“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”Stephen Covey
Today’s prompt is “What is something you wish you knew how to do?”. I let this one marinate the entire day and, believe it or not, the only thing I could come up with was “be more organised”. My desk is most often full of clutter and so is my inbox and my desktop and my folders. You get the picture. Every day I juggle being a student, a single mum, managing a team and working in a hybrid role so you would think I have this organisational thing down pat by now. But noooo, not me. Every day I am caught by surprise by something I forgot. It’s exhausting. I have tried everything I can think of but the skill of organising stuff well continues to elude me. Here’s a taste of the various ways I have tried to master this skill.
I cannot believe how many apps there are out there to help you get organised. I have tried a few but none have quite stuck yet. I have tried:
- Evernote: note bad but things like tables can’t be viewed in full on a screen. I also suspect that I have not investigated it’s full functionality though. I love that I can lock this app with a password.
- Notion: this is actually not too bad an app. I love that I can organise pages inside pages. I found some of the templates useful as well.
- Mem: I actually love this one. Talk about organising pages inside pages! You can link so many different types of information in so many ways. It’s pretty cool.
- Microsoft To-Do: A good every day app to set up reminders if I remember to actually create the tasks🤦♀️
- Any-Do: Not dramatically different from Ms To-Do.
- Ms OneNote: This one is great on the computer. I am so thrilled that I can “dock to desktop” again. An extremely useful feature that allows you take notes while working.
- iReminders: same functionality as Any-do and Ms To-do
- iNote – I probably use this most often to save bits of info that I come across and create the text for an IG post.
I’ll stop there. I know, I know I might have an organisational app hoarding problem. I discover most apps through articles on Medium. I have now learned to scroll past any article that promises the new best app to organise my life. It’s not the apps. It’s me.
Paper and Pen
I love paper and pen. I love writing. I have diaries. I have planners. Heck, I even designed my own planner on Canva to help myself. I write in them about once a month, if I remember. That tells how well that’s working out for me.
Soooo…since it’s probably not the tools that I have chosen to try, I decided to try creating a routine that would ensure that I make better use of the tools and thereby become better organised. (Phew, that was a wordy sentence!) Enter James Clear’s Atomic Habits book and course. “If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.” he says. Well I have yet to master putting together a system that works for me.
Maybe being organised is just not part of my identity yet and that is why I have yet to create a system that works for me. Since my word for this year is “Action” and my mantra is “This is who I am now” every time I need adopt a new action to replace an old one (I learned this method of reshaping your identity to change your habits from a David Goggins interview), perhaps this is the year that I finally succeed in being a well-organised person.
Of course I am always open to tips and tricks so please do share what works for you.
“A personal metric: how much of the day is spent doing things out of obligation rather than out of interest?”Naval Ravikant