Ever since the beginning of the year, I have managed to cultivate a better work-life balance and the key to that is being organised. Having an organised mind helps me to know exactly what I need to do and when however ensuring I don’t spend all my free time on my laptop and refusing to work weekends has been a real struggle, but with a few simple changes, I have mostly managed. The last few weeks I have found that I am being distracted more and more when I took a long hard look at my life I could easily see why that is.
Pick a planner and use it
I use a Stick to Stigu planner to help me plan my life. With 5 boxes per day, it is a great way of organising my life. I try to place one blog post in each day (although sometimes I have to do more), then I add in any meetings, admin tasks etc that I need to complete. Opposite the weekly planner is a plain sheet which can be used for notes. This has really helped to organise my life but unfortunately, I am now planning so far in advance that I have no flexibility so I need to take on less work. Try not to go more than a week in advance to help prevent yourself from being overwhelmed.
Organise your workspace
My desk has been buried under piles of work, parcels and general rubbish for a couple of months which means I have been working on my laptop on the sofa instead of being sat at my desk. Not having an organised desk certainly adds to the chaos in my mind. I also hate having wires all over my desk so was really happy when I was sent one of the new party themed Logitech® M238 Wireless Mice. It removed the need for my wired mouse and it is easy to swap between my desktop pc and my laptop. It looks pretty funky too with its party design.
Don’t be distracted
Easier said than done I know but it is crazy to think that on a two-hour train journey with no wifi signal I can get more work done that when I am sat on my laptop for 10 hours. This is purely down to the fact that I have notifications for my emails and social media channels turned on so even whilst writing this most I have been distracted about 10 times so far. Turn off your wifi and write a post in a word processing software or turn off all of your notifications so that you have more control.
Plan, Plan and Plan
If you sit in front of the screen and you don’t know what to do next you will not be productive at all and soon you will become overwhelmed as you try to do too much. Put set times in your day to do certain tasks. Make sure you plan in breaks too and if you have any meetings in the diary think about what you want to cover and make some notes so that you can keep the meeting flowing quickly and easily.
Have a conversation
We are all far too quick to email but I find that when negotiating, collaborating or planning, bouncing emails back and forth takes so much time. Pick up the phone and have a conversation, write notes and then email a summary of what you discussed. This will really help cut down on time and still keep a written record of the conversation and next steps.
So there you go, they are my 5 steps for an organised mind. They have really helped me this year and writing this post has spurred me on to clear off my desk, get myself comfortable and get organised again.