As we begin our transition into the fall season, we welcome back many different traditions and responsibilities many of us take a break from during the summer. But now, it’s back to routines as kids (and some adults) head back to school, football season is here and of course, there are the holidays that are fast approaching — Halloween, Thanksgiving, and more!

As the lazy days of summer fade into the demands of school schedules, and holiday celebrations and obligations, it can be difficult to keep track of them and your daily responsibilities without feeling like you are drowning in things to do. One easy way to relieve this anxiety is to get organized!

In truth, organization can be incredibly daunting for most; where do you even start when you are so far down the hole of chaos it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the to-do list?

The best way to start is with something small and manageable. Little tasks like making your bed in the morning or loading your dishwasher before bed are tasks that take less than five minutes and can really start and end your day on the right track! This will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and can influence your overall organization habits and motivation.  

Completing smaller tasks can relieve your anxiety about getting organized., You will begin to feel more accomplished and organized in your daily life which will then intersect with your professional life!

But when you think of everything that needs to be accomplished, how do you even start?

Make a list!

Lists are the best way to see what needs to be accomplished in a  set timeframe. It can be a daily or monthly list, focusing on upcoming tasks and projects. This will help you organize in your head everything that needs to be done and help you to prioritize the list.

The upcoming projects that seem unreachable will form into more tangible tasks, allowing you to see the moving parts and visualize the best way to move forward. Once these are written, you can start working on the tasks, feeling more accomplished than you had before.

Be as detailed as possible.

When writing your list, be sure to include as many details as possible. Knowing exactly what needs to be done for a task will allow you to stay focused on the overall project, rather than becoming scattered. When everything is clearly outlined in front of you, your list becomes more manageable and less intimidating.

In addition to having a clear outline for your day, knowing the small details will help you become more aware of your responsibilities, leading to a better understanding of each project or goal.

Plan your week in advance.

It is incredibly helpful to gain an awareness before you start each week by sitting down and recognizing everything that you have ahead of you. This will allow you to have a better understanding of what you are able to accomplish day-to-day.

For instance, if you know of a big project that is due on Friday will require work to be completed in small amounts throughout the week, you should have a plan to begin working on this Monday. It will allow you to fully develop the project over the course of the week instead of scrambling to get it done Friday.

Set a schedule and stick to it.

With planning comes scheduling!

If you plan your week or month ahead you can create a daily schedule to stick to. This will help with setting and achieving goals.

Creating a schedule for yourself will allow you to become more realistic with yourself and those goals, creating a more stable environment for you. It will create less stress and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.

Find what works best for you!

Being organized is a lot of trial and error. Outlining your daily tasks in a to-do list might not be the best approach for you, and that is fine. We all have different “work styles” and you have to find what works, makes the most sense to you and for you.  The key is finding what works for you and sticking to it! Think of it like this — If you wear the wrong size shoes for a day, your feet will hurt by the end of it. This holds true for organization — trying to organize your life in a way that doesn’t organically fit your life will hurt. It will only make you more stressed, especially if it becomes more of a task in and of itself.

Organization is key to relieving anxiety and stress from your life. By gaining control, your life will become far more enjoyable (and rewarding) as you move forward and complete projects. It is also important to know that things will change  — your schedule and priorities will shift as you grow and develop personally and professionally and that’s okay. The first and hardest step is getting started.

For more insights and to see how I stay organized, make sure to follow @MacyManaged!