Organization is one of the most important keys to success. If you can get your life and world in order, everything else begins to feel easier and falls into place with much less effort. But being organized doesn’t come natural to everyone; some people really need to work at it to get it right. No matter where you stand, these six organization hacks will help you be the very best “you” possible, every single day.
Struggling to stay organized? We get it. Not everyone is a natural whiz at sorting, strategizing, and perfecting their schedule or their surroundings. With organization hacks like keeping a planner, sorting out your space, working out, eating right, and decluttering digital and physical spaces, you stand a better chance to stay on the right track. Keep reading to learn how (and why) these hacks work.
Keep a Planner
It’s scientifically proven that writing things down improves memory retention. In one study, students who wrote comprehensive notes did better on tests than those who transcribed the lecture verbatim with a laptop.
Why it works: Writing things down helps your brain process them a second way, giving the information another foothold in your memory. When you keep a planner, you have a constant reminder of everything from grocery lists to productivity goals, but you also solidify changes in your mind so you don’t forget them.
For similar reasons, it’s good to always have a notebook nearby. It’s easy to jot down notes or ideas on your computer, but it’s equally as easy for them to get lost in a sea of saved documents, never to be seen again. Outside of remembering tasks and staying organized during your day, notebooks can help you achieve the future you want.
Why it works: A study from Forbes writer Mark Murphy, available here, found that note-taking was closely correlated with achieving goals. In fact, people who took notes were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to succeed.
Organize Your Physical Space
Clogging up your life with random things you don’t need also clogs your mind. It distracts you and makes your brain unable to process things as efficiently. Then, you get frustrated, and frustration leads to even less productivity.
An organized space facilitates an organized mind. Don’t just tidy up; spend some time going through your space and actually organizing your study zones, bedroom, kitchen, or office. Everything should have a place layout that’s logical and makes sense.
Why it works: Science tells us that too much clutter can make you feel stressed out and confused. Being in a well-organized room just feels better, but it’s also about taming the chaos and increasing order. Without so much clutter weighing on your mind, you’re freed up to be more creative, meet more deadlines, and make more money.
Not getting enough exercise? That just might be the reason you’re struggling with organization. If you find yourself spending yet another night flopped on the couch while your house goes to pot and the clutter piles up, get up. Go out. Even if it’s just for a walk to clear your mind.
Why it works: Exercise has been scientifically proven to increase your productivity and improve your mood. It can also reduce anxiety and depression, and improve overall mental health. If your organization woes are due to being overwhelmed, even that walk around the block could help you feel better so you can find a fix.
If you want your mind and body to work for you, it’s important to feed it with the right nutrition. Otherwise, you will find yourself feeling sluggish, tired, lazy, and yes, scatterbrained, too. Which, as you might suspect, leads to more disorganization.
Why it works: There are many obvious health benefits to eating well: lower risk of cancer, obesity, heart disease, and kidney stones to name just a few. But better food is also good for your brain. What you eat has a direct impact on your brain power, and one bad meal can ruin an entire afternoon. Too much sugar, for example, can cause a crash that leaves you struggling to think and feeling lost.
Tame Your Inbox
Your digital space organization is just as critical as your physical organization. Email inboxes get out of hand very quickly, especially if they’re a hybrid of the personal and professional. Crowded, spam-packed inboxes feel almost claustrophobic and may dissuade you from even looking; plus, it feels a bit like office clutter, too.
A good way to stay digitally organized is to keep on top of promotional emails. Click them daily, determine whether you need them, and delete them if you don’t. Create folders and filters to hold everything from business emails to personal bills.
Why it works: Psychologist Ron Freeman has a great explanation for why your inbox is such a big deal. He says that, “each message represents another demand on your time and another decision you have to make.” Freeman believes that avoiding daily emails until they pile up leaves “less energy for work that matters.” By cleaning things up, you refocus your mind on what matters most.
Staying organized is key to increase productivity and achieve your goals. Not only professionally but personally, organization and order are good for your mind and body. Follow the these great hacks and you’ll find life becomes smooth sailing, instead of a frazzled, frenzied rush.