Several years ago, my husband's family was having a lively discussion about everyone's quirks. When it was my turn to be discussed, I felt a little nervous; I didn't want any of my major flaws brought to light in front of my in-laws. Imagine my delight when my biggest quirk turned out to be my amazing penchant for organization. I realize, however, that not everyone shares my talent. Adopt some of these life hacks and you'll find yourself on top of your game.
Organized people . . .
Make lists and check them often. The best organizers know how to make to-do lists and use them to motivate and remind throughout the day. They also end each day with most items completed.
Use calendars religiously. It may seem a little OCD, but organizers love calendars. They take advantage of apps that sync various calendars to each other. For example, I merge my online calendar with my husband's and a family birthday calendar to have all the information I need right on my phone.
Relax in moderation. When you're organized, you earn your downtime and spend it well. I save mine for playing games with my family and reading. I also know I can't spend too much time being idle if I want to stay organized, so I savor each moment I have.
Set goals and reach them. A benefit to being organized is knowing what you want to accomplish and how much time you need to do it. If you're just getting started with goal-setting, set small goals that lead to larger ones.
Don't waste time. You won't find successful people spending a lot of time playing mindless games on their phones or watching a lot of reality television, unless that's how they choose to spend their downtime. Part of being organized is being able to make decisions in a timely manner so you can move forward instead of looking back.
Clean as they go. Organized people love clean spaces and dislike clutter. They clean as they work, whether cooking or undertaking a major project. They also declutter and organize their homes and offices often, knowing that having organized spaces saves time and makes work easier.
Have a plan and follow it. Organized life hackers have goals for their lives and can see a clear path ahead of them. They also adapt quickly if it becomes necessary to change paths, keeping in mind their long-term goals for happiness and success. My husband's career path has not been without hurdles, but we've kept the goal (in our case, tenure as a university professor) in the front of our minds.
Are prepared. Like Boy Scouts, organized people are prepared. They plan in advance for weekly menus and vacations, keep emergency supplies and extra food on hand, and maintain their homes, vehicles and health. Love them or hate them, they're the people who know the weather report each day.
Organization takes effort but soon becomes part of your routine. You'll be surprised how efficient you can be, using your time well and wowing your friends and family with your mad organization skills. Here are some tips on how to organize your home.
Amy M. Peterson, a former high school English teacher, currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children. She spends her days writing, reading, exercising and trying to get her family to eat more vegetables.