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How to stay organised

Updated: Apr 14

For work, especially freelance work, it's a little bit different. You have to accept surprises and sporadic bumps in the road. But if you feel completely passionate about what you are doing, then all of that will feel like baby humps that you can easily walk over.


To help with the stresses of everyday work, it really makes sense to try to keep yourself organised with your workflow. I personally love to take Sundays to keep things organized for my week ahead. I include everything from clients, meetings, kids, appointments, even the dinner schedule. In addition to planning, there are plenty of ways to keep organized. Here are four ways you can keep yourself leveled and organised.


Time management

Managing your time is incredibly important for staying organised and increasing productivity. To increase productivity, start your day early. The more time you take to sit, think and plan the better organised you will be. If you know what you need to achieve, you can assign a certain amount of time to it and put it into your schedule. Here are some handy time management tips to get you started:

  • Prepare in advance, take 10 minutes the day before to create a to-do list of what you need to accomplish the next day, and allocate some time to each item.

  • Make note of things you don’t absolutely have to do yourself.

  • Assign priority to each item and get the high priority items out of the way first


Delegate

Delegating routine work will relieve some of your stress and give you more time to do your job. It is a way of creating time so you can continue what you alone can do best. Once you’ve made your to-do list and prioritised the things that only you can handle, you will be left with a list of tasks that you can then pass off. If you have a receptionist, assistant or secretary, have them help with your to-do list, get them to return your emails and phone calls, go to the post office, and send out invoices. If you work in a shared office space you have a good support system – make use of it! If you don’t, consider hiring a VA (virtual assistant).


File management

One of the simplest and most overlooked aspects of being organised is getting your computer files organized. Every time you have to dig around for a document you can’t find or have to do unnecessary clicks to access a folder, you are not as productive as you could be. Whether your files are on paper or on your computer, the concept is the same. The downside is that it will take some time to get properly organised, and some diligence on your part to stay that way. Let’s look at some good practices for keeping your files and documents neat, in folders and easily searchable and accessible.

  • Don’t put files on the desktop

  • Limit folder creation

  • Name your files and folders strategically


Once you have set up this filing system, it should be easy to locate the files when you need them and stay organised at work.


Use productivity apps

a productivity app is any piece of software that makes your job easier and allows you to get more work done in less time. There are thousands (millions?) of productivity apps for iphones and Androids designed to help you increase your productivity.


I personally love Trello to keep track of all my weekly tasks. Trello is a project management app that makes managing projects less stressful; enjoyable, even. Users can break big projects down into smaller chunks by creating "cards" for every task. Cards can be arranged into different columns, which can represent different phases of a project. As tasks get completed, cards can easily be dragged from one column to the next.


Trello is free to use, though they do offer premium plans with additional features starting at $9.99 a month.

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