They set themselves up for success on Friday
Before leaving the office and settling into the weekend, Stephanie Shalofsky, founder and professional organizer at The Organizing Zone in New York City, takes a few moments to identify her top priority for Monday morning. She also updates her to-do list for the following week and does a clean sweep of her workspace. By writing these things down ahead of time, you’ll be able to jump right into your work on Monday, and relax over the weekend knowing you’ve got next week's list ready to go. Don't miss these 8 bedtime secrets of professional organizers.
They note their priorities, but leave room for spontaneity
“I usually start each weekend by defining my objectives for the weekend and being sure that I haven’t scheduled every last minute,” says Shalofsky. “After all, weekends are for down time and shouldn’t be scheduled to the same extent as the work week.” Leave time for essential chores like laundry and grocery shopping, but don’t feel pressure to create a detailed itinerary.
They develop systems that work for them
“I keep a large binder in my kitchen with all the recipes for [my family’s] favorite meals,” says Merissa A. Alink in her book Little House Living. “Each week I go through the binder and pull out the recipes that I want to make that week and I move them to the front of the book … once I have my list of recipes, I can then go through the ingredients and instructions and make a shopping list for the week."
They take time off
In a 2011 interview with Techonomy, Jack Dorsey, CEO and cofounder of Twitter, said he gave each day a theme (Monday is for connecting with management, Tuesday for focusing on product, and Wednesday is for marketing and growth). “Saturday I take off. I hike,” he said. “Sunday is reflection, feedback, and strategy.” When they're not in weekend mode, these are the 10 things successful people do after work.
They keep up with their paperwork
Jill Annis, a professional organizer and columnist in Madison, Wisconsin, says daily maintenance is the only way to keep paper chaos under control. If you’ve already broken that rule, take 15 minutes on the weekend to catch up. Annis says the most common habits that bring people stress are hold onto too much paper, avoiding filing it, not labeling folders, not alphabetizing folders, and not maintaining their system. Tackling just one of these tasks each weekend will leave you with a stress-free filing system in no time.
They create a clean slate
Ward off unwanted clutter by keeping things pretty. “The kitchen table can get overloaded with random knickknacks,” says Carolyn Forte in Good Housekeeping. “Keep it ‘set’ with place mats, napkins, and a center fruit bowl or vase. When it looks nice, friends and family members are less likely to use it as a catch all.”
They choose their gym clothes and pack them up
“I pick out my gym outfit for each day of the week and pack them all in my gym bag,” says Blair of Blair Blogs. “By throwing all the week’s outfits into my bag, all I have to do is put the bag in my car on Monday morning and grab it when I go to the gym each evening after work.”
They delegate, delegate, delegate
“I don’t like running around before my kids head off to school looking for a missing scarf or making lunches, so my husband and I split these tasks,” says Liz Allen, professional organizer and founder of Simple Life Organizing in Olathe, Kansas. “By the time we go to bed, all the lunches are ready, and I’ve made sure everything we’ll need the next day is in its place.” These are the 11 secret morning habits of highly organized people.