Paige Eades

UK Lifestyle Blog

How To Manage Your Time With These Simple and Effective Tips


This post has been updated 13/07/2020

Since starting the new year, I have made a conscious effort to become more organised and more aware of what I am doing with my life and part of that was buying a new diary. Now, despite the fact I like the idea of being one of those people who are like - Oh, am I free next Saturday? Wait, let me check the diary! - becoming more organised is something that I have wanted to do for quite a while but couldn't quite break out of the routine of laziness what I was used to. 

Getting organised and prepared for weeks or days ahead can appear quite daunting if you are not typically a planner, or diary user but it is a great habit to start - by living a disorganised lifestyle you are more likely to be less productive, have a negative state of mind, feel a decrease in motivation and statistically are less happy overall than those who tend to organise their lifestyle and events accordingly. It's true though - I know for sure when I haven't planned everything out, the increase in my stress levels is exceedingly noticeable. I have a post on how to destress here, if you were interested.

When planning your life and events within it, there are three major tools I have seen being used; a phone calendar, a set diary and a bullet journal. All of these have their own benefits and purposes for using and I have tried all - unfortunately I found I didn't have the passion for bullet journalling many people have, and that I was spending way more of my time perfecting each spread and layout (and ripping out pages) which wasn't ideal. 

I have used set diaries and found them really helpful, and useful - throughout Sixth Form that diary was a lifesaver and I took it everywhere with me as I was using it every day. Upon starting university I couldn't find a diary that I liked, or had the right format for me so I started using my iPhone calendar to plan out my life instead; and that is far my favourite method. As the calendar links up to my laptop I can view it easily with whatever device I'm using; and it also gives me alerts on when I need to leave - bonus! It's completely personal though as to what you like to do; experiment and see what works!

Plan Your Week Ahead.

I start off organising my diary by planning my week ahead, typically on a Sunday night. I don't know why, but this prepares me for what I have to do and what is coming up in the week so I can get ready for it. It's a great way to start the week feeling fresh and prepared for what is coming up; waking up each morning with a rough itinerary all lined up for you. 

To get started; I usually place in all appointments I have in that week - urgent ones that cannot be changed etc (dentist, doctors, therapist etc, whatever you have) it's so important to do this so you don't end up forgetting, or having to cancel on another plan you've made. I tend to write these in as I make them; so usually these are already in by the time I turn over to the new week but if any last minute appointments gets put in first. 

Next comes in my work and university lecture schedules - unfortunately with including my work schedules, being on zero hours contract(s) means I can't do this until they release the rotes; but typically this is on the Sunday night hence I do all my planning then. Once work has been pencilled in; then it's time for meet-ups/coffees with friends, grocery shopping, university work etc. 

Something which is a great idea to get into the habit of doing is setting goals for each week - I usually do this in the little notes section of the weekly planner. Did you know that the 14% of people who set goals are ten times more successful than those who don’t? Why not strive for success each week by aiming for set goals to complete?

You can check out my post on 15 things to do this week here for some added inspiration if you like!

Use Colour.

Something that is really helpful is to use colour for each of your different activities is so helpful to allow your brain to engage with what needs to be prioritised etc, and allows you to quickly identify exactly what you need (as well as looking super gorgeous). 

For example on what I use; red is for university lecture blocks, yellow is for family events (iPhone calendars also let you have a shared calendar across multiple devices - perfect for families as one person can upload an event for the whole family and each member has it as an alert and in their calendar too), blue is for social etc. It's a great way to organise everything, and also make sure things don't overlap and you don't miss them. 

Birthdays.

There is always a birthday section in the back or front of the diary, so I list peoples birthdays off the top of my head down there! If someone tells me what date their birthday is, then I will jot it down in the appropriate section so I won't forget to buy them a card or a present. This makes me feel so much relaxed knowing I won't be the one who awkwardly says they have left the present at home... If using a phone, like me - I include birthdays and relevant information in the contact section - then birthdays will come up automatically on your calendar! You can also schedule alerts for each person to allow you time to purchase a gift etc. 

Notes.

Finally, there is a notes section at the back of my diary which is great for writing lists, grocery essentials, wishlists, to-do chores etc. I tend to jot everything down in my Notes section; blog post ideas, shopping lists, Twitter hashtags to promote my posts etc - it's all there. I try to keep this organised as well by deleting things I don't need anymore; and regularly keeping on top of everything. What's the point in organising your life if your organisation tools are messy?

I did try having two separate notebooks for my blog planning, but I found myself just using my diary or notes app instead because it was just so much easier. I just jot down any ideas that I have and could produce into blog posts, and I will flick through when I am writing and photographing blog posts - such a great way to keep track of little thoughts that spring to mind randomly.

How do you organise your diary? Feeling in the mood to organise some more? Why not check out my post on tackling your messy wardrobe too?

Comments

  1. Lovely post! I am a sucker for this kind of post! I am thinking of getting a personal planner and planning my week ahead on a Sunday!!! Xx

    http://thriftyvintagefashion.blogspot.co.uk/


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    1. Thank you Nicole! Hope your planning goes well! x

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  2. I just love having a new diary!! So nice to get organised! x

    www.shayholly.co.uk

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  3. Such a steal! I didn't know Sainbury's did planners like that, I would have picked one up from there if I'd known!
    I still haven't got a planner yet.. Just goes to show how organized I am lol x
    Minae ♥ MinaekeiLatest Blog Post!

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    1. I was surprised too - I'm going again next year for sure! x

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  4. I also start off by jotting down all the people's birthdays I can think of! I use a moleskine planner and on the left side it's the days of the week, and on the right side it's just plain ruled paper. I love it because it's like half notebook, half planner, and I can write down to-do lists as well. :)

    Samantha Series

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  5. You're so organized and prepared, Paige (something I'm working on!!)! Do you prefer to keep your diary simple and clean, or do you decorate with stickers and such?
    peridotcove.blogspot.com

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