Staying organized can be tricky. I have found that, after a busy week, I lose sight of my desk. I have various piles that made sense at one point scattered around. Moving the piles into their appropriate home (and they do all have one, and, no, it isn’t on my desk) is much easier at the end of the week than it is if I try to move them around (and remember what they are) at the beginning of the following week.
Come Monday, the piles that made sense on Friday are meaningless chaos. I have to take extra time and work through them, reminding myself what they are before I can file them away.
It can be so easy to just walk away at the end of the day on Friday. To leave the piles where they are and forget about them for the weekend. But it only creates extra work. It makes Monday take a bit longer to get going. If there are things that need attention come Monday morning and they are lost in the piles then it takes that extra time to find them. This usually leaves me feeling like I am starting out my week trying to catch up. And I find that when I do this the feeling permeates the rest of the week.
By tidying up on Friday and having everything that needs immediate attention come Monday set out, I find I am able to dive right in and I feel productive. This feeling generally won’t last the week, but starting the week positively is always better than starting out feeling behind.
Aside from keeping on top of desk organization at the end of the week, I have found a physical planner is essential. I track everything in there: hours, to do lists, and deadlines. I like to be able to flip open a book and see everything at a glance. I like to be able to scribble notes to myself around the edges. While it might look chaotic, it keeps me sane. I find this works (for me) much better than a digital planner. It took me a while to find a planner that worked for me. The layout was right and it had plenty of space for notes to myself (I also like buying from individuals and this one came from @frannerd). Some of the stock planners just were not conducive to me keeping on top of them, I would start strong and then it would become too chaotic (not enough room for extra notes) and I would lose sense of what needed to be done.
There are so many planners out there, even some you can customize, the first one that worked for me was a blank journal and I created a bullet journal, this planner I am using now follows a very similar style and I really am enjoying it –plus it came with stickers which can liven things up a bit.
Over this long weekend I broke my first “rule”. I did not clear off my desk. Instead, I piled things higher on it than I have in a while. Which means that now I need to really take the time to organize it—pushing my work back and making me feel like I am starting and already behind in this short week. I guess we need to remind ourselves every now and then why we do things –I am definitely remembering why I always clear my desk on Fridays.