Raise your hand if it sometimes feels impossible to manage all the things. Between a full-time job, passion projects, family and friends, and everything else that goes into daily life, I’m standing here with both hands in the air.
How I stay organized isn’t just about keeping track of deadlines and due dates; it’s also about staying intentional and focused. And some weeks, my organization system is the only thing that keeps me sane. When you are playing different roles throughout the week, the work you’re doing often requires you to shift gears. For example, I do my best to separate my day job projects from everything else. I like to be able to look at my week holistically. But I also like being able to cut distractions (and stress!) by putting away specific parts of my week.
“How do you keep everything straight?” It’s a question I hear a lot. And it’s also one I even occasionally ask myself. But my organizational system in always the answer—and occasionally wine.
I want to break down my personal approach to staying organized, but let me point out this isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” sort of thing. How I stay organized might look completely different from your own approach. Plus, our systems can evolve over time. I started figuring out what worked for me during my freshman year of college. That was eight years ago and my system has changed at least a hundred times since then.
That also mean I might be completely rewriting this blog post next year as my projects and commitments change. Deciding what works best for your life is entirely up to you, but here’s a look at how I stay organized at work and home right now.
Managing All the Things at Work
From Monday to Friday, you can find me managing communications and marketing for a mid-sized nonprofit. It’s a regular joke that working at a nonprofit often has you doing all the things (#nonprofitlife). My job involves daily tasks like social media and photography, to large scale projects like producing a seasonal magazine.
I also have plenty of recurring projects, plus new requests that pop up every day. And of course, each day is a little different than the last. It’s a job that demands I stay organized while staying flexible enough to survive in an ever-changing environment.