Let’s be real. Life is hectic. Now that I’m 30 and old and wise, as I shared on my blog, I can tell you it only gets more hectic, especially if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to settle for anything less than awesome. There are times when you’re so busy negotiating your new career, perfecting your tree pose, indulging in yet another hobby and trying to be healthy, that just as you’re heading out to squeeze in a date, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and think, “Holy crap, lady!”
Hair lookin’ like a teased up rat’s nest, even though you’re sure you brushed it, and a big old smudge of mascara across your nose because you applied it while searching your apartment for clean undies. You take a second to survey your surroundings and realize, oops, you’ve really let things go around here. Yes, obviously this is more of a metaphor — although the mascara thing is based on a true story — but the truth is, life gets the better of you sometimes. So, when everything around you seems to be a damn mess, here are some quick ways to feel like you’ve really got it together — even if you don’t.
1. Clean your space
OK, this one’s a bit obvious, but I know I can’t get any good thinking done when my office looks like a bomb hit it. Instead of being able to focus on my work, I find my eyes constantly drifting over to the pile of junk mail I need to throw out or the extra cat’s worth of hair in the corner. When your space is chaotic, so is the energy within the room. When your space is clean, your thoughts are more focused and better organized. Get it together and show your space some love.
2. Look at your finances
Busy women have busy schedules, making it super easy to whip out your credit card for a bit of convenience. When the bill shows up, you’re regretting flashing your credit card around all willy-nilly, like a guy on Tinder. Swipe left on credit card debt and cozy up with all your statements. Take inventory of everything you pay for monthly and include how much you spend on things, like gel manicures or your favorite latte. Total getting a bit high? Decide where you can pare down and what you absolutely will not sacrifice. Looking at the big financial picture helps keep you in control of your money. Get it together and keep your credit card in your pants — pocket.
3. Purge your closets
“I have nothing to wear!” is absolutely the worst feeling when you’re trying to rush out the door to that big networking event. You want to make a good impression, but your black sweater has a hole in the armpit, your other black sweater needs to be washed and you have no clue where your third black sweater is, but it’s probably all pilly. Take some time to go through every single item in your closets and drawers and take out the pieces you don’t wear or that don’t fit you anymore. Yes, that means being real with yourself about that pencil skirt you used to love and taking out the pieces that need work. Are you seriously going to get them fixed? You absolutely do not have time to be distracted by clothes you are not actually going to wear, so if you think somebody somewhere will love it more than you can at this very moment, donate it. Get it together and simplify your wardrobe.
4. Do your laundry
Now that you only have clothes in your inventory you are really going to wear, make sure they’re clean! You can’t quickly put together awesome outfits that fit well and look presentable if they’re crumpled in a ball at the bottom of your laundry basket. You’ll want to have everything accessible to you as often as possible — and for the love of God, use an iron. When your laundry pile is a heaping mound, it only adds to the mountain of tasks you know you need to complete. Every pair of socks you toss onto the pile adds another layer of stress to your already hectic schedule. Get it together and tackle that laundry load.
5. Finish your outfits
This is my favorite trick, because it’s the quickest and has the most immediate impact. I don’t care if I’m going out to a fancy restaurant or to the food store, I always finish my outfits. This might mean the right earrings, a good watch or your favorite bracelet. For you, this might mean that your eyebrows are on point, even when you’re in your yoga pants. If I feel put together, my life feels put together, and if I’m lookin’ like a hot mess, that’s how my life is going to feel. Is there anything worse than running into that hot guy you used to know and trying to convince him, “Yeah, life is great!” when you could easily get mistaken for Mrs. Johnson, the town’s crazy cat lady? Get it together and always look polished.
Check out Olivia Elle’s blog Rules of Ungagement for more about the good, the bad and the hideous tales of living that single life.