Many of us come to a point in life where our responsibilities and obligations surpass the time we have for them. Or sometimes, things happen in our lives that we simply cannot handle easily, along with everything else going on. As a result, we fall into a state of disorder and chaos—and sometimes it’s not as spectacular as simply being a “hot mess.”
If you’ve been feeling disorganized lately, you are not alone. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when too much is going on all at once, but you must know how to reel yourself back in and retake control. In doing so, here are some practical tips that can help:
1. Clean your desk
A lot of people say that a cluttered desk makes for a cluttered mind, and this may be true for you. If you feel stressed at work, cleaning your desk can be a great way to free up mental space. Get rid of anything that you don’t need, keep your frequently used items within easy reach, and avoid using your desk as a makeshift storage shelf. Soon enough, you’ll feel the relief of having a clean, organized working space and will be able to work more productively—without the unnecessary stress.
2. Leverage organization tech
Meetings, errands, appointments—staying on top of everything can be difficult without a tool to help you organize your schedule. Luckily, there is a wide variety of organization apps that you can use to keep your schedule in order and help you avoid feeling scatterbrained—or worse—forgetting appointments.
You can try using two separate apps for your personal and work appointments. But if you have trouble keeping up with both, you can always integrate both schedules into a single app. This way, you can see what the days have ahead—be it a work meeting or a personal errand.
3. Clean your car
A messy car can add to the chaos in your life, which is something that you definitely do not need right now. Even if you only use your car for an hour every day to get to and from work, the mess and dirt can make you feel more stressed than you already are—not to mention the health and safety hazards that they bring.
That said, make it a point to clean your car regularly. Go to the car wash at least once a week (if you use your car daily), or if the car is filthy, find a car detailing company to deep-clean it. More importantly, avoid letting your car get dirty; don’t bring trash into it, avoid eating inside it, and don’t use it as a storage unit.
4. Remove less important events from your schedule
Everything in your schedule may seem essential, but there may be some things in there that you can push to a later date or cancel altogether. Do you really need to go to that Pilates class when you have an early meeting the following day? Do you absolutely have to attend an optional work seminar on a weekend? Save your time for the most important events, and you may just feel at least a little bit of stress melting off your body.
Similarly, learn how to say no to things that you don’t have time for, be it at work or in your personal life.
5. Find as many shortcuts as possible
There are a lot of shortcuts in life that can make things easier for you. The only problem is figuring out the ones that work for you.
Here are some examples of finding “shortcuts” in everyday tasks:
- Do a full load of laundry every time to minimize the number of times you have to do laundry every week
- Buy groceries in bulk so that you don’t have to run to the grocery store as frequently or, better yet, have your groceries delivered
- Instead of setting up a meeting, maybe everything can be tackled in an email
- Pre-plan your work outfits to avoid having to figure out what to wear every morning
- Eat on trays (whether at work or at home) to make clearing away easier and faster
- Use efficient communication tools at work
- Prioritize digitizing files overprinting paperwork; sending and storing will be more efficient
The most dangerous thing about living a disorganized life is getting used to it. No matter how well you settle into the endless mess, there will come a point that everything will tip over the edge. With that in mind, it’s best to act now and use these strategies to get your life back in order.