Each new month brings with it the opportunity to hit refresh on life and help you get on track with everything that is being thrown your way. However, with busy homes, jobs, children and grandchildren it can be difficult to know where to start.
The positive thing is that getting organized at the start of the month doesn’t need to be an enormous task – a few simple actions at the start of each month will help.
Here are some simple things you can do to help boost productivity and feel positive about the month ahead.
1. Organize your calendar
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be very easy to lose track of everything you have planned. The best way to combat this is by keeping a calendar and noting down all those work meetings, social events, and anniversaries, having them to hand, all in one place. Spend an hour at the start of each month writing down important events, appointments, celebrations and reminders of tasks like paying a bill or sending a birthday card.
2. Set goals
Set yourself new goals for the month. This helps to trigger new behaviours and increase motivation and focus. Whether it’s doing more exercise, taking up a new hobby or meeting up with that friend you haven’t seen in a while, decide what you want to achieve over the next few weeks. Make sure that these goals are achievable and won’t become overwhelming – breaking a big goal down into small chunks and turning them into habits is a much more effective way of doing this.
3. Tidy up!
Everyone has heard the phrase ‘tidy house, tidy mind’, but you should extend this past just the home. Make sure that areas in which you spend large amounts of time – like your work desk – are all clear of clutter. Studies have shown that tidying spaces can help to reduce stress and improve happiness, with the added bonus of giving you a sense of accomplishment when everything is in its right place.
4. Clear out your technology
You should also try to keep your digital spaces as clutter-free as possible. The average adult spends over 3.5 hours on their mobile devices, and in this time, you’re bound to amass lots of things that you don’t need. Move random files from your desktop into organised folders, uninstall any apps you don’t need any more, and sort through and delete the 257 identical photos you have of that pretty sunset or your dog from last week.
5. Create a budget
It’s always wise to keep an eye on your finances. By creating a monthly budget, you’ll have a much better idea of what you can afford and when you might need to tighten the purse strings. It is usually best to do this after you’ve sorted your calendar, in case there is anything coming up that you might need to be splashing out for.
6. Plan your workouts
Whether you’re an avid gym-goer or just looking to keep yourself in shape, it can be hugely beneficial to actually plan your exercise routines. Decide when and what you are going to be working into your practise, so you don’t get caught up in other distractions and ignore it altogether!
7. Organize your fridge and cupboards
Go through the contents of your kitchen, checking use by dates and getting rid of anything that’s gone off. This will also give you a better idea of what you need to stock up on the next time you do a shop, reducing the chances of you ending up with three lots of the same thing when you forget what you do and don’t have already.
8. Back up your phone
For many of us our phones are our go-to tool for just about anything, and we have lots of valuable data and information stored on them. Should the unthinkable happen and your phone gets lost, stolen or broken, then all that data disappears with it. This is why it is so important to regularly backup your phone’s data, ensuring that all of your photos and messages remain safe. This will also allow you to delete certain items that you’ve been hanging on to.
9. Reflect on the previous month
How do you feel about last month? Did you achieve everything you set out to do? By identifying things that you may have fallen short on, you can make a mental note to put extra effort into making them work this month, and by identifying all the things you did well, you can give yourself a pat on the back and keep up the good work!
A great way to stay on track as well as be able to review your progress is using trackers in your bullet journal.
10. Take a break
If you’ve done everything on this list so far then you’ve been extra – productive, so why not have a rest? Taking a little time for yourself and indulging in your favorite self-care activities allows your mind to relax and process things so it can be on top form for your next task. It can help to reduce stress, improve focus, and make you less overwhelmed by the commotion of daily life.
With these productivity hacks, you’ll be ready for a super-organized month ahead!