my time has become extremely valuable to me. The only way to balance everything on my schedule is to stay organized and plan ahead.
Still, everyone has those days. You slept in, throw on some wrinkled clothes, skip breakfast, and jump in your car to see you’re low on gas? Yeah, not the best way to start a day.
By spending as little as 15 minutes the night before, you can ensure that you are more organized tomorrow. Here are 7 organizational hacks you can do today to make tomorrow better.
1. Make a To-Do List
If you’re like me, your brain might never shut off. I can’t tell you how many times I’m almost asleep and wake up panicked about something I forgot I need to do tomorrow. Making a simple list of what you need to accomplish tomorrow not only keeps you organized, but it keeps you sane and anxiety-free. Keep a small notebook by your bed to write down anything else you might think of last minute.
If you’d rather use your device for list-making, consider using a program like Evernote. I tend to get tons of ideas throughout the day and it can be pretty distracting. I use Evernote to brain dump these ideas so I don’t forget them later.
2. Write Down Your Goals
Writing down goals is different than a to-do list because goals keep you centered and focused. It’s hard to get up in the morning if you don’t have a sense of purpose. Your goals should actually directly impact your to-do list so narrow them down then start working backward.
Figure out what you need to do to meet a goal and when you can do it. Start adding these specific tasks in your calendar so they’re a time and place to focus on them.
3. Pack a Lunch
There are so many reasons why packing a lunch sets you up for success. First off, it saves a ton of money. I can pack a lunch that maybe costs $2, where I spend at least $10 if I go out to lunch. If I do that 5 days a week for a year, that is a savings of over $2,000! Secondly, it is so much healthier than eating out all the time. Fat, sodium, and calorie counts in restaurant foods are actually insane you guys. Packing your lunch at night ensures that you bring it every day, saving you money and calories.
Most of us are working at home right now so it’s easier to eat lunch at home. However, you can still pack and prep your lunch to save time. That way, all you have to do is grab it, eat, then pick back up with your work.
4. Do a Brief Cleanup
This is one of my favorite organization hacks because clearing out your space is great way to clear up mental clutter as well. Plus, it doesn’t take too much time. By spending even five minutes a night straightening up, it saves you a ton of time on the weekends when you might do heavy cleaning. Put clothes and shoes away and do the dishes. It’s relieving to have things cleaned up, and it saves you from looking at that three-day pile of dirty dishes in the sink…ew.
5. Make Time to Exercise
When you’re busy, it’s so easy to let physical fitness slide. But we shouldn’t let it. Working out is imperative for a healthy body and a healthy mind. If you’re doing a lot of desk work, you already spend most of the day sitting.
Working out is absolutely necessary to release healthy endorphins and really feel on top of your game. Schedule a time in the day that you can exercise and make it a goal to stick to it. Even if you start by going on short walks, just get moving! How many successful people do you know who don’t take care of themselves physically? I can’t think of many.
6. Lay Out Your Clothes
I don’t know about you, but when I wake up in the morning, I want to make as few as decisions as possible. I’m tired and delirious. Laying out your clothes at night means one less thing you have to do in the morning. Plus, it can also help you feel confident and motivated to crush the day. Even if you’re working from home, getting dressed for work each day can be a great organization hack to jumpstart your productivity.
7. Turn Your Devices Off
Sometimes devices like your cell phone can do more harm than good when you’re trying to stay organized. I am so guilty of staying on my phone at night, and it’s terrible. Physically, the brightness of devices stimulates our minds so we aren’t rested and it also gives me a lot of added stress and anxiety before bed, which is never good. Turn off your devices or at least put them on airplane mode or in the other room when you’re planning out your day or trying to focus on getting certain tasks done.
You can always set a time to come back and check your notifications later.
These 7 organization hacks are simple things that you can start adding into your daily routine. By doing a few things the night before, we really set ourselves up for success the next day. If you’re not sure where to start, just make it a goal to spend 10 minutes at night doing something that will make tomorrow better.
Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.