Organization. Organization. Organization. This is the key to keeping yourself from a state of overwhelm. As a work-at-home Mom, I have a lot of balls in the air.  Be it personally or professionally, I’m always juggling kids schedules, anniversaries, work schedules, or social time. If I’m not careful, I can easily fall into a pattern where I am stressed. My solution? I carefully curate my life so that I avoid stress.  Here are some of my go-to routines.

Plan Ahead. I put my whole life in a calendar! Doing this instantly helps me, not only with organization, but with being able to see what my day-to-day looks like at a glance. It makes short term and long term planning easier because you can prioritize your most important events and then fill in around that. Try mapping out a few months at a time in advance. Block off important things first.  For example, if fitness is a priority for you, block that in first so the space is reserved. And don’t forget “me” time.  I’ll come back to that in a bit.

Reminders. I put reminders in my calendar so that I’m always prepared for the next thing.  Keep in mind your calendar can be your phone, tablet, laptop, or whatever device keeps you on track. A paper calendar can be very effective for some people.  Others go all digital. I like to tailor my reminders to the kind of appointment I have scheduled. For example, if it’s a doctor’s appointment, I set a reminder for one week before and two days before. This gives me a heads up to carve out time in my mind and that makes it stick for me.

Just say no. Note that you don’t have to attend everyone’s events and functions! Everyone will want some of YOU, but you won’t be able to tend to everyone all the time.  People pleasing can eventually cause a strain. Don’t let other people be the reason you are stretched thin. Leave enough time for your family and friends, and above all, yourself.

Time for yourself.  Add yourself to your calendar to make sure down time is not forgotten.  Studies have shown that people that are disorganized tend to have a more chaotic life. This can eventually lead to depression and a very low productivity level. Chaos is just simply unhealthy!  The key here is to get more margin in your schedule.  

Once you get a routine and organize your day, you will find yourself more productive and relaxed.  It is imperative to make sure to have some “me”  time. Take at least 1 hour a day for yourself. It’s so easy for everyone to need you and want your time, but at the end of the day you have worry about YOU first. No matter what, YOU come first.