Life can be very busy and multitasking commitments and goals can be overwhelming at times, namely when it comes to managing your health and diabetes. One of the best ways to tackle all the various challenges that come your way is to stay as organized as possible. Creating a positive, structured and more orderly environment is so helpful for maintaining your best and healthiest life. Below are some practical tips for getting better organized in a variety of ways:
- Create a central launchpad
A launchpad is a designated place in the home where you keep your main belongings that you take with you in and out of your home on a daily basis – purses, backpacks, keys, phones and any needed diabetes/medical supplies. Common places to arrange your launchpad could be your kitchen, near the front door, or a mud room. A cabinet with bins for each family member’s belongings can be helpful to keep everyone’s gear available for grab and go. Placing your diabetes supplies that you take with you in this area is key to remembering to bring them with you. Having your launchpad items ready to go can save you time when heading out and keeping these items in the same place when your return home is also a great habit to start.
- Get your diabetes supplies in order
It is important to have your diabetes necessities such as testing supplies, medications, logbook, batteries, pump supplies, glucose tabs etc. in a secure area that is easy to find. Supplies that stay at home and are safe to be stored at room temperature can be kept in a cabinet that is convenient (and child-proofed if applicable) will make them easy to use regularly. Store any insulin/medications that need refrigeration in a designated drawer and away from other foods items so it doesn’t get mixed up or mistakenly thrown out. If you have to travel with your supplies on a daily basis or for trips, then get a supply-bag to house them for transport and regular stock it and check expiration dates/keep it replenished ahead of time. This ensures it is available to take with your so you can keep on track with your diabetes care plan on the go. If you use insulin or other refrigerated medications, have cold packs and your medications ready to place in it as well.
- Keep track of key appointments and engagements with a calendar/planner
When there is a lot going on day to day, it is easy to forget commitments so it is important to have a system to keep track of things. There are all sorts of calendars and planners available that you can explore to find one that works best for you. Add your health appointments and other key engagements to your planner/calendar so you can stay on course. If you prefer paper then having a daily and monthly planner can be used and you can also keep a large wall calendar up for the whole family to see what is happening each week/month. You can also enter commitments electronically in your phone or computer as well and set reminders to let know these dates are upcoming, especially your doctor appointments and when to reorder diabetes supplies. If you have trouble keeping track of when to monitor blood sugars, administer medications etc. you can also set reminders for these as well.
- Make menus and food shopping a cinch with a plan
Going to the store without a plan can be a disaster, namely if you are hungry. Creating and sticking to a shopping list will help keep you on track with choosing healthy foods that are in accordance with your meal plan. Making a weekly plan of meals/snacks for the week and basing your shopping list from that will ensure you have everything in place for healthy eating weekly. If you have a hectic schedule then time saving opportunities like meal kits or meal services can also be very helpful, some even deliver to your door for you.
- Have emergency supplies and key documents in order
In case of emergency, it is always important to have extra diabetes/medical supplies and ready to eat food available. Also making sure key documents like birth certificates, passports, and other important documents are together in a secure location is helpful in case you need to access them or bring them with you at the last minute if needed. There are folders/organizers with locks that can be purchased for these purposes, as well as emergency supply kits that you can pre-purchase.
- Schedule regular times to clean and declutter
Having things clean and in order in your living environment can make a big difference in your mindset and readiness to tackle daily activities. Have scheduled times for light cleaning in high traffic areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, as well as times for deeper cleanings of your place as a whole. If you feel overwhelmed you can designate chores to family members and even employ a cleaning service if needed. A few times a year it can be nice to do a more detailed declutter your environment to store, dispose of and donate unused/unneeded items.
- Learn to love lists
Nothing keeps you better organized than a good to-do list. Making lists for daily, weekly and monthly tasks can keep you focused and ready accomplish things bit by bit. Use what method that works best for you – paper, computer, your phone …and plan away. To avoid being overwhelmed, break bigger projects and goals into smaller steps and create a rough timeline to help you stay on track. But be kind to yourself, realize that you may need to adjust, reframe or change timelines if things happen with your schedule. Getting things done one at a time can help you feel more accomplished and promotes a positive mindset.
- Plan ahead to avoid unneeded stress
Don’t leave things to the last minute when it comes to getting ready for the next day ahead. Take a little extra time to prepare for your day by getting lunches, the coffee maker/breakfast, work/school bags and diabetes supplies set for the next day. Getting a jump on the following day’s to do list will allow you to make it out the door on time and ready to face the day without feeling rushed or frazzled.