November 1, 2017

If we are all honest with ourselves — even those of us who deem ourselves “more organized” than most — there are always days that feel like we can barely keep it all together.

These moments weigh especially heavy on us when it comes to planning a wedding since most couples and families are often juggling the rest of life amidst a job, career, family, school, travel, etc. The list goes on. Sound familiar?

Trust me, we spend a lot of time talking with our sweet brides, grooms, and parents about how crazy it seems to stay organized in all the pieces of “normal” life let alone your celebration planning. 

So we write this with all of you in mind who, like us, are seeking ways to continue to get more organized, yet live balanced during this special, yet overwhelming season! Here are our top three favorite tips we couldn’t live without:

1) Post your value filters.

Before you even start plucking away at all the things that “need” to be done or feel “urgent” today, allow yourself a few minutes to write down your top two to five lifestyle values for this season. It might be how you want to spend your time as a whole. It might be who you want to spend most of that time with. It might be what it is you want to become in character, career or person over the next few months or years. It could be a name, a word, a phrase. All the same, write them down and post the list where you can see it often.

After listing those top values, filter the nitty gritty details through these at all costs! Let those values and priorities in this season define the top THREE (yes, just three) tasks that you absolutely have to get done today. Then let the rest stay in an ongoing “to-do” list that you can consistently choose from based on what truly has to get done each day. If you aren’t sure which things have to be done and when, ask an expert or professional. There are plenty of resources out there to make your life easier and save you time and money!

That being said, you CAN afford a few minutes, my friends! In the end, a few minutes spent on what’s most important will help the rest fall right into place. It’s not always natural for us, but this will bring more purpose, intentionality and even a healthy productivity to your days! Trust me, we organize for a living, and it all really does get done when you’re intentional about the way you want to live!

2) Time block.

This may not be the first time you have heard of the concept of “time blocking” before. It’s one of the oldies but goodies that has changed the way we organize each day, and it really can be as simple as it sounds with a bit of practice and intention. To time block, take a few minutes at the end of each day (or whenever might best work for you) to break down the next day into sections or “blocks” of time for your top three non-negotiable tasks (at least to start with).

This isn’t necessarily a place for your ongoing to-do list, rather this is each day’s breakdown of only the top priorities of that day and the time frame you realistically allot for them. There certainly can be room for flux if needed, but more often this should help create a rhythm and routine for your day that’s already set in place the day before to keep you on task and cut you off when it’s time to move to something else. If you need a longer span of time, simply adjust accordingly as necessary, otherwise set reminders or alarms that will keep you moving with intentionality on only those tasks for which you have set aside a certain amount of time for. Stick to that time frame as best you can! It will become easier as you practice this, and you’ll have stayed more organized and productive than you ever have before!

*Side note: We suggest setting aside small blocks of time throughout your day to take breaks, walk, eat, or simply allow yourself to be flexible as other possibly unexpected items arise (…that hopefully align with your value filters!).

3) Find your tools.

Now last but not least, you’ve got to find the right tools to track the details and make them happen. It might be a wall calendar, a hand-held paper planner, your favorite Etsy task list template, or an an app on your phone. Take advantage of all that’s out there and what fits you best!

Try a method for two to three weeks, and if it isn’t working well for you, try something else until you find what fits your personality, style and schedule best! Whatever you choose, it should be a tool that helps you keep track of your days, ongoing to-do list, appointments, payments, documents, reminders and notes. The simpler the better, so the more you can keep these items in just one or two places, the less overwhelming these things will be and the more they will work for you!

Some of our favorites include The Simplified Planner, Some Kind of Wonderful Wedding Planner by BHLDN, Joyful Wedding Planner by Southern Weddings on BHLDN, Trello, the iOS Calendar App, the iOS Notes App, and Google Drive

We hope these three tips will inspire you to make small changes that will affect your life and planning season in big ways! Let us know what you think!