As we enter the second month of 2018, Caitlin Steele discusses some healthy ways to keep to New Year’s organisation goals

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Every year, on the first of January, I start a diary – new year, new me, new organization regime. And every year, without fail, I miss one entry, then two, then a week’s worth, before the whole thing ends up at the back of a drawer with its predecessors. Google “how to be organised” and you’re met with 14 million results, with thousands of top tips and interviews. Clearly, I am not alone in my New Year’s Resolutions. The concept of being “super organised” seems to be both appealing and relatively new, with social media influencers posting regularly about how they keep on top of their hectic schedules, seemingly managing to achieve more things in a day that I could in a week.

Google 'how to be organised' and you’re met with 14 million results, with thousands of top tips and interviews

But is this healthy? Undeniably, for some people it works. Some people embrace and utilize these ever-expanding resources, from meal planners to mood journals – and they actually manage to use the calendar app on their phones. Others, like myself, foolishly purchase and predictably forget the aforementioned. But that’s not to mean becoming organised is inaccessible. You may never be the kind of “super organised” the internet sells, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become better organised.

Organization means different things to different people. As with any transformation, you can’t expect to go from disorganised to super organised overnight. Just as you wouldn’t go from never exercising to running a marathon, you need to take time to figure out what works for you. Perhaps it can be something as simple as getting up a couple of hours earlier each morning. Maybe it is something that creates more structure – creating a to-do list each morning, or planning out your week ahead. Start by figuring out what it is you want to change, and learn from your experiences. Breaking old habits can be useful – I used to stubbornly write all my notes on paper in lectures until recently, but I’ve found typing to be much more beneficial. 

Perhaps it can be something as simple as getting up a couple of hours earlier each morning

Though it is easy to get intimidated by the internet, it can be a useful tool for suggesting tips and tricks to stay on top of things. However, be cautious not to invest in too many new techniques, only to be disheartened three weeks later when you haven’t managed to keep up with your bullet journal, your food chart or your daily reflection! Just as everyone’s day to day lives will be different, what you need to do, and how you want to do it, will be completely different to anyone else, so don’t let yourself be intimidated. Whatever helps you stay calm and in control of the situation is what works for you.

Everyone could do with being a little more organised, but it’s important to keep things in perspective. Being super organised is a great idea as a concept, but can sometimes be too punishing in practice. We all have tasks to prioritise, and it’s important to remember that It’s okay to not complete everything on your list, or to shift a task over to the next day. The best way to become organised is to do what suits you – don’t worry about being “super”, or having the rest of your life planned out. Sometimes life throws something unexpected your way, and no amount of organization can help. But in day to day life, taking a few simple steps can help your everyday routine run a little smoother.