Build your system

1. Implement healthy habits into your routine

Habits determine our actions. We inertia commit these actions, even if they do not bring benefits. Think about what you are used to doing.

Good Habits Bad habits
Sleep 8 hours Sleep 5 hours
Read before bed for an hour Spend the whole evening on TV shows and social networks
Prepare food for the future on Sunday Eat fast food regularly
Make time to connect with loved ones Isolate yourself from communication
Set a boundary between work and the rest of your life Work to burnout

Analyze which of these actions are beneficial, which ones to give up, and which habits to establish in order to move towards your goals. To reinforce a new habit, be clear about why you need it. This will make it easier to stick to it.

Then make a daily routine based on them. For example, in the morning do exercises to be in good shape. Don’t look at your phone a couple of hours before bed to help you sleep better.

On weekends, be sure to find time to communicate with loved ones or hobbies in order to recharge with positive emotions. It all depends on your needs. The main thing is that with such a schedule it is easier to overcome lack of motivation, laziness and unnecessary distractions.

2. Plan

Life is unpredictable, of course, but a little planning never hurts. With it, you will streamline your affairs and save yourself from unnecessary worries. To do this, you will need a calendar and any task manager.

Set aside time to schedule tasks for the day and week and put them on your calendar. Let’s say you need to give a presentation in a few days. You marked it on your calendar. Now calculate what needs to be done in the remaining time, and write down the steps in the task manager. He will remind you of them when needed.

Here are some more helpful tips:

  • Put small things like laundry and cleaning on the list, otherwise they will grow like a snowball.
  • Set aside an hour to plan for the coming week. For example, Friday night or Monday morning.
  • Set aside more time for tasks. We usually feel like we can get through everything quickly, and this often leads to overlaps.
  • Don’t try to cram as much into the calendar as possible. Remember that the point is not to be constantly busy, but to live a stress-free life.

3. Consider your inclinations

Make sure that the organization of life and habits does not turn into violence against yourself. “I have to get up every day at five in the morning”, “I have to go vegan”, “I won’t watch movies anymore” – this is very difficult to stick to if you are an owl who works best around midnight, you can’t live without a good steak and movies help you relax. Be realistic and consider your inclinations.

This will come in handy in all areas. For example:

  • Hate ironing – buy things from wrinkle-resistant materials.
  • If you don’t like going to the gym, try team sports.
  • If you don’t enjoy reading, listen to educational podcasts or watch documentaries.

This will save you the time and effort that would have been spent forcing yourself to do something you hate.

4. Strive for regularity, not perfection

We often overestimate our expectations on an all-or-nothing basis. And without justifying them, we completely abandon what we started. To prevent this from happening again, remind yourself of the benefits of gradual progress. It is better to constantly do something and develop little by little than to do nothing because of the fear of not achieving the ideal. The first step to this is to make realistic plans that fit into your life. For example:

realistic plans Unrealistic plans
Train three times a week Train every day
Watch TV series no more than five hours a week Stop watching series
Eating out at most once a week Never eat in a cafe
Set aside 30% of income Save 80% of income
Walk with children in the park three times a week Take a walk with the kids in the park every day

Unrealistic plans inevitably lead to disappointment and shame that nothing works out. So aim for incremental progress and realistic goals.

5. Seek balance

It is the balance that suffers when we strive to redo everything. For example, instead of going to bed, we stay up at work. Instead of unwinding, we are preparing for the exam all weekend. This is reasonable in the short term, but if you continue like this, then there will be negative consequences: stress, burnout, apathy. Try to think about stability in the long run.

  • Don’t wear yourself out by constantly staying late at work.
  • Don’t neglect physical activity. It is good for both health and mood.
  • Try meditating, journaling, or developing a sense of gratitude.
  • Chat with family and friends.
  • Spend time alone with yourself.
  • Try to get enough sleep.

Take a few breaks throughout the day to just breathe and relax, and don’t forget about the holidays. Take a break from work at least a couple of times a year. Such recharging will help you feel better and be more effective in all areas.

