If you're still feeling unprepared for the year ahead, expert planner and bullet journal aficionado Nathalie Vamben, aka @urbanmissplanner26, reveals her top tips for getting organised for 2020.
1. Write it down - often life can become quite overwhelming, especially when you are managing several things at once such as work, studies, family life, running a business and your downtime. Combat overwhelm by listing the tasks you need to complete in chronological order. The use of logic can help diffuse negative emotions to ease your stress.
2. Compartmentalise your tasks - when feeling overwhelmed, we are overtaken by our emotions and are not thinking rationally. Grouping tasks under a heading or project can help you think systematically about what needs to be done from a practical point of view. Often it will reveal that you were stressing for no reason and you are on track, or if not, provide you with a clear list of things you need to accomplish to maintain your progress.
3. Schedule your time - as someone who has a strong avoidance game and can easily procrastinate, scheduling my projects and tasks keeps me focused and allows me to power through everything I need to get done. Use a calendar to make time management easier. Break each task down and allocate a time slot so you can stay on track to achieve tasks in the allotted time.
4. Embrace a pragmatic attitude – try to remember that life doesn't always go according to plan. Meetings, appointments, events and deadlines will inevitably change at some point in time. Embracing those changes is easier if you can erase them from your diary and make a new plan. I love Frixion pens for this as I can easily erase what I've written and re-write it to help keep your planner and your mind clutter-free.
5. Prioritising is key - these days we are all balancing several things in the air. A good 'brain dump' of all your tasks is helpful to create some space in your mind. That way, everything is out on paper. Then, in order to maximise your time and be efficient, prioritising is key. Assign tasks according to importance, ie 'now' and 'later'. 'Now' tasks are important because they have a ripple effect on life, for example, finishing an assessment to make sure you get good grades and get a good job. 'Later' can be those tasks that aren't so urgent, such as re-organising your kitchen cupboards. Remember though if you don't get everything done, don't be too hard on yourself!
Nathalie Vamben is a full-time professional working in health education compliance, a part-time student completing a master's degree in health management, looking after her family here in Australia and overseas in Mauritius, and an avid planner. When she's not working, studying or planning you'll find her exploring Sydney by hiking in the bush or along the coastline, dancing Rueda in Hyde Park, enjoying a meal around town with family and friends, or relaxing at home with a good movie. For more planning tips and inspiration, visit: urbanmissplanner26.
Frixion pens are available at Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Officeworks and independent stationery suppliers. For further information visit: www.pilotpen.com.au