The New Year is upon us and with it comes an opportunity to consider and plan for the year ahead. We often look towards the end of December like the end of a project, we feel ready to start January (and a new calendar year) afresh, packed with resolutions.
The main problem? It’s difficult to feel organised in our goals when they are too ‘big’ – sweeping, unspecific life decisions. We’re searching for freedom and ease in our lives, but anything that feels bigger than us is easy to justify breaking, or accept that we cannot achieve. However, the notion of wanting to change something is a great place to start.
Once we’ve realised or agreed what we want to do (i.e. get a new job, move house, lose weight, learn to play the guitar) we can start putting in place the first step to each different idea, how we will do it (i.e. create an up to date CV, look for local guitar teachers) and start planning some deadlines in to complete these first steps.
Personal goals can be hard to reach either because we don’t know when we want to have achieved them, or because the completion date is too far away. Want to look like X by your summer trip to California? A vague idea of looking healthy in 6 months’ time is unlikely to get you very far.
Shorten the time frame and be more specific with what you want to achieve.
‘This week I will not have any sugar’ or ‘I will have contacted 3 estate agents to discuss selling my apartment by this Friday’ are tangible, measurable targets. Short deadlines will keep the goals front of mind, and you’ll be rewarded with a dopamine rush for completing them – the chemical that makes us feel good.
Every week, plan in short objectives and document your success.
Document Everything (in one place)
We’re doing more than ever, faster than ever. The amount that we cram in to a single day – and then forget – can make us feel disorganised, as if we’re tied down by an invisible force.
Journaling is a great way to help us keep track of the non-stop information processing we endure day-in-day-out. By keeping a diary and pen next to the bed to complete every night before we go to sleep, we can offload the day’s activities (and micro-successes). Also, a purposeful, analogue experience like putting pen to paper is much healthier than falling asleep to Netflix.
Simply putting down 1 or 2 lines about what you did that day will help us see the progression day-to-day, week-by-week, and help us to create a virtuous circle for ourselves.
They say it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a habit.
For example, drinking half a litre of water the moment you wake up is a great practice. Do this every day for a week (then another, and then another, while checking them off on a calendar) and we begin to associate waking up with needing to rehydrate – we have created a new trigger for ourselves. Instead of waking up and rushing to get ready in the morning, we head straight to the kitchen and replace the water we’ve lost overnight. Virtuous circle.
The same theory applies to most things. Repeat the action, document the steps, feel the sense of achievement and progression. Before too long there are natural triggers in place to nudge us to act in a habitual way.
Give Your Belongings a Home
There is a growing tendency to pay less attention to our physical belongings – the loose items we use everywhere and everyday – the opposite of our tidy, grid-locked smartphone apps. The result is an equally growing anxiety over not having the right item at the right time: usually a device accessory like a portable battery, charging cable or adaptor.
Part of our organisation mission should be physical tidiness. “Time has to be allocated for tidying and organisation” says Kate Jackson, co-founder of TableCrowd: while our busy lives rarely offer room for quiet moments of tidying up, building a short window of time into each evening routine can act as a moment of contemplation, and help us get the most out of our possessions.
Some of our suggestions are to:
Pack your bag the night before. So no matter where you are – in the office, working in a coffee shop or coworking space, or even from home – you always know where everything is.
Keep your most important/most used items in the same pockets.
Always carry a spare portable battery (we would suggest the Knomo charging ecosystem set)
Looking for more tips and tricks to stay organised and productive in the New Year? Head to Knomo Blog HERE
Or find out more about getting Life Organised with Knomo bags, organisers and accessories HERE