You are currently talking to (or reading from) a former hot mess. My brain was a giant house of scattered thoughts and wishful thinking. That’s why I got my start in photography. All you need is a “good eye” to work in photography and the ability to pencil name’s in to a calendar. I used to not have much faith in myself when it came to organization. Keeping myself and my family organized was something I categorized as a weakness. Then life forced me to get organized with a work-from-home blog and 2 kids to homeschool. Now I’m hear to pass on my wisdom about how to get organized when you’re a hot mess.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission on anything I recommend but all opinions are mine.
Classic hot mess
If you are as big of a hot mess as I once was, there is a big likely hood that you are unorganized in more than one area of your life. Chances are you:
- Beat yourself up for not being more organized
- You focus on your failures
- You worry so much you don’t actually accomplish the things you stress about
- When it’s time for bed you beat yourself up again for having accomplished nothing
First of all, it’s so important to better understand yourself and why you stress the way that you do. We all have ingrained beliefs that we carry around that often cause us to fall into these self-sabotaging habits. Check out The Coaching Kit to get more help on how to better understand and process yours.
Understanding our habits (both good and bad is key to helping us succeed in the areas of life that we want to make progress in.
The Zorro Circle
Instead of cutting yourself down all day or just sitting on the couch wishing you were more organized, why not pick just one single area to start in? One thing you can do each day. You don’t even have to be successful at it right away, just as long as you’re doing something about it.
Need a little help getting started? Why not let someone else do the organizing for you! Abby Lawson has a beautifully organized planner that can literally transform your life.
Focus on strengths
Now don’t immediately jump into this thing trying to tackle the places in life that you are the absolute worst at. I know you want to improve there, but chances are you are going to end up disappointed.
Why not start with your strengths? What areas in life are you already good at? Where are you already kind of organized? If you are not sure where your strengths are, I recommend completing The Coaching Kit or purchasing the book Strengths Finder 2.0!
Do you love cooking but aren’t making the time?
When you make it to the gym do you actually like one area of exercise more than the rest?
Are you awesome with schedules and managing your family’s schedule as well?
Whatever your particular strength might be, I would encourage you to focus on it and then find a way to grow in it.
Locate your weaknesses
Now that you know your strength, what is your weakness?
What I mean is what is holding you back from being awesome at your strength? Is there a part of this area of your life that you sit around wishing you were better at?
If so, consider getting help in this area! There is no shame in delegating the tasks that lie outside of our Zone of Genius.
Find solutions when you’re not “in the zone”
Do you love to cook, but you just can’t manage to meal plan? If that’s the case, why not let someone else take over for you? The $5 Meal Plan was organized by a busy mother of 4 to help you plan affordable, healthy meals for your kids!
When you leave the gym do you feel awesome but figuring out what workouts to do seems overwhelming? Try downloading an app, like the SWEAT app that has pre-planned workouts already done for you!
You manage calendars and paperwork like a boss, but are not so great at keeping things digitally organized, consider asking a spouse to lend a hand!
Whatever it is, think of what is holding you back from being even better at your natural talents and stop spending so much time focusing on them!
Make one goal a day
Now that you have an idea of where you can improve, make one single goal for each day. Here are some super tiny hot mess goal ideas:
- Throw dinner in the crockpot
- Designate a new place for papers from school/work
- Move for 30 minutes, even if it’s just a walk
- Add your spending into a budget app
- Drink at least 3 glasses of water
- Limit it to one dessert per day
- Only watch one episode per day of a binge-worthy show
- Read for 10 minutes
- Take 20 minutes to yourself
Whatever it is, wherever you’re struggling, make a small, tangible goal to help you take steps in the right direction.
Wake up earlier
Organized people get their butts outta bed whether they want to or not. When I struggled to stay on top of blogging while homeschooling, I decided I would just have to make more time in my day.
I set an alarm.
I work from home, my kids don’t need to make it to a bus on time and I set an alarm. Some days it’s not easy but I never regret it.
My kids are currently sound asleep as I write this blog post in bed (while yawning.) But, I’m here, I’m showing up and I’m making my day less hectic by taking full advantage of all the time I have available.
I’m not saying you need to wake up with the sun. Maybe even 8 am is a struggle. So why not make that a new goal? I know people who struggle to get out of bed at 11. There is no magic time, you just have to find what works for you.
Start small, set an alarm (even if it’s just 30 minutes out of your comfort zone.)
Fake it til you make it
It is amazing how pretending like you’re organized can actually start to trick your brain into actually thinking that you are. Get up, play the part, fill in your planner for the day, and pretend you are the most together person you’ve ever met. No more hot mess mindset for you!
How to fake being organized:
- Wear clothes that make you feel awesome (check out my minimalist uniform)
- Put events in your calendar as soon as you’re told about them
- Give people a direct yes or no answer to a question
- Put down your phone
- Avoid the couch
- Try Power Posing
Whatever it takes for you to play the part of an organized person, start doing it. I’m a strong believer in looking the part of the person you want to be and that will look different for everyone.
Don’t stress about the rest
Don’t think I forgot about all those other unorganized areas of your life because it will only cause you stress and may even cause you to fall into the self-sabotaging habit of procrastination. Learn more about your own forms of self-sabatoge.
I know it’s tempting to get organized in every area of life and have it all together right away. The truth is, if you’re a true hot mess, trying to get it together in all areas right away is just going to leave you in a big pile of failure at the end of the day.
So when I say start small, I mean start small. Pick one thing and stick with it. Let the other worries wait. Staying focused one goal at the time is the most organized way to be successful!
Stay consistent for 30 days
Now that you’ve got your tiny goals in place, it’s time to stick with it for at least 30 days. Don’t start doubting yourself. You can do this. This is why we picked small goals instead of big ones!
Add to your goal or begin working on a new one
Once you have been successful in your hot mess small goals for at least 30 days, get ready to add to it. Maybe you already have without even noticing?
Because you started exercising for 30 minutes, you started drinking more water.
When you woke up 30 minutes earlier, you threw dinner in the crockpot.
Whatever the goal, whatever the steps you took, now is the time to add to it. Take a moment to be proud of yourself for making it this far and being this much more organized in your life. Keep that momentum going!