If you're like most people, your life is anything but organized. There's always something that needs to be done, and it's hard to keep track of everything on your plate.
It seems like a million things are pulling at you all the time, and before long, one thing leads to another until suddenly, an entire day has gone by without accomplishing what you set out to do in the first place. Unfortunately, being organised can be challenging, but it's a skill that’s incredibly important.
On the bright side, though, there are smart ways to take control of your life and become more organised even if you're not naturally wired for it. Here are 18 habits of highly organized people worth emulating.
1. They Plan Ahead
Highly organised people know how to take control of their lives, and one of the best ways they do it is by planning. Whether this means keeping a planner to write down every event or simply writing out what needs to be done for each day, they make sure everything has its place.
People who live by lists, plans, and appointments tend to have a much smoother life than those who just wing it. When you're organised, not only do your daily tasks get done on time, but you're less stressed out about what needs to be completed in the future.
2. They Have a Filing System
You've probably seen a highly organised person's filing system before. Life-organisers often have files for everything, whether they’re physical folders in a filing cabinet or virtual ones. They know that having a quick and easy filing system on hand makes it easier to stay on top of things. It's more effortless to find what you're looking for when everything has its place, right?
3. They Prioritise Sleep
One of the keys to being organised is good time management — and when you get enough sleep, your time management skills will be much better than if you're chronically fatigued.
Highly organized people know to make sleep a priority and take time to recharge their batteries. Accordingly, they make sure to hit the hay early and often.
4. They Split Up Big Projects
You may think highly organized people have the time to do everything on their own, but that's usually not the case. That's why most of them like to break huge tasks into smaller ones that can be completed more easily.
Take, for example, those who want to go back to school. Instead of just quitting their jobs and starting anew, successful people will complete one class at a time until they've completed the whole degree program.
5. They Account for Unforeseen Circumstances
While highly organized people plan ahead as much as they can, that doesn't mean everything goes exactly according to plan. Therefore, they leave time and room for unforeseen circumstances and always have a backup plan.
It's important to leave time for situations that are out of your control, such as being late because of traffic or not completing a project due to bad weather or sudden flu.
6. They Look For Patterns
Whether it's because of daily tasks or monthly bills, highly organised people know how to find patterns in their lives and also have plans to deal with them when they arise.
For example, say you need to buy paper towels every month — maybe it's time to start stockpiling them so you won't have to buy them as often. By finding patterns in your life and always having a plan to deal with them, you can save time and money.
7. They Schedule Playtime
Do you know how it's hard to focus when you're bored? That's why highly organized people always have plans to keep themselves entertained and interested.
Believe it or not, these people don't just live for their work and the errands they need to accomplish — they also make time for play. Every day, they carve out time to relax, have some fun, and simply enjoy life.
8. They Value Their Peace of Mind
Highly organized people know how to take care of themselves, which is why they value their peace of mind above everything else. They know that by taking care of themselves (by getting enough sleep or de-stressing), they gain more energy and motivation throughout the day. They also know not to sweat the small stuff because it's not worth getting worked up over.
That’s precisely why organised people are often referred to as the “CEOs of their lives”, running a well-oiled machine that leaves time for what matters most.
So, to live an organised life, you must first prioritise your peace of mind. by living in a state of peace and tranquility, you'll be able to accomplish more than when life is chaotic.
9. They Learn From Their Mistakes
Highly organized people aren't immune to failure — and that's why they're always looking for ways to improve themselves and the way they work. Highly motivated, structured individuals know that there's no such thing as a perfect system and that there's always room for improvement.
They're willing to take responsibility, pinpoint areas of improvement, and do everything in their power to follow through. In other words, they always look within themselves to make the type of positive changes required for success.
In fact, that’s what differentiates highly organized people from slackers – they understand that their lives are the sum of every choice they make.
10. They Have a Strong Sense of Self-Control
Highly organized people know that self-control is a muscle that needs to be exercised, not an inherent trait that only certain individuals have. Exercising their willpower ensures that even when times get tough, they won't give up because they've conditioned themselves to push forward no matter what.
