Praise the pumpkin spice latte: fall has arrived. The season of colorful leaves, scary movies, and sweater weather has a special place in everyone’s hearts. Even the fall Grinches out there sneak sips of hot apple cider from time to time.
But for some reason, the combination of daily spiced desserts and darker evenings leads to a certain feeling of lethargy. Once fall is over, most of us realize that three months have passed without us doing anything much more productive than carving pumpkins.
So if you’re already feeling like fall is slipping away from you, here are some fast and easy ways to get yourself organized in the most important areas of your life. Go From Break-Room Bum To Conference Room Hero We are going to casually start with the best insider’s tip ever: block your time.
If you’ve got a Google calendar or appointment book, this is an easy way to ensure you’re being productive throughout the day. All you have to do is schedule set blocks of time for projects, just like you would schedule meetings. Make sure you also schedule in your fun events, like harvest parties and apple picking, to prioritize a good work-life balance. We get it: if you’re not the most organized person, blocking out your days may be a little too hard-core for you. If that’s the case, we recommend that you start with a basic organizing tool—the to-do list.
To make a productive to-do list, make sure it’s:
- Action-based. Write “create project outline” instead of just “project outline.” That way you have a better idea of what exactly you’re supposed to be doing.
- Arranged in order of importance. Put the big things first. Your brain tries to trick you to complete small tasks initially, but you’ll never get anything important done that way.
- Cut into bite-sized tasks. We know, we know. We just said to put the big tasks first. But make sure they’re cut into chunks that you can actually handle. Do you think Romans had “conquer the world” on their to-do lists?
- Located somewhere that you will actually find it. If you write your to-do lists on napkins, stop right now. Keep your lists (and notes) in the same, reliable, portable notebook.
Stop Stalking Health Gurus On Instagram—Become One Of ThemWhen it starts to get dark outside early, it’s hard to get off the couch and start your fitness plan. Even if you’re half-way through your routine, it’s hard to avoid cutting corners. (Running five miles is pretty much running five and a half, right? Especially considering wind-chill factor.) We’ve found that the best way to keep yourself honest and motivated is with a fitness notebook.
And if you’re not just interested in getting strong but would like to start wearing your freshman-year jeans again, you’re probably counting your calories. To make sure you aren’t sneaking in too many pieces of apple pie, jot down your calories. While online trackers are effective, we find that writing calories down in a specialized notebook helps us stay better aware of the amount we’re eating.
Don’t forget your insides while you’re honing your outside appearance, either. Keep track of vitals like blood sugar and blood pressure with a personal medical notebook. Turn Trips To The Store Into Errand Runs (Literally)Do you feel like errands are sucking your time away from you and your Halloween movie binging? Then here’s a fun fact: you don’t ever need to spend more than 30 minutes in a grocery store or Target. If that sounds impossible to you, hear us out—it’s all about planning.
You’ve got to do some pre-work before you get to the store. That’s right: before you head out the door, you need to write down the supplies you need for that painting project and plan your week’s meals out. According to the Mayo Clinic (and us), it’s a great way to save money and improve your health. While you’re planning your meals, jot down the ingredients you need in a specialized grocery list notebook.
Once you get to the store, your list (organized by department!) will have you zooming in and out faster than you can say Night of the Living Dead. Transform Your Shower Thoughts Into Tangible DreamsWe all have genius shower thoughts (or driving thoughts, or sauna thoughts, or napping thoughts, etc.). While you’re making all the other parts of your life uber productive, why not capitalize on those shower thoughts too?
Start carrying around a small, portable notebook to record all the wild ideas you come up with this fall. Who knows—with a bit of organization, they might become your life’s work by the end of the year.
Need more ideas about getting organized? Check out our blog!