We all know a person or two who seem to have their life together all the time.
Their careers seem to be flourishing, they never skip the gym, have a pleasant love life, beautiful hair, and it all just seems so easy.
And then there’s the rest of us: Messing things up, stains on our shirts, messy hair, and endless to-do lists.
Even though there’s no proper definition for “having your life together”, you probably thought of someone particular while opening this post. Maybe of a coworker or a fellow student. Or you thought of someone you can’t even stand, and want to know how they always seem to have their shit together.
Well, the truth is that they probably don’t.
During the past years, I met so many people I’ve been secretly admiring for a long time, and after each meeting or phone call, I had the same thought:
They’re also just humans.
I realized we all have flaws and make mistakes, no matter how perfect our lives might look to the outside. Yet, I also realized there are a few similarities of people who always seem to have their life together. To be like them, focus on the suggestions below.
Don’t Trust Your Brain, Build Systems.
People who seem to have their shit together have systems that work for them. They know that their brainpower is valuable and limited. Thus they don’t waste it to remember basic information.
They have digital planners, calendars, task management systems, and much more in order to outsource their memory and save valuable brainpower.
When building systems to be more organized, make sure these aspects are covered:
- Be sure your data can’t get lost: Notebooks are cute, but they can get lost (or stolen, wet, burned down,…), so make sure to store valuable information in a way it can’t get lost. For instance, through tools like Google Drive or Evernote.
- Ensure you have immediate access: If you want to replace your brain, you need systems that are accessible anytime and anywhere. Most digital tools offer applications for your phone that might make your life a whole lot easier.
- Make sure it’s easily searchable: Naming documents and folders usefully will save you a ton of time and anger in the long term.
Be Deliberate About What You Own
Did you ever realize that minimalists seem more relaxed compared to the rest of us?
You don’t necessarily need to be a minimalist, but being careful about what you purchase might lead to more confidence and help you be more organized in the long run.
Don’t let things clutter up your space if you don’t use them. Instead, make more space for the things that spark joy.
The more things you own, the more time and energy you need to spend on maintaining them and keeping stuff organized.
Here’s how organization expert Marie Kondo suggests deciding what to keep and what to get rid of:
“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”
Have a Power Outfit
Particularly women know how daunting standing in front of a full wardrobe can feel. That’s why having at least one power outfit that fits well and makes you feel comfortable is priceless.
Whenever you’re in a rush or don’t know what to wear, you can grab these basics that fit well so you’re sure you look good.
If possible, you can even dedicate a small section in your closet to go-to pieces so that you’re always quick in creating a good looking outfit in case you run late.
Be On Time
Being punctual is so simple yet admirable. It doesn’t only feel good to be on time, but it also shows that you have control over your life. Adding an extra 15 minutes to your commute time to ensure being on time is so easy but priceless.
In the worst case, you’ll have an extra 15 minutes to chill and collect your thoughts before meeting someone. While this might not sound like a big deal, it can actually be a game-changer before important meetings such as job interviews or sales conversations.
Remember People’s Names and Greet Them with Enthusiasm
So many people claim to be bad at names while the reality is that they’re just not interested enough to remember them. That’s why we feel so charmed whenever someone we met recently remembers our name.
Mindy Kaling once stated the following:
“Not knowing people’s names isn’t a neurological condition; it’s a choice. You choose not to make learning people’s names a priority. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, a disclaimer about me: I’m rude.”
To leave a good impression, be more patient, and pay attention to people’s names so that you can recall them when you meet again.
And if you want to take it one step further, always try to be the person spreading the most positive vibes in the room.
Carl W. Buehner once stated that people might forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.
Most people go through life with a frown on their face and seem to be unhappy all the time. So if you manage to be the one with positive energy, you’ll stand out from the crowd, and people will associate you with high vibes.
Make Your Bed
This one might not sound like a big deal, but it is.
Tim Ferriss, for example, states that coming home to an arranged bedroom makes him feel good even if he had an awful day.
