Getting It Together: 20 Ways to Make Yourself Feel More On Top of Things

Ways to Make Yourself Feel More On Top of Things

The last few weeks I've pretty much constantly felt like I was running to stay ahead of things. Or behind on things I should have already been doing. Sometimes life is overwhelming. 

I’m not saying I have it all together all the time, or even some of the time. I’d probably go so far as to say that MOST of the time when I’m looking put together there’s a giant canvas about to fall on my head. But I’m trying!

Ways to Get Off The Hot Mess Express

That was the original title of the post, but then I debated on whether I'd take advice from someone talking about the hot mess express. I'm not sure I would, but it's relatable. The last few weeks I've definitely felt like I was the conductor of the hot mess express. So now i'm setting out to learn ways to stay off of it and give myself less anxiety. 

1. Write It Down

Get togethers, Events, appointments, work shifts. If it's not on paper, or on my calendar, I'm probably not going to remember it. Lately I've loved making lists of things I need to do. I really want to get one of those giant planners with the month long calendar and the weekly/daily pages. Someday I may splurge and get this one by Erin Condren. It's BEAUTIFUL but its also $55, so it's pretty far in the future purchase. I also like this one from Nordstrom ($25). 

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent”

Dwight Eisenhower

2. Don't Try To Multitask

I used to think I worked the best when I went back and forth between a bunch of different projects. Lately, I've learned I get things done A LOT faster when I spend a solid chunk of time on one task, set a timer for however long I want to work, and then start on the next task when the timer goes off. Triage what tasks are the most "urgent" and do those first, then move on to tasks that are necessary but not as time consuming, and then do the others. I like to mix in an occasional "fun" task in with all the borings ones 

3. Set TimeRs

I mentioned timers in #2, but I think they're SO HELPFUL in staying productive and on top of things. When I set a 15-30 minute timer, I've found that I stay more motivated to be extra focused during that time. It helps me stay on tasks more diligently, which leads to getting things done more quickly, and feeling more like I have my life togther. 

4. Spend Money on Staples

I've been trying to get better about not buying "trendy" furniture or clothing lately. Or if I do, I get ones that I won't feel bad throwing out or placing in a recycling bin pretty soon after getting them (especially with holiday decor!) and then alotting more of my budget for pieces that will be staples in my room or pieces I wear all the time.

5. Designate a "Launch" & "Drop" Area

Designating a "launch" spot to keep your keys, wallet/purse, umbrella, and a jacket/sweater makes getting out the door easier. On the flip side, designating a "drop" spot to drop everything when you get home and then going through that spot once a week keeps clutter in one spot, as opposed to having clutter everywhere.  *This is one I really need to be better about. I'm a clutter everywhere type of gal. 

6. Do Some Spot Cleaning

One of the ways I'm going to get better about not having stuff everywhere is trying to set nightly timers to clean for 2 minutes in key areas of my house. For me, it'll probably be living room: fold blankets, put away coffee mugs, put away remote, and fluff pillows; kitchen: load/unload dishes into dishwasher and wipe down counters; bedroom: pick out clothes for next day(which will mean steaming the wrinkles out of my scrubs), put away clean clothes/wash dirty clothes, make bed. I feel like this will make mornings a lot less stressful to wake up to a cleaner house!

7. do the dishes

clear sink / clear mind? Maybe thats taking it too far. But I've heard that having no dishes in the sink makes people more likely to cook at home. And having a home cooked meal just makes you feel good, ya know? Plus, it's probably better for your budget. And maybe also your waistline!

8. Have a box/basket/hamper full of things to donate

I don't know about you, but I find it SO much easier to pull clothes from my closet to donate when I have a basket or something to put them in. I think it has to do with seeing the basket half full, and wanting to make it all the way full. I don't know. But I do know that donating your clothes is a great way to help other people AND cleaning unwanted things from your closet makes more space for you is a nice bonus. 

9. Curate your living room.

One time, I read on Buzzfeed that everything you have in your living room should be "beautiful, useful, or something you love" .. I actually think this would be a great rule for most rooms in my house.. but I'm going to start with the living room. I think I'm going to start this weekend and CLEAN my living space. Bye, bye, clutter. 

