Sorry to say that I’ve been a bit lacking on the blogging front lately. But exciting projects at work have needed my energy and attention. I’ve also tried to balance spending more time with those that matter in my life. During this busy period, I’ve had to stay organised to ensure I didn’t let anything slip. So I wanted to share my top tips and tools to be more organised.
Some people say that being organised is a trait you either have or you don’t. I disagree. I think it’s something you can learn or develop. And whilst some may argue that my mild OCD has something to do with it, I also think I only learnt to be organised due to the way my career progressed. Moving into more senior roles meant that I needed to adapt and become more organised in order to continue to do well and be efficient in my role.
Being organised isn’t just about your personality or mindset, it’s the tools and processes you have in place. So how can you actually be more organised?
This one kind of goes without saying. But planning ahead, even by a day or two can do wonders for keeping you organised. Start small by planning your outfit or packing your bag the night before. Doing this ahead of the morning means you are less likely to scramble and rush in the morning and less risk of forgetting something important.
Write things down
This is also another small habit you can start. It doesn’t have to be in any particular format either. Simply writing something down gives it importance and you are more likely to remember something you have written, even if you don’t have it in front of you. How many times have you gone to do the weekly grocery shop, only to find that you’ve forgetten to pick up the milk! That’s where writing things down in a list is super helpful!
Writing to-dos in a list is also great to get you more organised at work. One of the worst things is coming out of meetings and not having any action points written up. I advise making notes during the meeting and be clear on what you are expected to follow-up on so that you don’t look forgetful.
Add things to your calendar
Keeping a calendar and adding in key dates is a great way to ensure you don’t miss birthdays, events and appointments. You can also sync your phone calendar to your email and add other people to the event so that they also have the date scheduled in their diary. I do this a lot with personal events and birthdays and ensure my boyfriend has it in his diary also.
For those that prefer non-digital calendars, I think having a paper diary is still a great way to keep organised. Be sure to check out some printable templates from Pintrest too!
This is where your mobile phone comes in really handy and goes hand in hand with the prior tip. Make sure you always set a reminder for any dates you add into your phone calendar. I tend to set a reminder for at least the day before. This comes in really handy for birthdays in case I need to get a last minute gift or card.
Start a bullet journal
Ok, so this tip needs a bit more commitment. But I swear by my bullet journal! I started mine at the beginning of the year. And although I’m still trying to figure out the best format for me, writing things down in my bujo has been a great way to keep track of tasks as well as progress. It’s a great organisational tool and there’s also something quite relaxing about writing things down and making it look pretty with doodles and washi tape.
Set deadlines and goals
This is a key part of how I stay organised. Make sure you set clear deadlines and goals of what you want to achieve and by when. I like to work week to week and ensure I stick to my scheduled to-dos and check them off when I’ve completed them. This can be as simple as listing them out as tasks on your phone or in a written list.
As important as it is to set a deadline, you also need to remember you are only human and circumstances change. So if you can’t stick to your schedule it’s ok. Move your deadline, re-jig your to-do list. It’s better to accept that you have limited time to complete something and be practical and set a more appropriate deadline rather than rush and stress to get something done unnecessarily.
Post-its come in handy for shorter reminders and can also be used as permanent solutions if you use the sticky notes app on your phone or even your laptop. I use this for reminders for logins and passwords (obviously for security, make sure you only use clues for what it is rather than write it out).
For work, I tend to write out post-its for things with a short deadline. For example, something you may need to get done by the end of the day. It’s super handy to have this as a physical reminder on your desk/screen. Then again, weirdly therapeutic when scrunching up the post-it and chucking in the bin once it’s done!
Automate where possible
Using scheduling tools or pre-ordering things can save you time and keep you organised. Things like automating prescriptions for medication to ensure you don’t have to order them each time can save you time usually used to go to the pharmacy. For my blog I schedule some of my promotional tweets for the week ahead. This saves me the time I would normally spend doing this manually daily.
Use Wunderlist or Asana
Using a project management tool is great for keeping track of projects and tasks for work. It’s also a great tool for bloggers as it helps you list out all the boring blog admin bits. I have a couple of lists set up in Wunderlist including a blog ideas list, a check list (for things to check for before pushing a post live) and even a reading list to keep track of other blogs I want to read.
Asana is my preference for my work project management tool as it’s very flexible and easy to incorporate into your daily schedule. I have set up individual projects and add all relevant tasks and deadlines within this. It’s great for managing projects as a team as you can see where other team member’s are on a certain project.
Ask for help
Lastly, don’t forget that it’s ok to ask for help. In fact I encourage delegation (where appropriate of course), both at work and in your personal tasks. For personal stuff for example if you are planning a birthday party, why not set up a whatsapp group with other family members or friends to ask for help? I’m sure they will be happy to help if it’s something they are able to do.
So that makes my top tips and tools to be more organised. Do you do any of this already? Got any other tips to share? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me at @arcasela.