Get Your Life Organised in 2020
You guessed it, in this blog we are going to talk about…
How To Get Your Life organised in 2020
Whether you have been thinking about it for a long time, or woke up today and decided to get your life in order, we can all agree that there is no better time to get organised than at the start of a new calendar year. For some of us, this might mean a few little tweaks to our existing somewhat organised existence. For others, this might be an in-your-face, there-is-no-time-like-the-present life changer.
Get More Done
Laura Vanderkam, author of Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think , recommends we write next years performance review now. Many of us have big goals, I know I sure do, at 15 I listed ‘build and operate a big international company’ on my after high school to-do list (I know, ambitious kid). But why do so many of these goals go unfulfilled? Of course, some goals might be unrealistic, like building a seven-storeyed home in the Aussie bush, another goal of my 15-year-old self, but many can be achieved if we prioritise them.
“Time is elastic”
Vanderkam says that time is elastic, meaning that we will always find time for what we see as the most important. She recommends we replace, I don’t have time with it’s not a priority.
But how do you know what to prioritise?
In many ways prioritising is like decluttering a messy room. We often don’t know where to start, so it never gets done. After years of project management where I ran multiple streams of work with conflicting priorities (all while building a side hustle), I have learnt a few things about prioritising. Not just in my professional life, but my personal life as well.
Here are my key tips to make your new year the most organised and successful yet!
1. Organise Your Priorities
a) Write a list 20-40 life goals you have right now
Note: these will change through each stage of your life, so don’t worry if they looked different than they did a few years ago. Focus on where you are going, not where you have been.
b) Highlight those you want to achieve in 2020, ideally breaking them down into Career, Relationships and Personal categories.
If a big list goal is too broad to achieve in 12 months break it down into bite-sized chunks.
- Big Goal: Buy a beach house
- 2020 Goal: Create a Beach House savings plan, where I will put away 30% of my income saving around $____ by December 2020
- Big Goal: Establish a strong network of friends in my new city
- 2020 Goal: Dedicate 2 hours per week to creating new connections through sporting clubs, social events or/and making an effort to follow up on meeting a new person.
c) Organise Your Energetic Timetable
Now that you have your 2020 goals set, let’s make sure you achieve them.
Take a look at your week and ask yourself when you have the most energy. Are you a morning or an afternoon person? Do you work well after dinner or at sunrise? Identify when you are most productive (or have the most enthusiasm for physical goals) and use it to your advantage.
It’s one thing to organise your priorities, it’s another to organise your energetic timetable to meet them.
I know I am most productive between 8:30am and 12:30pm. Therefore while it is tempting in the morning to clean up my inbox over a cup of coffee, or if I am at home tidy the kitchen, I am much better off using this time to work on my biggest goals.
The trouble is, when we have the most energy our senses are heightened, we feel alive and connected to our purpose. In this superwoman like state, it is tempting to get “a few things out of the way” or pick up a new activity. But veering off track will make those times of low energy even harder as you force yourself to complete the big goals.
Working out our energetic timetable transcends goal setting and can be used in everyday life as well. IE delete those mundane emails, and loads of washing when your energy is at its lowest. Declutter, study and brainstorm ideas in high energy times.
Low energy times = Less stimulating task
High energy times = Big goal time
2. Declutter and simplify
What tasks can you stop this new year to make space for your big goals and your most successful year yet?
To get the important stuff done we need to take out the excess. And I don’t just mean the physical excess, while that is important too, decluttering tasks will free up time and mental capacity.
Some tasks you might quickly recognise as unnecessary and you can remove them, like ironing your pyjamas, others might be harder to recognise.
Using “spark joy” to declutter tasks might not work
Instead, I invite you to follow the advice of mindfulness guru Russ Harris, author of the Happiness Trap. For a fulfilling, happy life Harris suggests we get clear on our personal values and turn to those when we get off track or overcome with negative emotions.
In the business world, Harvard Professor Bill George refers to this as our True North. I believe we can use this philosophy for decluttering tasks as well. Having recently done this myself I can attest to its success.
We can use Marie Kondo’s notion of joy, decluttering all tasks that don’t give us joy….but that might mean we declutter cleaning, ironing, mowing the back yard..essentially anything that is not a pleasant activity.
Declutter tasks based on personal values
If one of your personal values is creativity but you are spending more time on manual labour, what manual tasks can you declutter or delegate to focus more time to those big creative goals?
If ‘family’ resonates as one of your strong values , but you are attending more events with acquaintances than family, can you start staying no? Declutter the acquaintance interactions and spend more time with those you truly care about.
This New Year clarifying your personal values will help you to define what joy truly means to you, and assist in decluttering those activities adding no value, freeing space for your big goals.