11. They Make Their Beds Every Morning
Yes, you read that right. Bed-making is a keystone habit — once you form the habit of doing it, life seems to be more organised and manageable.
As author William H. McRaven McCraven of the book “Make Your Bed: Little Things Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World” once said, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
While, yes, making your bed every morning is just one small part of the equation, it's also about establishing rituals that help you take control of your life and make you feel empowered. That very act can actually boost personal productivity.
12. They Love Their Boredom
Many people think that highly organised people must hate to be bored, but the opposite is true. In fact, they feel excited by their boredom because it gives them time to focus on themselves and their goals without any distractions.
They know that boredom is their best friend because it gives them the time to think about their goals and precisely what they need to do to achieve them. They’re experts at capitalising when life feels mundane because, instead of complaining about having nothing to do, they're actively plotting how they're going to get things done.
13. They Prioritize People Over Things
When you're organized, it's easier to keep track of your priorities because you'll know what's truly important in life. Highly organised people don't value objects or possessions over their loved ones because they know that the only things that matter in life are the memories you make.
They see how quickly time goes by, and they're acutely aware of their own mortality — so they spend every day doing everything in their power to leave positive footprints on this world rather than worrying about material objects.
So, they know that by putting their loved ones first, they're better able to enjoy themselves more because their lives are ultimately less stressful. That's why they spend quality time with those closest to them instead of trying to do everything else.
14. They Do Things When They Say They’re Going to Do Them
Make no mistake about it — if someone says they're going to do something, highly organised people will hold them accountable for it and expect them to follow through with their word. Often, they'll even remind the person as an incentive so that things don't slip by the cracks.
For instance, say a highly organised person plans to meet up with a friend at 9 AM on Saturday for brunch. If their friend fails to show up on time, they'll be the first one there and hold their seat until that particular someone arrives.
This is just how highly organised people operate — they'd rather a few minutes be wasted because they were forced to sit around instead of arriving late for their plans.
15. They Keep Track of Their To-Do Lists
It has taken some trial and error for highly organised people to become the go-getters they are today, and part of their road to success was learning how important it is to keep track of their to-do lists. They know that if you don't finish what you set out to do each day, then there's a much smaller chance that progress will be made as time goes on.
16. They Ruthlessly Prioritise Their Time
As much as we'd all like to believe otherwise, there's only a limited amount of time in a day. That being said, those who are truly productive don't squander it away from procrastinating. They know that if they want to get things done on time, it's up to them to make sure their priorities are in order.
Therefore, they give each task or responsibility the time and attention it deserves; no matter how busy life gets, these people know how to prioritize and schedule to get everything done on time.
17. They're Minimalistic With Their Possessions
Highly organized people know that the idea of "less is more" holds true, and they apply it to their lives. They're very selective on the things they own because they know that each item has a responsibility in their life, and losing something can be a major setback for them in some way or another.
For example, if they have a big project to do, they'll make sure that all of their materials are ready for them by the time they sit down at their desk. If something is missing, then it'll throw off their entire schedule. Similarly, when they buy new things, it's usually because they really need them or they're replacing older items that have worn out completely.
18. They Start the Day Right
Highly organized people know that if they start their day off the right way, then there's a good chance that it'll end well too. This could mean waking up early to get something done before everyone else is awake or even eating breakfast by themselves at 5 AM because no one else in their household is an early riser.
They know that the best way to start their day is by setting an objective for themselves to avoid getting distracted from what's truly important. If they complete this objective, they'll always have a sense of accomplishment that’ll carry on throughout the rest of their day.
Take Control of Your Life, Too!
Even if you're not in the habit of being highly organized, you can still take control of your life in similar ways. By taking charge of your life in all aspects, you'll be able to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve in no time at all!
That being said, it's up to you to take the first step and get things rolling in your life. Otherwise, you'll always wonder whether or not what they say is true: "If I were only more organised…."
So, take control of your life!