Staying Organized in the Midst of Chaos
Hey BracketLifer’s – it’s Rachel here! This week I’m back on the blog and excited to share how I stay organized in the midst of chaos! With racing season in full swing, it’s been all hands-on deck lately. Between working full-time, planning a wedding, being a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding, running BracketLife Brand and racing every weekend – things have been crazy!
If you are new here, then you might be surprised to know that I work as an Executive Assistant to the Director of Operations for a tech company here in Belleville, ON. Throughout the week, I spend majority of my days working for this company and then completely shift my work to BracketLife Brand and all of my personal responsibilities when the clock hits 4:30 PM.
For many people, the pandemic was a great opportunity to take a step back from ‘regular’ life and slow down for a while. But of course, I chose to do the complete opposite. Fortunately, I was able to continue working full-time with my company as we were considered an essential business and Brandon and I also launched BracketLife Brand 4 months into the pandemic. I also made a personal goal to take control of my nutrition and fitness. And of course, being chosen to be in my best friend’s wedding, as well as planning our wedding has been a major undertaking. Oh, and I also stepped up to help run my parents social media pages for their businesses. So how have I been able to manage everything on my plate?!
Learn Time Management: What I have learned in my short time as an adult is that managing your time is one of the most important skill to being successful. What you dedicate your time towards and how efficiently you can get those things done makes all the difference. One thing that has helped me work both effectively and efficiently is to create a schedule. I always start my morning off with a 30–40-minute workout, healthy breakfast and then clock into work. I make sure that I’ve set myself up for a successful morning and to also give myself the energy I need to get through the day.
The most important part of creating a schedule for yourself is to make sure that you time-block each activity (ex. exercising will be 30-40 minutes, day job will be 8 hours, lunch will be 1 hour, etc.). This helps keep you on track and efficient. It will also help you avoid distractions (ex. playing on your phone, turning on Netflix, etc.), because trust me, we all fall victim to it at some point.
Quit Making Excuses: People ask me all of the time how I manage everything that goes on in my life. They are constantly asking ‘how do you have the time to do all of that?’, especially when it comes to personal goals I’ve made for myself (ex. exercising, cooking healthy meals, visiting my family). They also say things like ‘wouldn’t it just be easier to drop a few of those things?”. And the answer to that question is ABSOLUTELY. Of course it would be easier to get rid of half of the things that are on my plate. But the reality is that some of those things I can’t get rid of. And things such as eating healthy and exercising, those are things that help give me the stamina and energy I need to do all the other things in my life.
The reality is that everyone is busy. But we get to choose our ‘busy’. If you really want to do something, then you have to make the time for it. Nobody is magically going to give you an extra hour to go workout at the gym, or spend time working on your new hobbie – that’s up to you. I learned a long time ago that making the excuse of ‘I’m too busy’ wasn’t getting me anywhere. I decided to quit making excuses for myself and do exactly what I set out to do, even if that meant waking up an hour or two earlier then I used to, setting time limits on my social media apps, and putting the tv remote down.
Write Daily ‘To-Do Lists’: One thing I have been doing since high school is making to-do lists. And if you’ve seen my desk then you’ve probably seen my million sticky notes stuck everywhere. Back when I started high school (and even my first real job), I used to get so overwhelmed with all the tasks I had to complete. All of a sudden, I felt like there were a million deadlines to meet and not enough time to complete them. To-do lists helped take that overwhelming feeling away.
What I do to help keep me organized is create multiple to do lists for each thing in my life (ex. business, personal, day-job, wedding, etc.). I set up a sticky note on my work desk for my business to-do list, and every single task I have to complete goes on that sticky note. I focus my entire day on crossing off that to-do list and man does it feel rewarding every time I cross something off. In terms of my personal tasks, I keep a running to-do list on my phone of everything that needs to be done. Every night when I clock out from my day-job, I open up my to-do list and see how many tasks I can complete before dinner. The tasks can be as simple as: buy dad a birthday gift, vacuum the floor, edit YouTube video, meal-prep lunches … you get the point!
Take Care of Yourself: I would not be able to do any of the above things if I didn’t take care of myself first. This point is one of the most common-sense points I could make but is probably the one that people focus on the least. Maybe you already take care of yourself well enough and you don’t need to hear this again, but I learned this the hard way. When I was in high school and university I would eat junk food, leave no time for myself, and stay up all hours of the night.
What I have learned is that this is not sustainable long term. You might be able to do those things temporarily, but if you want to continue to win in life and be able to accomplish all the things in a day – you need to properly take care of yourself. Sleep at least eight hours a night, eat healthy meals, and move your body! I promise when you do those three things consistently, you won’t constantly feel burnt out and you might actually start enjoying each day again instead of feeling like you are just constantly going through the motions.