A few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine reached out and asked me how I stay organized with everything I have going on in my life. I sat back and thought about it for a day or two before responding… because honestly, I don’t think I really stay organized at all! I have A LOT going on right now. I’m still working full time in the corporate world while building my coaching business as well as transitioning into teaching group fitness full time. Not to mention I have to stay on top of my own journey which either consists of running during training season, or at-home programs, meal prep, yoga, etc. I’m also a homeowner, dog-mom and girlfriend. So yes, my plate is quite full right now! When she reached out I just laughed at my desk because most days I feel like I’m going in a million directions. But when I really thought about it, there are things that I do on a daily basis that help me from feeling completely overwhelmed and keep me able to pursue my dreams and manage my time between the billion things I have going on. So I thought I’d share them with you!
Erin Condren Life Planner: I’m a visual person, and while I think virtual calendars are amazing (we’ll get to that later), I have to maintain a tangible one to keep me organized. The Erin Condren Life Planner has been my go-to for almost four years now. I buy a new one every 12 months and absolutely love them! It took a while to get used to, I literally had to FORCE myself to write everything down for the first few months. And then it just became second nature and has helped me SO much with keeping track of everything I’m doing… now I couldn’t live without it! You can get $10 off your Life Planner here!
Only Keep One Planner: I used to try and do a planner for work, one for life, and one for my business… ridiculous and too many damn planners! Instead, now I just use one and write in different colors. That way I can see everything at once and realize if I’m accepting to sub for a fitness class during a time where I already have a coaching call scheduled, etc. You can also use a virtual calendar for this same purpose… but I just like to write things down because I guess I’m old school!
Shared Google Calendar: I use a very simple Google calendar that Bruce and I can both access. I don’t put EVERYTHING on it, but I include things that Bruce would want to know. I have trips, soccer games, when I’m at the studio or gym, my long runs, etc so that he’s not constantly saying “What are we doing tonight? Do we have anything going on this weekend?”… because that was driving me insane. It’s a great tool for couples and families, especially if you’re all running in different directions! It’s also nice because Bruce can look at it and say “You finally have a free night, let’s go to dinner” (which I accept… and promptly get wine drunk… duh).
To-Do Lists: I’m obsessed. I keep a running to-do list on my phone in the “Notes” section and use it constantly. Nothing is too small to go on it. It ranges from big things like “clean out the closet and take to Goodwill” to literally “mail birthday card to dad”. I also use the “Reminders” app on my phone all the time because sometimes I’ll literally forget something I’m supposed to do 10 minutes after saying I need to do it. Also, I try not to stress about having the “perfect” system for things like this. I can get really obsessive about having the latest and greatest app for managing your day… but I’ve learned after countless downloads and deletions that the plain old Notes and Reminders apps work absolutely perfectly! So I don’t stress about having to have something that looks fancy, as long as it works.
Plan Meals: I don’t plan EVERY meal (unless I’m going all in on a program), but I try to at least get a game plan for dinners each week and then order everything I need from Kroger pick-up! I order it Saturday afternoon and pick it up Sunday, giving me the evening to do any meal prep I can for the week. It’s helped a lot with not having a ton of leftovers and not feeling like we have no food in the house and having to order delivery. I use an easy spreadsheet that I created for my challengers (hint hint, it’s yours free when you get started on your health and fitness journey!), but you can also just use a plain old piece of paper.
Keep Everything in One Space: I have a little office at home where I keep everything I use to manage my life (study materials for my group fitness certifications, class layouts, exercise books, my computer with all of my Beachbody things, etc). Having it all in one place just helps me make sure that when I sit down to work or plan things out I have all I need! It seems like a no-brainer, but I literally had things all over my house before I started using my office.
Managing My Time: Now, all of those things don’t help if you don’t actually sit down and do them, so I also have to find time to make my plans. I wish I could say I wake up super early or stay up late, but I don’t. The biggest thing I’ve learned that helps me so much is to use POWER POCKETS! Basically, if I have ten minutes after work before I need to go to class, I sit down and do ten minutes of meal planning, or plan out my next challenge group. Then, when the ten minutes is up, I’m out the door. I used to try to set aside big chunks of time to plan and prep, but then I couldn’t commit to it fully and would just giving up. So instead, I tell myself that a little is better than nothing and whenever I have time is when I do my thing! Eating lunch at my desk and the office is quiet… I plan out a BURN class for the next week, or update Bruce and I’s calendar. You don’t have to sit in your office for hours to accomplish things, use the compound effect and the little things will snowball into big progress!
Again… I sometimes feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but when I step back, I know that if I didn’t have these systems it would be a thousand times worse! Mainly, I try not to be so hard on myself and I try to make sure that I schedule “me time”… like legitimately set aside one or two nights where we eat dinner earlier than normal and I take a bubble bath. It’s so important! Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health!
What are your tips and tricks to stay organized?!