Some people always appear put-together and calm, and live in households that look clean and run smoothly. These are the folks that get out of the door on time, can find their car keys every morning, and never forget to pay a bill. Look to these organized souls, because they have figured out all the ways to keep their household motors running. Look even closer and you start to see a pattern — a list of common practices that leave them well-rested and organized, while the rest of us are running around like overwhelmed chickens with our heads cut off.
Use tools that do your thinking and remembering for you, and clear your head for more important things. Set up your bill pay, schedule reminders, and recurring appointments once and you’ll reap the benefits forever. Your mind will be free, and — in the case of things like shared calendars — you won’t have to communicate details as often as before.
2. Write Stuff Down
Short-term memory can only hold onto a finite (and small) number of things at one time. Once your to-do list is down on paper (or in your phone) you won’t forget everything you need to do, or even just stress that you’ll forget everything you need to do. Keep your list somewhere close where you can refer to it often or as needed.
3. Remove Distractions
Keep the things you use regularly in sight, and hide everything else out the way. Your brain won’t mentally trip over unnecessary objects, and you can focus on the here and now. Stow things you use daily — like your hairdryer perhaps — at the front of the bathroom cabinet, and everything you use only periodically towards the back.
4. Divide and Conquer
Sometimes these are physical barriers that separate and organize, making items easy to see and access. Drawer inserts and shelf dividers are the things that come immediately to mind. But it also might be your email filter which diverts spam or junk mail to a separate folder, and leaves the truly important messages in your inbox. You can see the good stuff when it comes in, and check the other stuff periodically (if at all).
5. Prioritize Not Perfect
You can’t do everything. Save your limited time and energy for decisions about things that matter. Everything else will get done in a way that’s most likely just fine or certainly good enough. Few people can maintain military-style precision and perfection at home, and who would want to? Let it go.
6. Hide or De-Stress
There’s nothing wrong with retreating from the world once in awhile— whether that’s for a half an hour daily, or once a week. Knowing that you need that space to focus and get things done, or do nothing at all for a chunk of time, keeps you on point and recharged.