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How to Organize Your Life for Success

Jan 18, 2022

Of course, at the beginning of each year is a great time to look objectively at your life and look for ways to improve. This doesn't mean discounting all the work you have already accomplished, but self-improvement is energizing and inspirational. So, you don't have to wait for the beginning of the year to make changes. You can put your life on a new path to success at any time of the year or on any day. 

The goals you have for your life are attainable - just not usually in one step. It takes many steps to achieve any worthy goal, and organizing your life is just the beginning. It's challenging, but it is possible to have and maintain an organized life. 

Related: How to Be More Confident in 2022

10 Principles to Organize Your Life for Success

Here are eight basic principles to organize your life to achieve success. This isn't an exhaustive list, and it doesn't cover particular areas of your life. These principles may be applied anywhere you need them or broadly over your whole life. 

1 Develop Good Habits

The things you habitually do become your routines and shape your life positively or negatively. This happens whether or not you're being intentional about it. Good habits build strength and discipline, while bad habits work against everything you want to accomplish. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that over time we become our habits

There is also a psychological factor. When you're engaged in good habits, you feel happier and more positive about your life's trajectory. This motivates you to make better decisions and form even better habits. 

To create good habits:

  • Start small and build with consistency.
  • Make a plan and commit to it.
  • Focus on forming just one habit at a time
  • Attach your new habit to an old one.
  • Get support from friends and family.
  • Celebrate the small wins.
  • Try to build a whole routine - a string of good habits.
  • Forget self-judgment. Choose self-compassion instead

2 Embrace Your Natural Inclinations

When you're trying to organize your life, it's easy to look at what other people are doing and emulate that. Being a part of the '5 am Club' is great if you're a morning person, but if your nature is to be a night owl, then pledging to wake super early may not work for you. 

When you look for productivity systems, adapt ones that suit you. And as you live, lean into your natural way of being. 

  • If you don't enjoy reading, listen to podcasts.
  • If you don't like cleaning, have a cleaner come in once a week.
  • If you hate working out, join a sports team for exercise. 

Aim to form habits that work with your nature and not against it. Be honest about what you can accomplish and create a vision for your life that makes the most of your strengths. Take time to think about what you really want, and know the difference between your desires and other people's expectations. 

Are you a physician who needs a wellness professional to help you organize your life? We're here for you. Contact Deanna Larson MD for more information.


3 Prioritize

It is easy to major on the minor things and neglect what's truly important to you with all of life's demands. But for success, you need to figure out what's most important to you and say no to everything else. This means taking time to evaluate your life and your values and committing to what's most precious. You will gain clarity and purpose and have the benefit of living a life that reflects your priorities.

You might also consider writing a personal mission statement. Such a statement will outline your life's purpose and the direction you would like to go. It can help in decision-making, motivate and inspire you, and bring clarity to define goals.

Related: How to Overcome Failures for a Fresh Start

4 Become a Planner

Yes, life is full of unpredictable situations, but being a planner is still a must if you want to organize your life for success. Use whatever tools work for you, paper planner, online planner, software, or any other methods you like. Set aside the time to plan out your day, weeks, and even years. Populate the dates with any work assignment due dates, appointments, meetings, and parent-teacher conferences. When you schedule items that you must do, add deadlines. You'll instantly feel better knowing what's coming and how you can prepare.  

Don't forget to:

  • Dedicate an hour or so just for planning - weekends or Friday evenings are perfect for this. 
  • Schedule in everything, even the small things. 
  • Overestimate how long things may take.
  • Time blocking is more effective for your daily planning than jumping from one task to another. This will help you be focused and get more done. 

5 Be Consistent

It's easy to begin something new and exciting but much harder to stay with it. But staying with things is the only way to reap the full benefit. One of the challenges of being consistent is setting unrealistic goals. When you eventually can't keep up with your lofty target, you tend to give up entirely. 

Incremental progress can powerfully change your life. So, choose small steps toward your goals. It may not feel like you're accomplishing anything at first, but taking smaller steps mean you can be consistent.  

6 Simplify and Declutter

When the spaces around you, your office, and your home are messy and cluttered, it is difficult to think clearly. So, make keeping your spaces tidy and clutter-free a priority. Make clean spaces in your physical, mental, and even digital lives. 

Having too much 'stuff' around you can pressure you by adding to your list of things to do and think about. 

Research methods of decluttering and find one that works for you.  

7 Do it Automatically

What are you doing manually that you could be doing automatically? You can organize your life by automating some of your repetitive tasks, so they don't take up your precious time or energy. 

Think about what you do that an app, software, or even another person can do for you. 

Here are a few ideas for things you don't have to handle yourself:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Cooking and meal prep
  • Furniture assembly
  • Bill paying
  • Sending emails
  • Booking, making reservations, etc. 

8 Find Balance

Work-life balance feels like a myth to most people. Working toward your work or career goals can dominate your life, creating an imbalance that can rob you of happiness. Instead of spending time with your family or taking care of yourself, you focus on your career. 

While focusing solely on your career may work in the short term, it will eventually lead to stress, depression, and burn-out

Here are a few ways to find or maintain balance in your life:

  • Avoid too much time at work.
  • Remember the benefits of meditation, journaling, etc.
  • Move your body for physical and mental health.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Spend time with people you love.
  • Take time off from work.

Related: What Should I do With My Life: How to Find Purpose?

Last Word

Organizing your life isn't just about waking up an hour earlier or implementing a new filing system. It's about the principles guiding you and providing structure for your life. Apply the above tips to create a happier, more fulfilled life and career.  

If you’re a physician who is trying to rebuild your life or career in the midst of stress and burnout, we can help. Our life coaching is especially for physicians and we will assist you in finding joy and fulfillment again. Contact Deanna Larson MD to learn more. 

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