How to Organize Life + Be More Productive

How to Organize Life + Be More Productive

How to Organize Life + Be More Productive 

I often talk about common struggles that stop us from living healthier and more vibrant lives. But this one IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT. Read on to see why...

 

How to get your life together easier
How to Organize Life + Be More Productive

Based on Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies, I’m a Rebel. That means that I wake up thinking about what I WANT to do, not what I have to do. This isn’t an ideal tendency for getting stuff like emails done. 

For MANY years I struggled with time management, how to plan and how to get organized. 

I was fantastic at meeting my commitments to others but not so much at keeping those I made to myself.

Before becoming a wellness coach, this also meant that I struggled to make time for things like for stress-relief, self-care, cooking and workouts. 

And then I had a little breakdown (ok a BIG breakdown.) Where I realized that I had so much crap to get done and I didn’t want to do any of it.

On top of that I was neglecting my well-being; I had anxiety, my face would break out like a teen’s and I couldn’t sleep properly. 

It was at this moment that I realized I had to get my life together. I needed to learn how to be organized, how to be more productive AND how to fit in time for ME. 

I changed the way I thought about time and that’s what I’m going to share with you.

I’ll show how I organize my life and how I plan my week so that I can do everything I need to do but also take a few breaths in between.  

I recommend getting comfortable (and maybe even taking some notes) because this post is going to show you not only how to stay organized, but also how to get more energy and FEEL better. 

 

How to organize your life with a planner

How to Organize Life + Be More Productive

Lots of people talk about using planners for time management or writing down the top 3 priorities of the day.

This is definitely helpful but the reality is that you need to understand how you’re spending your time NOW before you try to change it. 

Where do you waste or lose time? What takes up most of your time? Where are you not spending enough time? 

You might have a rough idea about what you do in a day but it’s not always the truth. I used to think that I spent 30 minutes a day on emails and then I started the productivity hack that I’m going to share with you and I realized I was spending 3x that! 

90 minutes a day on emails????? No wonder I felt exhausted by noon! 

If I had just jumped to writing down my 3 priorities, I would never understand WHY I wasn't getting them done. I would just think that I didn’t have time. 

It’s just like when I have clients record their meals in my PT app and we realize that actually each day is not quite as healthy as they thought it was. 

Just like food diaries, a time diary is essential in order to objectively see what can change, what’s holding you back and what patterns are getting in the way of a more productive (and REFRESHING) day. 

The first step to organizing your life better with a planner is something I like to call Color Mapping.

Color Mapping -
How to be more Productive but also find balance

How to Organize Life + Be More Productive

Color Mapping is the strategy that I developed to organize my life and plan my week.

It’s a visual tool that shows, in one glance, how you’re spending time and ways to shift your day so that it’s simultaneously productive and balanced.

I’m a very colorful person (you’ve probably seen that from my crazy leggings if you do any of my Youtube workouts) and a standard day planner just never worked for me.

Another problem I have with traditional productivity methods is that they don’t prioritize self-care, wellness or balance. 

It’s not just about getting more done in less time, it’s about getting the right things done and often the right things will have nothing to do with tasks but everything to do with making you FEEL your best so you can perform better. 

Color Mapping will do that for you. Below are the steps to try it.

You can also watch this Youtube video here that will show you visually how it works. 

  1. PREP: Open your google calendar or grab a paper and different colored markers/pencils

  2. COLOR CHOICE: Assign one color to each category of activities you do on a daily basis. For example, I use the color GREY for chores and emails. You choose the colors BUT be sure to keep RED for “lost time” and PURPLE for “refreshing” activities - thinks like talking to friends, reading, workouts, etc.

  3. COLOR: Color in the time you think you spend on each category in a day. This is your guestimate. Each day will be different but just think about the average weekday. 

  4. FOLLOW: The next morning, follow the color map schedule you made. If you spend more or less time on the activities, adjust these colors based on the reality. If you forget what you did then adjust that time to be RED for “lost time.”

  5. REVIEW: Review the REAL day you have. How much time is spent on you? How much time is lost? How much time do you spend on uninspiring things? 

What you’ll likely discover from color mapping is that you have a lot of LOST time and not much REFRESHING time.

The relationship between these two directly impacts how much you get done and how you FEEL at the end of a day. 

Your final step will be to create an entirely new daily schedule. Use your real schedule as a guide but see where you can slip in 5 to 30 minutes for refreshing breaks (PURPLE.) How can you use that lost time (RED) better? 

Again, here is a video to show you visually how to do all of this.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO ORGANIZE LIFE + BE MORE PRODUCTIVE

How to Organize Life + Be More Productive

This Color Mapping tool is something you’ll want to follow daily. It should become a habit. The less time you have, the more you need this.

I know it’s not a sexy way to think about your day but planning is the only way to be more productive AND to still enjoy your life. 

People will often ask me how I do everything I do or how I organize my life because there is a lot of stuff going on each day.

I host, produce and edit my own podcast as well as Youtube channel. I write and edit all my social media content and blog posts (including editing the photos and videos.) I manage clients, create products, market products and work on lead generation. 

And I do all of my work in a 10 to 11 hour time period which includes breaks for workouts, lunch and meditating. 

There is no way I could do all of that and not be overwhelmed without planning. Color Mapping allows me to do what I need to do and still focus on me - even if it’s just for a few minutes. 

It’s also the tool that I use to help busy clients organize their day and make time for themselves and those they love most. 

Give it a try for 7 days and see what you think!

And if you’d like more information on how to get MORE TIME and change your mindset about productivity have a listen of this podcast episode here

 

Time management resources
Podcast Episode
Youtube Color Mapping Video
Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies

 



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