I’m a big to-do lister and calendar organizer. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to write down my priorities or tasks for the day. If I didn’t, I’d probably forget to brush my teeth in the morning.
In honor of New Year’s resolutions and the New Year itself, I figured I’d start the year off right with a big beautiful calendar full of Inspiralized recipe shots – made by Minted! Also, they’re giving away two lucky readers a $75 gift card to use at Minted.com!
I went with a calendar full of my own recipe shots to inspire me every day to keep improving on creativity and my photography. Plus, I think that pictures of food are beautiful. Food energizes, nourishes and keeps us alive!
Minted creates beautiful products – I’ve been dreaming of ordering their business cards, menu cards and party invitations. Everything they make they do with such care and elegance, they’re really a wonderful company.
Let’s look inside the calendar, shall we?
Each month has a seasonal Inspiralized dish to go along with it. For January, I featured my Inspiralized Bun (the picture is so cool!)
In the bottom right corner of each page, I included the name of the recipe, for fun, like with this Butternut Squash “Risotto”:
For the summer months, I went with my Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles with Chile Lime Shrimp.
This calendar is going right next to my desk in my apartment. So pretty.
In the spirit of organizing, here are some of my tips for staying organized:
Make a daily to-do list and keep it somewhere near (a desk, a purse, a bedside table). My list lives in a notebook by my computer on my desk. I only use that notebook for my to-do lists. By designating a notebook solely for your tasks, you’ll automatically feel more organized and peaceful knowing that you always know where to find your to-do list. Keep your list wherever you do your work, whether that’s your desk, your coat pocket or on your phone.
Spend time making and prioritizing a daily to-do list. Don’t just scribble down things you “want” to get done that day. First, write down the things you absolutely MUST get done at the top of your list. Then, beneath those tasks, write down the things you’d like or want to get done. When you see a to-do list prioritized, it’s easy to keep focused.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get everything done on your daily to-do list. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed when my list for the day is 20 tasks long. By simply prioritizing your “Top 3” major tasks for the day, you can feel accomplished if that’s all you get done, in case the day takes an unintended turn (emergencies, special occasions, weather, etc). Just make sure that those “Top 3” tasks are the most important.
Always start your day with your to-do list. When I first wake up, I sit at my desk with my coffee and I look over my to-do list. Sometimes, based on ideas I’ve had that previous night or that morning, I’ll adjust my list. I’ll shift some priorities around or schedule a task for another day. While I sit with my coffee and finalize the list, it instantly brings me peace-of-mind. Instantly, you’ll start scheduling out your day and know what needs to get done.
Always end your day with your to-do list. I usually try to cut myself off from major work around 7pm. Around 6:45pm, I take about 10-15 minutes to look at that day’s to-do list and figure out what I got done, what I didn’t get done, what should have gotten done and what I did that I could’ve saved for another day. By spending a few minutes “debriefing” with yourself, you’ll find your groove and help you stay more focused and organized moving forward. Most importantly, I always make a to-do list for the following morning/day. Without this, I feel too hectic the next morning trying to sort out what I need/want to get done. It only takes 10-15 minutes and it saves you a big headache!
Keep your tasks simple and straightforward. Making an overly detailed to-do list can do more harm than good. Seeing a lot of detail on a short list can be overwhelming. If you need to add details, they should be necessary ones. For example, if your task is “Remote Sales Meeting at 8am,” then your “detail” would simply be the number you need to use to dial-in. Use bullet points to keep the list organized. In general, to-do lists shouldn’t be cluttered with ideas and brainstorms. Save those for other lists.
Try Evernote. Evernote is an incredible organizational tool. Once you figure out how to use it to its potential, it’s a life saver. If you don’t like hand-written to-do lists, I suggest you look into Evernote. I use Evernote for my ideas and brainstorms. It keeps me focused and it’s available on your mobile device, so if I’m ever somewhere without my handy Mead notebook, I can go into Evernote and add in the thought.
Note: While Minted.com provided the calendar and giveaways for this post, all opinions are my own. All Minted links are affiliate links. Thanks for your support!