10 little ways to get your life in order

Posted June 15

For worlds that are spiraling out of control. (Deseret Photo)

Unless you are fine with feeling that your entire life is slipping out from under you, keep reading. These little tips will help you get a handle on whatever is going on:

1. Lovely little lists

To get a handle on what you actually need to accomplish, fake a to-do list. For every task on your life, tack on 3-4 things that you’ve already done or will complete in the day. Want to vacuum out the car today? Be sure to cross off eating breakfast, checking your email, and scrolling Instagram. Having a mostly finished to-do list should inspire you to finish the whole thing before you call it a day.

2. Does it matter?

Learn what really matters in life. Is this something that will matter in 5 minutes? 5 hours? How about in 5 days? 5 years?

Choose to focus on the things that will make a significant difference in a few months or a few years instead of wasting time and energy on being upset about those things that you won’t remember in 10 minute’s time.

3. Eat this, not that

Make time to eat properly. Quit calling a candy bar or yogurt a meal and start eating to fuel your body. Sugar gives you a quick burst of energy, so instead choose to munch on foods that will keep you full and energized all day long. It’s time to be a grown up and actually eat meals instead of snacking through your busy work day.

4. Track your time

You know you spend a “few minutes” on social media throughout the day but you’ll never really know how much time you’re spending unless you track your time. Download an app to let you know how much time you are wasting on your phone. This one lets you put a limit on how many minutes you spend on your little screen and can help you stay under your goal.

5. Me o’clock

Despite your schedule, block out an hour for yourself. Don’t spend it doing favors for others, don’t use it to cross off your to-do list, and don’t use it for running errands. Sit down and beat your high score, take a nap, paint your toes or do whatever. Do not make excuses. If you are running around all day long, break up your hour into 20 minute segments and spread them out during your day.

If you are spending all day watching television to avoid problems, use your 1 hour a day to waste your time totally guilt-free and spend the other 23 doing something to change your situation.

6. Get quoting

Keep a quote book to help you look for some purpose in your day. It’s beyond simple to let phrases that could impact your life slip by, but by writing them all down, you’ll pay better attention to the world around you. Listen a bit better when people offer advice, read more and give yourself the chance to live outside of your own life for a minute. Jotting down quotes that you find helpful or inspiring will help you put it all into perspective.

7. Organization station

Getting organized shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s a huge task, but one that can be completed if it’s broken down into tiny, bite sized pieces. Don’t think you can manage to neatly box up every item in the garage in a single afternoon. Start small; go through the box sitting in the back of your closet. Don’t spend more than an hour and half (or however much time you can budget out for a single task). Buy bins to put things into, toss anything you haven’t used in a year and go crazy with a label maker. Feeling like everything has a place will do wonders for your outlook on life.

8. Sleep more

Get enough sleep, drink enough water and take care of yourself. There’s no use taking on more responsibilities to working towards a new job if you aren’t physically and mentally up for the task.

Get a water bottle and chart out how much you should drink per hour, turn off all electronics an hour before bed and get some decent sleep. You’ll be ready for what life can throw at you if you are well rested and healthy.

9. Get a budget

Start saving, start paying off debt and start cutting out unnecessary expenses in your life. Getting your expenses in order will help streamline your spending and help get your financial life in order. Put someone else in charge of your accounts if you can’t resist the urge to purchase things you do not need. Get out of debt and get control of your life; you’ll realize how much stress and worry your money caused you the minute you don’t have to worry about it.

10. Find an outlet

There are aspects of your life that are out of your control, which gives you all the more reason to find ways you can have control.

Finding an outlet for your stress and ways to focus your energy will help you let go of things you cannot change. Sign up for a class that works with your schedule, block out a half an hour each morning to watercolor, decide to run on your lunch break or vow to cook something out of your dusty cookbook once a week. Finding an outlet for your stress will help you feel more in control and ready to take on what life has planned for you.

Emily is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is a staunch believer in pie as breakfast food. Read more about her travels and tastings at


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