Organize Your Life: The Amela Method

Over the years my schedule kept piling with endless errands, appointments, classes, date nights, family nights, meetings, activities and trying to fit in some time to see friends.

I was stressed out to the max and thought of every way possible to organize my life efficiently and effectively. Nothing worked.
After endless stress, I thought it through and remembered that I was busy like this once before in High School. 

During my Junior and Senior year of High School I was involved in many activities but I had managed to fit everything into my schedule in tranquility. However things were different now, much more different....

After long stressful days, weeks and months of trying to figure out a way to organize my life.
My husband and I were on the verge of divorce because we rarely saw each other.
My mom and I constantly argued since I kept canceling too many of our traditional Mother & Daughter Sundays. 
So... after crying myself to sleep, hating myself for not getting errands done on time and questioning whether I was happy with the way my life was going. I kept wondering how the hell am I going to get things done without growing any more white hairs. I literally had developed an entire strand of highlight type white hairs on my head, so much for being a twenty-something. I had finally figured it out.

Finally I was hopeless and had to accept that this was all part of adulthood.
Then I realized that acceptance is one of the many steps to a successful life.
Accepting failures, mistakes and being straight forward about your flaws is the first process to success.... in ANYTHING in life!

Here's the result of loathing myself and thinking that I was a failure: 
I had created lists, but not just any silly lists, I had created specific lists that I knew would be useful for and flexible with Everything! Everyday! 

I started off with my old check-list from High School except instead of writing it on my mirror with lipstick, I typed it up in my REMINDERS App on my iPhone.
What is My Check-List for my daily routine?

My Daily Check List aka My D.C.L.

Then I had created a List of Errands, Appointments, Meetings, etc... for the day and another one for the week. Before we get started, I would like to ensure you that I know it's effective and efficient because I've been using it for four years now. I've been very successful with it. In fact this year I became a professional organization guru, and mastered the art in time, goal and life management. I have finally created an equilibrium for life, work & school:

Here's What It Looks Like:

List of Appointments:

As you can see in the picture on my desk I have a board that I specifically use for appointments.
I don't like to clutter my desk because after reading a great Feng Shui book (don't remember the title but I can find out if you'd like) I found out that clutter brings negative energy and stress into your life which makes sense. So I try to keep things on my desk that I (1) use everyday (2) will use right away and recycle 

Note: Notice in my photo how I have three categories? +Work +College +Etc...
The work and college categories are self explanatory: work is anything work or internship or volunteer related, college is anything that has to do with my college or CUNY in terms of appointments.
Etc is for my husband's errands or things that I have in mind but don't have time for just yet and want to make time for ASAP. 

I also keep my appointments in my agenda and Errand's Check-List which are listed below....

My List of Errands
First I create categories and then I create bullet points of each errand, if an errand needs more detail then I create another bullet-point, in the photo is an example, it is blurred to respect my privacy. 

I keep a copy of this on my bulletin board and when something is completed I put a check next to it with a little side note if necessary/applicable.

My Planner
I've been using a planner since Junior High School, it is the best book you will ever buy! 
My planner is much more advanced than many of the people I have met.
Friends, family, professors and managers always ask me what my method is.

Here it is:
Make sure your planner has a Monthly Calendar Section for the Current Year and Next Year
Also make sure that it has a full timed schedule agenda for the almost entire day, 7 days a week.
My agenda begins at 7 am and ends at 8pm in which case, if I have nothing to do at 8, then I just write a 9 over the 8 with a dark red sharpie pen.

The way I keep track of appointments and daily events/appointments such as classes and tutoring in my agenda is by boxing in the start time with the end time, this avoids confusion and helps each event stand out, plus, in case you have some notes or assignments to jot down you will stay "in the lines" and be reminded better since each box stands out. I tend to color code everything with specific colors, which helps a lot.

To be even more precise, I have a "Key Box" at second page of my agenda with everything explained: 
When something is highlighted in the following colors it stands for:
-Blue: Difficult Classes
-Purple: Somewhat Difficult Classes
-Green: Work, Internship, Volunteer Errands
-Red: Immediate Priority
-Pink: Secondary Priority 
then I have orange, yellow and lighter blues, greens, etc....

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