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How to stay organised when you feel like you don't have enough time

How to stay organised when you feel like you don't have enough time
  • Lack of time is a common reason for not getting organised, but there is a way forward
  • Using a hierarchy of importance is a great way to prioritise your to do list
  • These tips can help you get organised and avoid the feeling of overwhelm

It's the end of the week, and you're exhausted. It feels like you've hardly had time to stop, yet you still feel like you haven't even made a dent in the list of things you need to get done.

This feeling of overwhelm is caused by trying to do everything and be everything to everyone, and because you're holding yourself to such impossibly high standards, you constantly feel like you're disorganised and achieving nothing.

Being organised is not about trying to do everything - that's just a recipe for stress and burnout - it's about knowing what matters and learning to ignore the rest

So, in this post, we will share our top tips on staying organised when you feel like you don't have enough time.

Write A List

Whether you use a pen and piece of paper, a physical diary, or a digital to-do list app on your phone, having a list of the things you need and want to get done helps you stay focused and on track.

There's a caveat with this, though. One of the biggest traps people fall into when it comes to to-do lists is that they just start writing everything that comes into their heads.

Doing this is a recipe for disaster because, with only so many hours in the day, a massive, never-ending to-do list looking back at you at the end of the day allows you to focus on everything you haven't done.

So, instead, you should create two lists:

  • Your master to-do list
  • Your daily to-do list

Your master list is a running list you keep adding to of things you need to get done and things you'd like to get around to.

You should organise your master to-do list according to the level of priority. So, for example, something like "set up a Direct Debit for rent" or "parent's evening" are priorities that need to be on your calendar with deadlines.

Something like "tidy the bookshelf" or "buy new cushion covers" are things you still want to get done and ticked off your list, but it's not the end of the world if you don't get around to these tasks until tomorrow or next week.

Your daily to-do list is one you add to and update each day, but should ideally only have three to five things on there - though, three is better.

Again, these should follow a hierarchy of importance: urgent, high priority, medium priority, and low priority, and then focus on the urgent task before moving on.

Doing it this way allows you to see what you need to focus on, and when you've ticked them off at the end of the day, you'll feel much better knowing that you've accomplished the things you need to do.

Schedule Time For Tasks

Use a calendar to schedule time for tasks on your to-do list and allocate a block of time for each so that you always know what you should focus on.

For example, if you have a big work project that needs to be finished by Friday and you have various tasks needed to complete that project, then instead of just looking at the project as a whole and cramming as much into the day as possible, block out all of Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon as “project time”, then using your daily to-do list, add the tasks for Wednesday and Thursday that need doing to finish that project.


Delegating is one of the best ways to stay organised when you don't have enough time.

However, delegating can be a struggle for many people - especially when you're used to doing things a certain way and want to make sure it's done right, but let's be honest, there's only so much you can do in one day, so if you want to feel less stressed and more in control of your time, then delegating effectively is a worthwhile skill to learn.

First, decide which tasks should be delegated. If something is low priority or can wait until later, consider delegating it so that you can focus on other higher-priority tasks. Or if it's something that's not necessarily within your skillset or interests, then these are the perfect tasks to delegate.

Busy people often outsource household tasks, effectively delegating them to a professional that can make sure they’re done to a high standard. For example laundry, gardening and house cleaning services all exist to make life easier and give you back more time.

Let Go Of Things That Don't Matter

There's a saying that often does the rounds on social media to the effect of "we all have the same 24 hours as Oprah."

Although technically speaking, everyone has the same 24 hours, not everyone has the same resources to use those hours in the same way.

Sayings like this aren't necessarily helpful and can leave you feeling bad about everything you're supposed to achieve each day, but that is just not realistic for most of the population.

Decluttering your time by removing all those things from your to-do list that just don't matter is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

It can be hard to know where to start with this, but the truth is, if something has been on your list for a long time or just doesn't fill you with excitement and isn't an essential thing you need to do, it's probably time to let it go.

The feeling of overwhelm is caused by trying to do everything and be everything to everyone.

There are many ways to stay organised; the key is finding what works for you. Try implementing these simple techniques if you're overwhelmed by clutter or chaos in your home or office space.


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