If you are getting started in self-development, one way to improve your life is to organize it. It can be difficult to improve if you aren’t organized and don’t know where to start. We will look at some of the ways in which how to organize your life in one week and improve your productivity.
Organization and productivity are key factors in reaching your goals and improving your overall lifestyle. To harness this, we need to understand exactly what it is.
The organization is the way in which something is put in order in a logical way and productivity is efficiency and effectiveness in the way work is carried out. In terms of self-improvement, we can use organization to order our life and tasks, and we can use productivity to ensure those tasks are done in the best way.
How To Organize Your Life in One Week
1. Goal Setting
The first place to start when getting organised and improving your productivity is setting goals.
It’s important you know exactly what you are aiming for as this can steer the way in which you organize your life. You should start by understanding exactly what you want to achieve, and you should set goals for the short, medium and long term.
Think about what you can achieve now, in the next few weeks or months, then in 6 months to a year, and over a year. These timeframes can be moved to work for you depending on what exactly your goals are.
When you are setting goals, you need to make sure these goals are realistic and achievable. You need to find a balance between a challenge and working towards something realistic.
Steps to Achieve
If your goals are unattainable, then you might feel demotivated and unable to reach them so it’s important you feel they can be achieved.
Once you’ve set your goals, you should start outlining the ways in which you will reach them. You should think about the steps you will take to get to the place you want to be at.
For example, if your goal is to be fluent in another language then you should work out the steps you’ll take to achieve this.
Will you go to language lessons, how often?
Will you go to live where they speak this language?
You need to have clear steps so you can work towards the goal. Don’t worry if these steps change as you work towards your goal, the steps will work as a starting point to keep you moving forward.
Once you have set your goals and are working towards them, you should be regularly checking in. Check in to see your progress and steps aligns with your goals and check in that your goals are still relevant for you.
Goal setting is important because this will shape your priorities and how you organise your life.
As we mentioned earlier, once you have set goals you need to plan how you will achieve them.
Planning is important because without it you may not have a direction to go in and the goal will become unattainable. Planning is an important step in becoming organised because it allows you to order these tasks and work towards them.
The first way to start planning is by understanding how long tasks actually take you. If you really understand how long it takes to do something, you can make a realistic timeframe of when you can achieve it.
For example, if you are taking language lessons you know they take 1 hour a week. However, you might also need to factor in travel time to get to the lessons, prep time and revision post the lesson. This means this lesson could actually take 2 hours.
If you only allow 1 hour it may leave you feeling rushed, and you ultimately may set a goal that is unreachable because these timeframes were not accurately calculated.
This can be a difficult thing to calculate so spend some time being conscious of how long things take you as you do them. It’s always best to allow more time needed than trying to fit something in a shorter space of time.
3. Time Boxing
Once you have an idea of how long tasks take, you can start by planning them into your day.
One way of planning your time is a technique called time boxing. This means you box off a certain amount of time to dedicate to that certain task.
Say, for example, you have worked out reading and responding to emails collectively takes 2 hours a day. You can then time box this to a certain window of the day.
By using time boxing in advance as a way of planning your future days, you can have a clear idea of what you will be doing that day. Planning ahead like this means you are more likely to get it done as you have already allocated the time for it.
It also allows you to focus solely on the task at hand and avoid any distractions or multitasking. Working deeply on one task like this will help you get the work done more effectively and efficiently, ultimately improving productivity.
Timeboxing is important in relation to your overall goals because it allows you to set aside time to do the steps needed to reach the goal.
4. To do lists
When you start time boxing, it can be tempting to fill all of your time in the day. However, it is always important to allow spare time for anything that crops up on the day.
Timebox for important tasks that you know you need to do. Don’t pre-plan your days entirely or you might find it all goes out of the window if something else arises.
This time boxing will help you create your to-do list for the day. Now to-do lists are often spoken about but can sometimes not be as helpful as they seem. If you pile everything you need to do into your to-do list it can feel like you are getting organised.
However, it can then seem never-ending and actually be demotivating when you can’t tick off everything on your list. That way you should focus on your main priorities, only the top three.
Remember this when time boxing too, as to not overwhelm your days. You might do more than those top three things, but if those are the only three on your list then it allows you to focus on getting them completed rather than getting torn between different tasks.
Being focused on one task can help you be more productive. You won’t be distracted by other tasks and things you need to do.
5. Cutting Out Procrastination
An important part of organising your life and becoming more productive is cutting out procrastination and distractions. Think about your days, you may often feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything.
However, if you really look carefully, you might notice a lot of your time is spent procrastinating or doing unnecessary tasks such as endlessly scrolling on social media. Think about these things and how you can cut out anything unnecessary that won’t help you meet your goals.
You won’t have to cut out scrolling on social media entirely. But make sure to limit your time and set intentions so they don’t become time-wasting tasks.
Arguably, the most important thing you can do to help organise your life and improve your productivity is to prioritise.
Prioritising tasks might be something you do anyway, but if you do it effectively it can make a big difference. When prioritising tasks you need to evaluate them based on when they need to be done, their significance and the impact they will have once complete.
The key here is to focus on the task that will have the biggest impact on reaching your goals.
There is a well-known concept called the 80/20 rule, which explains that 20% of the work will have 80% of the impact, and vice versa. This means you need to find that 20% which will give you the biggest return, rather than spending 80% of your time doing tasks that take longer and have little impact on reaching your goals.
For example, emails might be important but they usually have little impact and can even be distracting. When you are planning your time, think about prioritising tasks on the return they will give you, and make sure to do these first in the day. Then smaller things such as emails can slot in after.
To summarise, organization and productivity are important factors that can help you improve your everyday life.
Learning how to improve and harness these can help you on your path to self-development.
The first steps are to set out your goals to fully understand what you are working towards.
Use planning and time boxing to allocate specific time to meet the different stages of your goals.
Remember quality over quantity, focus on concentrating on the tasks that will have the biggest impact. Keep your priorities short but impactful, only have 3 things on your to-do list for the day.
Always remind yourself of your goals and what’s important, and continue to review your strategies and steps to reach them.
A final note is to remember to plan in time out. Taking time to rest is just as important as taking the steps to reach your goals.
Burnout is real and you should avoid it by scheduling and planning in time to rest.