Life After Cancer, Organization

5 Steps to Get & Stay Organized

Today I am sharing 5 steps to get and stay organized. For as long as I can remember, I have been a Type-A uber organized person. It just came naturally to me. I was that annoying person in college who completed papers two weeks before the deadline just because procrastination stressed me out. My room was always clean and organized, I never forgot deadlines and my schedule was planned down to the minute. Things continued in this way until I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After chemotherapy, I slowly began to feel like my brain was turning to mush. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t remember details and I became easily distracted. Many survivors note a decline in cognitive functioning – commonly called chemo-brain. So now, like the majority of the population, I have to work at staying organized, remembering information and  accomplishing tasks in a reasonable timeframe.  I am having to relearn the behaviors that used to come natural  to me.

Today I am sharing the steps I followed to rebuild and maintain organization in my life.

1. Write it Down

Tips for organization: Pink, marble phone and laptop case

Let’s be honest, we all have way too much going on to remember everything all the time. Writing down your tasks, deadlines and reminders is essential for staying organized. There are so many different ways keep track of your notes – sticky notes, planners, apps and web-based tools. The important part is to find a method that works for you and stick with it. My favorite tool is evernote. Evernote allows me to create all kinds of notes, categorize them into notebooks and sync my notes with my phone so I have access to all the information on the go.

2. Create Schedules & Deadlines

Tips for organization: Pink, marble phone and laptop case

Once you have your notes, the next step it prioritizing your time. Take the most important tasks for the week and break them into small attainable items. From these items, set deadlines based on priority or outside factors (such as appointments). I set aside time each Sunday to review my priorities for the week and create my schedule and task list. It’s important for me to include my meal prep and exercise, because if I don’t, they won’t get done.

Start by identifying the high level goal, then break each goal down into smaller actions. The smaller actions then get broken into individual action items. Decomposed the goals into manageable action items helps make them less intimidating and more attainable. 

Planning and staying organized

3. Stick to your Task List

Tips for organization: Pink, marble phone and laptop case

When you have a million things to do, it’s easy to get sidetracked and find other seemingly more important things to do. Having that list of tasks written down will help you stay focused. Look at your task list often throughout the day to remind you of your focus and priorities. If something unexpected comes up, cut yourself some slack. We’re all human and you can get back to your organized hustle tomorrow.

4. Declutter

Tips for organization: Pink, marble phone and laptop case

Removing distractions will allow you to be more productive. Make time to decluttering your kitchen, your workspace and car. This will help you think clearly and stay on track wherever you are throughout the day. I am able to think clearer and work more productively when my space is clear and everything is in it’s place. Keep in mind that your living space is bound to build up clutter and disorganization over time so be sure to schedule times to regularly declutter and organize.

5. Eliminate Stress

Tips for organization: Pink, marble phone and laptop case

I had to save the best and most important step for last. This step also happens to be the hardest. The reality is that stress impacts all aspects of your life especially your ability to think clearly, and stay organized.  This is why it’s essential to schedule time for stress relief. It could be taking a few extra minutes in the morning to savor your coffee, building in time for a workout, or a skipping a non-essential errand so you can enjoy a long bath. The time spent caring for your body and mind will help improve productivity and strengthen your mental capacity. I continually remind myself, that the time spent on self-care is essential.

This post was sponsored by CaseApp

CaseApp offers customizable phone cases and laptop skins to fit your design preferences. I rely on my laptop and phone to help me stay organized on the go, so stylish covers are a must. The CaseApp website is so easy to use and offers hundreds of design choices.  I decided to go with a pink and marble style with with custom text for personalization. This look really fit my brand and personal aesthetic perfectly.

Tips for organization: Pink, marble phone and laptop case

My Cancer Chic followers can use the promo code CANCERCHIC20 for 20% off through March 17th at CaseApp.com. If you want to purchase this exact style, download the png text files I have provided below. Go to CaseApp.com select white marble and pink design and click”customize”. From there, upload the text files and arrange the position as you desire. For the phone case, I included the slanted text file and for the computer skin, I included two separate straight orientation text files. Once you have customized the design, click “save order” and the design will be added to your shopping cart. Keep in mind that the laptop skin is a decorate sticker only and not a protective cover like the phone case.

Download “Perfectly Imperfect” Text Files (zip).

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6 Comments

    Rach

    February 17, 2018Reply

    I couldn’t agree more Anna! Ever since my diagnosis, the chemo brain makes it so hard to focus and stay organized. I love your advice on how to stay organized and I would love to try evernote. I also love CaseApp! I have used them for my laptop skin and I am obsessed with it!

      Anna

      February 18, 2018Reply

      Isn’t it crazy how much our brains can change? It’s so frustrating. Definitely check out evernote! I think you’d find it super helpful for blog planning and social media hashtag organization.

    Melisande Balleste

    February 17, 2018Reply

    You and I are very similar. It toke awhile post treatment to get back to my organize self. Great blog post as always. By the way very fierce at the fashion show. ❤️

      Anna

      February 18, 2018Reply

      Thank you so much friend. It has really taken me time as well to get back in a organized groove.

    EJ

    February 26, 2018Reply

    Excellent article! I’m going to have to try this method of scheduling the things that promote my own health and well-being, like meal prep and exercise! I had to reread this twice because, chemo brain but plan to print and keep at my desk as a reminder! Thanks again for this immensely helpful post.

      Anna

      February 27, 2018Reply

      I completely understand! I am constantly printing and writing reminders for myself as well. Thank you so much for reading.

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