6. Prioritize

To find time for what is important, you need to say no to something else. Think about what matters most to you. After that, it will be easier to structure the day. For example:

priority unimportant
What brings you closer to the goal Something that distracts from goals
Everything is in your “zone of genius” (the sphere of talents and skills) Everything that can be delegated
What makes you happy What upsets you or you don’t care
Tasks of high importance Tasks of low importance
Opportunities for growth and learning Opportunities you’ve already experienced

7. Get rid of unnecessary things and simplify processes

Clutter in life is often associated with too many things, deeds and thoughts. Therefore, when organizing it, remember: less is more.

1. Clean up the physical space:

  • Sort through clothes regularly and get rid of unnecessary ones. For more simplicity, go for a capsule wardrobe.
  • Clean up your work area so that nothing distracts you.
  • Reduce the amount of things in the house. What you no longer use, sell, donate to charity or recycle.

2. Clean up your digital space:

  • Review your calendar regularly and skip unimportant events.
  • Tidy up the task manager: archive what you have done, delete what you have changed your mind about doing.
  • Tidy up your computer desktop and keep it clean.

3. Clear your mental space:

  • Write down important ideas and thoughts so you don’t keep them in your head.
  • Do not put off difficult conversations so as not to become isolated in resentment and discontent.
  • When you are nervous or obsessed with some thoughts, meditate or go for a walk.

8. Track progress

This way you can see what works and what doesn’t. You can devote more time to what helps you move towards your goals, and get rid of what does not bring results. Here are some approaches:

  • Weekly revision. Evaluate the past week and your progress, remove everything unnecessary from the list of tasks.
  • The system of goals and key results (Objectives and Key Results, or OKR). It helps to specifically formulate any goals and monitor their implementation.

9. Automate things

Habits automate decision making, and technology can automate repetitive tasks. This will save you time and effort.

Think about the repetitive tasks you have that an app, website, or device could do for you. For example:

  • Personal finance: bill payments, recurring payments, investments.
  • Job: Sending letters.
  • House: cleaning the floor with a robot vacuum cleaner.

10. Experiment

Organization does not cancel spontaneity and does not mean that you need to abandon everything new. Sometimes things stop working or you just get bored. This is the perfect time to shake things up and experiment. For example:

  • Look for new projects (or a new job).
  • Try a new workout or sport.
  • Find a new hobby.
  • Meet new people.
  • Try a new productivity method.

Experiments will add color to life and help you break out of periods of stagnation.

Apply this system of rules to different areas of life

Work

one. Get rid of excess. When the desk is littered with papers and coffee cups, it’s harder to focus. When there is a mess in the mail and task manager, it is not clear what business to do next. To prevent this from happening, regularly leave time for cleaning:

  • Before leaving, remove everything superfluous from the table, close unnecessary tabs and programs on the computer. Then the next day you start with a clean slate.
  • Allocate several periods of time in which you will parse the mail.
  • At the end of the day, take 10 minutes to make a to-do list for tomorrow. This way you will know exactly what to do in the morning.

2. Don’t forget about deep work. Too often we get caught up in the trap of urgent matters that leave no time for serious focused activity. But it is she who helps to move towards the goal. Set aside a few hours for in-depth work on the most important tasks, and then calmly focus on other things.

3. Try to balance work and personal goals. Even if you love what you do and want to level up in your profession, you still need rest to prevent burnout:

  • Leave work on time, stay late only in case of emergency.
  • On the weekends, disconnect from work tasks and spend time with loved ones.
  • After work, try not to respond to messages from colleagues and do not look into work chats.
  • Be sure to take a vacation several times a year.

House

one. Create a routine of good habits. For example:

  • Make your bed as soon as you get up.
  • In the evening, wash all the dishes so that they do not remain in the sink until the next day.
  • Put everything away after use.
  • Do a big cleaning once a month.