10. Plan your meals on the Weekends

This is another one I need to work on! I'm really trying to spend less time at target, so I feel like it would be helpful to be better at planning/prepping my meals a little more ahead of time. I'm working on coming up with a few healthy recipes (which I will, of course, be sharing here!) that I can get the fixin's for early in the week, so I only have to go to the store once. Or maybe twice?

11. Keep a notebook/note app with you

A lot of the time I come up with blog ideas, or painting ideas, while I'm out and about, and it's awesome to be able to jot down my thoughts in one place. Another example, since I starter this new job, I'm learning terms every day that I'm not super familiar with. I got one of those little notebooks (not the spiral bound kind) to jot down words I find each day that I wasn't already familiar with. I can go look them up later and make sure to review the list so I can learn it all! I love writing things down – jotting notes in the margins, drawing little doodles – I think it's fun to look back on later. But I understand some people are more tech-y, so an app could be just as helpful! 

12. Get a Whiteboard

I have a little whiteboard sitting on the endtable in my living room, facing my couch. I've figured out a great way to guilt myself into being productive is to write my to do list on there, where they sit and stare at me if i sit down to watch tv in the evenings when I haven't finished everything. Write down the three most important tasks for the day on a whiteboard, and don't let yourself quit for the day until those three are done! If you get all of them done and still have time/motivation left, add a few more things! 

13. Color Coding

This is one that I've tried to get good at,  but would love some tips! Especially since I'm working two jobs, I color code those two shifts to make sure I don't show up at the wrong place! How awful would that be. It also makes scrolling through my calendar SO MUCH FASTER. But like I said, I need tips! I'm only color coding those two things right now, but I'd love to hear how you color code. 


Notecards have been my GO TO lately for making little notes or things I think of through out the day. They also come in pretty small sizes so they're easy to stick in a pocket of your purse to carry around with you, then you can add the notes to a notebook later when you have more time.

15. Set Goals

The best way to move your life in a way you want it to is by setting goals. I like to set small ones, like "I'm going to eat a keto-ish diet for a full week" instead of "LETS DO A FULL MONTH OF KETO" because it seems a little less intimidating, and then it feels nice to have the little things checked off of my goal list. 

16. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier

Waking up a little earlier means I have a little more time to sit and drink my coffee and sort of ease into being awake. Or, if you're more motivated, you can spend that time making yourself look a little better before you have to be at work or where ever. 

17. Along those lines, Leave Earlier

Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. 

In college, one of the ways I learned to keep some stress from my life was by leaving WAY too early for things. I didn't have to worry about the accident on University that took 15 minutes to get around, because I was already 40 minutes early. Now, I realize thats a lot, so not I don't leave that early, but I always leave myself a little bit of time incase something comes up.

18. Simplify

Pretty much everything I've read talks about the importance of simplifying. Simplifying my home & cleaning makes it easier to be creative and take pictures for my instagram. Simplifying my to-do list makes it feel more manageable. Simplifying people you prioritize gives you more time to do the things you love doing. At the end of the day, cutting down on the unnecessary makes your life so much easier. 

19. Listen More

Lately I've been spending more time away from the TV and more time listening. To Cubs games on the radio, to podcasts I like (like this one by Yoga Girl!), or more time listening to people, places, or music in general. I think sometimes I get too caught up in what is happening in my head, and listening to other people's stories, or other people's opinions, helps me get out of my own head. 

20. make plans that you are excited about

This one is more self care-esque than a lot of the things on this list. But When I have something on my calendar that I'm looking forward to, its kind of like the light at the end of a stressful tunnel. Whether it's dinner with friends, a trip to see family, or time to visit a coffee shop or somewhere else you enjoy. Make sure you have time on your calendar that YOU love! Nothing fixes being frazzled like having a little fun! 

Woo this was a doozy to write, but I'm feeling SO INSPIRED to get it together now! I've even done the dishes TWICE today! Crazy! 

Now, What About You?

What helps you feel most together?!

P.S. The sweatshirt I'm wearing above is by Sol Angeles at Anthropologie. It's on sale and is sold out of everything but XS, but I wanted to link to their stuff because they have SO MANY cute/cozy things!





Lauren1 Comment