Own your life - Organize (3 of 4)

3. Your Organizational Skills

Put any preconceived notions about organization and details you have aside for the moment.

Being successful at something, whether that means knitting 10,000 hats in a year, or completing yoga teacher training, requires spending time on it.

I'm saying this again:

Being successful at something requires spending time on it.

Everybody always talks about how you need to manage your time. You need to manage your energy as well. You first have to ask, “What gives me energy?” There can be lots of sources: your family, exercise, your spiritual well-being. Try to combine those, along with your work demands, into one integrated calendar so that everything is built into your lifestyle. You can get beyond having to tell yourself, “OK, I’m going to have my family life next year in August, on vacation.” Instead, jot down what is really important to you, see if you have allocated time for it, and adjust the calendar if necessary... - Alan Mullaly

Regardless of your organizational skill level, it's often a forgotten step that we need to organize our personal goals and dreams too. I realized I rocked at keeping things organized at work, but was not investing as much energy into my personal goals.

To start set aside 1-2 hours to figure out how you spend your time. This short online course has some GREAT tips for how to do this.  

Once you've got that down, spend some time focusing on the below areas:

- Plan ahead and don't over-schedule

-Set goals

- Put your goal into real life terms. To make things happen you need to go from "I want to backpack around the world" to " I'm going to backpack for 6 months through 17 countries and I've put a budget in place to save up enough to leave in February 2016. " You can start by asking yourself the who, what, where, when, how and why for each goal.

- Use a calendar. Digital or not, calendars will help you start to think longer term, and pay attention to the big picture of your week, month and year.

- It can be really exciting once you've found a passion project to work on. Be realistic, though. Don't try to do too much too quickly, or you will burn out and fail at other aspects of your life. One of the best things I've found I can do for myself is to not book every minute of every weekend. That gives me a flexibility to work on things I care about amidst the chaotic work week.  


Once your creativity starts flowing you'll find yourself with an overload of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Coming up with an easy way to keep track of these will get them out of your head so you can stay focused on your passions and owning your life.

A notebook will do, or get techie with it:

Evernote multi platform, cloud synced note-taking app. Good for longer notes/writing.

Google Drive easily share and collaborate with others, for free. Multi-platform, cloud synced

Trello more visual way to organize your thoughts, multi platform, cloud synced. Better for to-do lists.

OneSafe - Keep all of your stuff in one safe place. Passwords, credit cards, insurance cards, drivers licenses, frequent flyer miles, everything!

Here are some ideas of what to track:

- things for someday - i.e. no action needed now but I don't want to forget

- things to buy/order/make

- ideas + inspiration (e.g. to journal about, blog about, for website, think about, research, etc)