For recurring events, use the task manager or calendar. Set reminders for household chores that need to be done every day, week, month, and so on.

2. Get rid of unnecessary things. Regularly review the food in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. Use the soon-to-be-expired ones first, and discard the bad ones. Give away clothes, gadgets, dishes, books, and children’s toys that you no longer use.

Health and sports

one. Make health your priority. Do not abandon training and proper nutrition when you have a lot of work and worries. Physical activity and healthy food will make you more alert and happier in the long run.

Set aside a few hours on weekends to prepare healthy meals for the week ahead of time. Put workouts on your calendar and think of them as important appointments with yourself that cannot be canceled.

2. Consider your inclinations. Do not force yourself to blindly follow the rules of a fashionable diet or training system, listen to your body. Surely there are healthy meals and exercises that will bring you pleasure, not suffering. So find your own approach. For example:

  • If you don’t like working out in the gym, try walking. This way you will be moving and enjoying the fresh air at the same time.
  • Don’t force yourself to eat tasteless diet food, look for healthy and tasty alternatives to your favorite foods.
  • If you can’t work out in the morning, add short bursts of physical activity during the day.

3. Don’t strive for perfection. Try to follow the 80/20 rule in your diet. Eat healthy food 80% of the time, and the other 20% something tasty but not entirely healthy. When you train, don’t always try to do your best and train every day. Let’s get some rest. For example:

  • Monday – strength training, 60 minutes.
  • Tuesday – run, 45 minutes.
  • Wednesday is rest.
  • Thursday – yoga, 60 minutes.
  • Friday is rest.
  • Saturday – walking tour, 2 hours.
  • Sunday is rest.

four. Set goals and track progress towards them. This will help keep you motivated. For example, keep a workout diary, wear a fitness bracelet, write down personal records.

Finance

one. Start budgeting for the month. Subtract recurring expenses and debt repayments from your income, and leave some for unforeseen expenses and savings. Use the apps so you don’t forget anything and always know your financial situation. Review your budget regularly to make sure you stay within it and make adjustments as needed.

2. Set aside some amount every month. It can go to a reserve fund or to a specific financial goal. Even if you can save quite a bit, the figure will still gradually increase.

3. Set financial goals. For example, for a month, a year or five years. Let them be specific, for example, cut spending on entertainment by 10% or save 100,000 rubles a year. Monitor your progress towards your goal and adjust course if necessary.

four. Automate processes. Let the application transfer funds to a savings account and automatically pay utility bills. You will save yourself from delays and unnecessary worries.

Relations

one. Set aside time to plan your leisure time together. The older we get, the more things to do and the less free time we have for spontaneous gatherings. So schedule meetings with important people for you, and do not wait for the opportunity to turn up:

  • Make it your responsibility to set up the meeting and clarify all the details to make the process easier for others.
  • Agree with your partner to regularly go on dates and add them to the calendar.
  • Sign up for our local events mailing list so you always have options for where to go.
  • Before leaving after the meeting, agree on a time and place for the next meeting.

How to make planning easier:

  • Consider the eating habits of other people (perhaps someone is allergic to a certain product, and someone does not eat meat).
  • Offer multiple date and time options.
  • When you have chosen a place, write the exact address and parking information.
  • If you want to get together in a big company, create a separate chat in the messenger for discussions.
  • Choose places suitable for children if one of your friends cannot leave the child at home.

2. Try to arrange meetings with loved ones regularly so that they do not begin with the phrase “We haven’t seen each other for a hundred years.”

Rethink the format of interaction. Instead of long dinners that are hard to find time for, try to incorporate socializing into your daily routine: doing small things together, going to workouts, cooking, watching movies at home.

If you and your friends are far apart, make video calls or phone calls. This is more like live communication than just messaging, and will strengthen relationships more strongly.

And remember, organization is not about rigidly following a routine. Just follow the 10 described rules. Build your life on their basis so that it becomes more calm and fulfilling.