William McRaven even wrote a whole book explaining why you should make your bed every single morning:
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
— William H. McRaven
Making your bed takes less than a minute, yet, it will help you to feel a sense of accomplishment when you go to sleep after a long, exhausting day.
Designate a Spot for Things You Lose or Forget Often
Keys, sunglasses, headphones,…we all have these things we lose or forget too often. And while forgetting or losing stuff every now and then might not sound like a big deal, it certainly lowers the quality of our lives.
Thus, having designated spots for certain items is priceless. For instance, create a little space in the entry area of your home where you place stuff like keys or sunglasses.
Once you get used to putting these things at the same place, it’ll become a habit, and you’ll never need to worry again
Two is One, One is None
Or: Have a back up of (almost) everything you use regularly, especially if running out of it would ruin your day (or week).
You can’t have a back up of everything, but for specific items, it makes sense to have a replacement in case the first one breaks down or is used up.
Some of these items are the charging cable of your phone or a pair of headphones. For me, it’s also shampoo, hair conditioner, and nail polish remover. I hate running out of these things, so I prefer storing an extra bottle instead of being annoyed.
Yet, this rule also applies to packing your bag or suitcase: Having a second pen during meetings can, for instance, help you avoid the embarrassment of asking for a pen during an important meeting. Also, having an extra white shirt during a business trip might be a life saver if the first one gets spilled on.
On top of that, you can also apply this rule for digital back-ups: If you, for example, have an important presentation, make sure to back your slides up on an external drive and Google Drive or a similar platform so that you can be sure to have access to your slides.
Having a substitute for these items is no big deal, but in case of an emergency, it might help you stay calm and feel confident instead of panicking.
Apply Mise en Place
Mise en place is a French term that is mainly used in cooking and roughly translates to “everything in its place”.
It’s mostly used to define a setup or working environment, but can also be translated to your state of mind.
Applying mise en place in life means making sure that your working environment is set up properly before you start your work. Not only will your coworkers admire you for having a clear, clean workspace, but also you will be proud of yourself for coming back to a pleasant working area (or home).
Once you’re done with work (or cooking), put everything back at its place and leave the area as clean as possible. Applying Mise en Place will help you be more calm and confident when starting and ending your workdays.
Make Time to Get Your Life Together Regularly
Being organized and having your life together is no coincidence. Those who seem to have their life together spend time organizing their days and weeks.
If you want to have control over your life, and feel confident throughout your days, take at least 15 minutes to plan your week on Sunday evenings.
By doing so, you’ll ensure to be aware of all appointments, events, birthdays, and due dates.
On top of that, I suggest doing monthly, quarterly, and yearly reflections to see whether you’re still aligned with your goals and if your life needs any radical change.
Having your life together is mostly a feeling. Even though we can’t accurately define it, we know how it feels to have a good day, week, or month.
And while having that feeling is not always easy, it’s actually duplicable through small exercises such as meditation.
The purpose of meditation is calming your mind, and as a relaxed mind is the core of feeling as if you have your life together, meditation is a great way to bring more of that feeling into your daily life.
Most people fail in creating meditation routines because they start with big intentions. So, instead of aiming for a 30-minute meditation ritual, start with 3 minutes. Once you’ve built a meditation streak of a few days or even weeks, you can increase the intensity.
Did you know that more than 70% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated?! Considering that up to 60% of our bodies are simply water, this number is shocking.
I mean, come on: Is there anything easier than drinking water? Probably not.
So start doing your mind and body well by hydrating instead of finding excuses for why drinking more water is so hard.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go, add your favorite fruits for more flavor and show the world that you’re a responsible adult who cares about staying hydrated and the environment.
Having your life together doesn’t mean being a super-human.
Too often, we want to leave a good impression to the outside world and painfully force ourselves to make things work instead of just asking for help. Yet, sometimes, being vulnerable and asking for help is the best sign for having your life together.
Instead of trying to be a top-notch adult, allow yourself to have flaws, make mistakes, and be a beginner.
Take the advice that might help you to become a better version of yourself, screw the rest and remember that life is not about being flawless or seeming to have everything together but that it’s more about enjoying yourself.