“You’re so organized,” a friend said to me recently, jokingly scoffing. So am I really? Somewhat.
Truth is, getting to this point hasn’t been easy. It’s meant breaking horrible habits and being disciplined in creating new, healthy routines.
In this post, I’m sharing seven things that are helping me lead a simpler, more organized, less stressful life–and the one thing I just have to do at the start of each day.
1. Give everything its own place
I have spent way too many mornings of my life racing against time, frantically running around my apartment trying to find my keys, the lipstick I just had to wear that day, my headphones, my umbrella… All that madness ended when I committed to giving getting-ready and work essentials a dedicated space—and to being disciplined enough to use said dedicated space.
2. List your life
On any given day, I’ve got so many requests coming at me, it’s very easy to forget things. To help me stay on track, in my phone and on my computer, I’ve got a list for pretty much everything, including tasks at the office, one to help me remember what to pack ahead of trips, one for grocery shopping, one of people I need to check in with. Lists really are lifesavers—and perfect for avoiding the whoopsies and embarrassment that come along with forgetting things.
3. Schedule what you can
Being a woman means I schedule a lot of things: from manis and pedis to hair appointments to OB/GYN visits to girls’ nights out. Generally, it’s all fun and games until I really need an appointment or reservation, and everything and everywhere is booked—and not even my girl who always has the hookup can help me out.
By bulk-booking appointments for things I know I’ll need to get done, I’ve avoided loads of stress. What’s more? If I change my mind or something comes up, it’s just a matter of making a quick call to cancel.
4. Say yes to auto-pay
I’m not proud of this but I remember when my life would be so hectic, bill due dates would pass by without me even noticing. Incurring late-payment fees just because you “forgot”? No bueno! Signing up for auto-pay or monthly direct deposits helps—so much.
And if you happen to have accounts without an auto-pay feature, try setting a recurring calendar reminder on your phone to nudge you when due dates roll around.
5. Prep, prep, prep!
Ever had a week that was a total and complete blur? That’s what happens to me when I don’t prep ahead. This applies to meals, my wardrobe for the week, meetings, you name it! Over time, I’ve learned the power of preparing. It’s a sure way to gain extra time, maintain a sense of calm, and be on point, on the job and elsewhere.
6. Say NO
It is so easy to get busy and bogged down doing things for everyone else, that you neglect your own wishes, wants and dreams. Reality check for you and me: Sometimes saying “no” to everyone else is the only way to say “yes” to you. And with that comes a beautiful, light, unbothered feeling—and an actual shot at fulfilling your biggest dreams. read more on saying NO and setting boundaries
7. Start the day right
Before I roll out of bed, I make a point to voice my gratitude for a new day and spend time meditating on God’s plans to help me win in life. I exhale and shake off all of the previous day’s drama and welcome the day ahead, with positive expectation. Does it really work? For me, it does. In fact, every day, more and more, I am proving that prayer and preparation, together, are an unbeatable combo.