How I stay organized

I’ve written about the many various tasks I usually have going on (most of them at the same or similar time). Not only am I plotting, writing, editing, and working on social media and my blog, I’m also working a full-time job, maintaining friendships and staying in touch with my family, doing chores, and enjoying some time off. So, as you can see, I’ve got quite a bit going on and there are two aspects of juggling all these things that are important to me: time and focus.

How do I manage with these things? I organize—both my time and mind—to look into my different goals at specific moments.

First, for time, I keep a weekly calendar on my desk that reminds me of what I’ve got to do each day, as well as anticipates things I may need to prepare for. I use the calendar for deadlines, meetings, social media, health appointments and random tasks I need to see I have to do, to actually do (like house chores or go grocery shopping, which I’m somewhat lazy about). I also include specific tasks for writing or editing, depending on what step of a project I’m in, and I have specific days for planning social media content or writing blog posts.

This may sound like a whole lot of organization and not a lot of creative freedom, but it’s exactly what I need, especially in terms of the focus it allows for.

If I don’t organize what I have to do, especially with deadlines and importance—and time I need to dedicate to each task—then I’m a mess. I may try to do something while I’m thinking—or stressing out—about other things I have to do, I may worry about not meeting deadlines, and I’ll be terrified of forgetting something.

The visual organization helps me focus on each task, because then I know that I’ve got time allotted for everything I need to do and I’m not worrying or anticipating issues.

Of course, there’s always some flexibility because I know that things may change. A deadline may be moved forward or back, a task may take me longer than anticipated or I may complete it faster, or something unrelated and unexpected may happen, modifying the whole calendar.

So, I adapt to that as best I can, and I always write a deadline that’s a day or two (or a whole week, depending on what I’m dealing with) ahead of what the actual deadline is. (And to prevent spending too much time on social media apps, I downloaded one that “plants trees” whenever I’m not using it, and I feel guilty if I stop a tree from “growing”, so it helps!)

I find comfort in organizing my activities, and also love the color that the calendar adds to my desk (and to my life).

How do you stay organized?

Moira Daly

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