Today I begin to dive deeper into discussing different types of habits. In fact, I am going to start a new series on my blog doing just that.
As you probably can tell from the title, today’s topic is all about organizational habits.
I created this series because it gets the “retrain your brain” message across in a quicker and more digestible way. Plus, I want to emphasize that we need to be constantly RE-training (meaning learning and doing things differently than we used to) in order to improve our personal growth and brain health.
So why organizational habits?
Well, organizational habits are the 2nd of 5 main types of habits you should create in your life. If you want to know what the other 4 types of habits are you can click here or on the video below.
So first off …
… what does it mean to be organized and why are organizational habits important?
To be organized means to make arrangements or preparations for a certain event. And I want to be even more specific by saying arranging your time to complete an event more efficiently. Whether you’re arranging your calendar for your day, your projects or meetings at work, your errands, your homework, or your personal hobbies … at the end of the day you are organizing (1) the way you use your time and (2) how much time you use.
Now when you create habits out of certain organizational behaviours, your organization is going to become even more efficient.
So what’s the best method to do that? Well, I am going to explain 3 different methods that I use (white board, bullet journal, lists + time blocking) so you can decide what works best for you.
#1 Bullet Journal
For those of you who don’t know, a bullet journal is not like a regular journal where you write reflections about your day and such. Rather, a bullet journal can be anything you want it to be including an agenda, lists, mood trackers and more! They are are dotted rather than lined, so you can add in your own calendars, shapes, drawing etc..
I used to rely heavily on an agenda book as well as time blocking and lists. But at the end of 2017 I went through a minor mental health crisis, so I started bullet journalling as a new self-care initiative.
My first bullet journal was a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted journal. As you can see from the pictures below, I was very creative with my weekly spreads (these are what operated as my calendar). The other awesome benefit of using a blank #bujo is that you can track anything you want in it. For example, I used to create mood trackers (which I don’t recommend anymore but I will write a post on that in the future). And now I create my own personal habit tracker. I also have a page where I track my monthly goals; these are things that don’t necessarily have a due date, but I want to accomplish that month.
(I am actually thinking about doing an Instagram live where I record my bullet journal set-up. If you want to see that make sure you comment down below or DM me on Instagram!)
Now that my mental health has improved since that minor crisis in 2017, I stopped creating weekly spread. Instead I set up a monthly calendar spread and leave it at that. It’s quicker, and I can see my entire month at a glance.
#2 Lists/Post-it Notes + Time Blocking
Now moving on to the 2nd way you can get organized and that is using lists + time blocking. I am grouping these 2 methods together because I used to time block within my lists. But you can certainly use time blocking with any agenda, journal, or whatever you use to organize.
The reason I love lists is because I can change them whenever I want – I feel like I have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling. I also get incredibly granular with my lists to help with (1) motivation to get things done, and (2) making the most of my time.
Granular means detailed. It means when I create a list, I include things that I would probably do anyways. By getting granular, I feel like I accomplished something and thus gain more confidence to tackle the next task. I used to use large pads of paper for these lists. But this morning I migrated over to Microsoft OneNote which was completely unexpected and completely life changing! Honestly, it is amazing – it syncs to my phone, I can add pictures from the web, I can make check lists, I can record audio and video, plus more! I cannot believe I haven’t been using OneNote this whole time!
If you have MS office on your computer and phone, you already paid for that feature – why not utilize it? If you use OneNote as well or are considering trying it out, let me know in the comment section below!
Here’s a sneak peak of my list today:
- wake up
- get out of bed
- brush teeth/squat (and if you watched this video/read this post, you know that is one of my strongest habits for life!)
- make bed
- do push ups
- do ab workout
- make tea
- get ready while listening to Croatian language audio
- film two videos
- take 2 thumbnails
- take 1-2 Pictures for Instagram
- run 5k on treadmill
- shower + wash hair
- eat dinner
- get groceries.
Sound crazy? It might to you, but on days where I need to create momentum, feel good, and get a lot of things done, lists are an advantage. The more tasks I “check-off” my list, the more confident I feel taking on the next challenge. And again these lists change as needed.
Back in university, I used time blocking within lists. That means beside each task, I wrote down the amount of time I wanted to spend on it. During university this was very helpful because I had a lot on my plate. But time blocking became overwhelming when I scheduled something for every free second of my day. I eventually burnt out… I learned that by not time blocking every second, I had time for relaxing.
You can also use post-it notes and stick them to your bedroom wall or virtual post-it notes that “stick” to the home screen of your desk top!
By the way if you guys are finding this post helpful so far, make sure you share it with at least 1 friend to spread the word 🙂
#3 White Boards
The third type of organizational habit I use is a white board.
The first white board in my home is magnetized to my fridge. This one is used for random reminders and as a way to communicate with others coming in-and-out of the house. I bought this whiteboard at the dollar store and simply glued magnetic tape to the back. Having in on my fridge is a great “in your face” reminder.
I also like to add a motivational quote. Today I have “do what is meaningful not what is expedient” by Jordan B. Peterson, PhD. Other reminders include the type of workout I want to do on top of my daily ab workout and what kind of dinner I want to make.
I also have a second white board in my office – this one is used strictly for business purposes. It’s like a giant brainstorming board which I absolutely love.
If you guys have any other ways you like to organize, leave them in the comment section because I’d love to try them out!
If you thought this post was helpful, make sure you share it with at least 1 friend. I appreciate your support and sharing helps me create new free content. As always, I hope you have a great day and don’t forget to make this the year of you!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional health advice.