This has been happening to me a lot lately, I've been so busy that I keep on forgetting what I have to do next, let alone tomorrow or next week!! As the days fly by and each second blurs into the next I have found that moments of panic shoot through my veins, and I haven't felt this way for a long time ... so I decided I had to do something about it. The best way to deal with overwhelm is to organise, organise your life, organise your space, and organise thoughts, it doesn't have to be complicated, just a few simple steps can help you keep your head and achieve your goals.
My mum had a saying "more hurry, less speed" and this is something I have been reminding myself - when you are under a lot of pressure to deliver the tendency is to speed things up, but this method leads to confusion, anxiety, and stress ... and this leads me to tip #1.
#1: Slow Down. Stop and take a breath on a regular basis, when you feel those feels of blind panic overtaking you that is the time to actually stop, sit down, or stand up and go outside, have a cuppa or a glass of water, and breathe. Even if this means you are stopping every ten minutes, stop every ten minutes, what has to get done will get done, but your breath is your life force and you need to take care with it.
#2 Update That Diary. I actually have three diary's on the go, my diary on my iPhone, on my laptop, and my paper diary ... to be honest my paper diary is my more up-to-date one, but I have let my diary management slide. Solution = spend every Sunday (or one day a week of your choosing) and make sure that all of your diary's are consistent with each other. I also do a cross check with my emails, just to ensure I haven't missed putting in an important date. How do you cross check your diary with your emails? Go to your search box for your emails and either search for a keyword or a date. My usual keyword include: speaking, awards, assembly, 6th, 22nd, 31st, but you use whatever works for you. Your emails with these words and dates will pop up and you can quickly scan to see if you have missed putting any important event and/or date in your diary's.
#3 Double And Triple Check. Whenever you notice an event/meeting/gathering coming up in your diary, contact the organiser/friend/family member and ensure that you have the right date, time, address, and phone number. Doing this reminds you of the event, gets it straight in your head what is happening on the day, and enables you to connect with the organiser to ... well ... organise!
#4 Colour Code. Colour coding your diary's can really help you know what's happening everyday at a glance. This enables you to remain calm and in control as your expectations for your days and weeks become clearer. On my laptop diary, for work my diary entry's are blue, for home they are green, and for misc/awaiting confirmation they are red, so when I glance at my diary I can see I have a work event tomorrow, a home event Wednesday night, and I have to confirm date for the following weekend.
#5 Be Prepared (inadvertent Scout reference there, but they have a point). This is a habit I have kept up and that is preparing for the next day the night before - it takes the stress out of the morning and enables you to double check that you have everything. If I'm staying overnight somewhere I will pack the night before, if I have a speaking gig the next day I will pack my medals, usb stick with media, water bottle, allergy tablets and throat lozenges the night before, if I have a get together with friends and I have to bring food I will go to the supermarket the day before and get what I need then.
I'm not the only one with tips and hints for organising, here are a few other peeps with some great ideas ...
kikki.k - How to organise your new diary
An Organised Life - The essentials to pack when your travel
Gala Darling - Ten questions about life, answered rapid-fire style (love her answer about keeping a small apartment organised)
Just A Girl and Her Blog - How I organised my whole life
Huffington Post - 10 Lifehacks that'll trick you into cleaning up and organising your place
Do you have any tips for staying organised? Share below.
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright