This is rich coming from me. I am the most chaotic organised person ever. Everything will get done, but expect at least one meltdown, many cries of ‘there’s too much to do!’, and several lists before I get there. But I always do get there!
I have things that work for me, and things that I’d like to try to make me less of the chaotic and more of the organised, so I thought I’d share them here for you too!
I know this is maybe obvious, and pretty boring, but I could not function without having some semblance of a routine. Because I run my own business, I can do whatever I like, turn up when I want, have days off, go home whenever, but I know that I work best when I set myself a schedule.
I set an alarm, get up and ready, aim to be at work between 9-9.30am (I am not a morning person so this is a struggle!), and I work until I have to leave for the post office around 4.15pm, or later on the days I’m not doing a post run. I could do a longer day, but I know that this is optimum working hours for me, and I’ll do a bit of admin later on in the evening if I’m feeling it and really need to.
2. Be prepared
This might be a bit much for some of you, but another thing that keeps me organised is being prepared for the next day. I always have a list with tomorrow’s tasks (I’ll talk more about that later), but I also pack my lunch and work bags for the next day, and even get out my clothes ready. This is a leftover habit from school days of putting my uniform out, but it helps me get ready quickly in a morning and the less I have to stop and think about the better!
I like to get up, ready, and out without stopping, so having everything ready to go really helps me have a more productive day.
3. Make lists!
This is a BIG ONE for me! I have to have a list of what I want to accomplish otherwise I’ll convince myself I have nothing to do. Which is absolutely not true! Last thing on Friday I’ll plan the following week out with all the jobs I want to do, and the days I’m going to try and do it. I find this helps regulate how much work you give yourself, because you can decide how much work you’d be happy to accomplish by the end of that week rather than trying to fit as much in on a day as possible.
I don’t always stick to it, and I try not to beat myself up too much about it, but having a list of things to do makes my life so much more organised. I use one of my weekly planners and I have a system of highlighting tasks I didn’t finish, so I can go back to them when I have time, and crossing off jobs that are done. I also use my little A6 list pads to break bigger jobs down into smaller chunks, which leads me to...
4. Have achievable goals
Sometimes I’ll write ‘do website’ on my to-so list. What does that even mean?! Where am I supposed to start with that?!
When I’ve given myself a job like this to do, I need to break it down otherwise I’ll find myself stressed out, scrolling through Twitter and arguing with Americans over socialised healthcare and gun control, not a good idea. So this is when I get another to-do list going and break it down into more specific tasks, like ‘update shipping info’ and ‘add new products’.
Giving yourself smaller achievable goals will mean you know exactly what you need to do, and it also means more things to cross of your list, a win-win.
5. Give yourself a break
Possibly the most important point on this list. You’ll be absolutely useless if you don’t give yourself a break, both literally and figuratively. Burnout will just make everything 500 times harder, so make sure you aren’t pushing yourself too hard, and give yourself a schedule that works for you. I’m not a morning person, so there’s no point me trying to get to work for 6.30am, it’ll just set me up for failure and put me in a bad brain space, which will mean I can’t get anything productive done because I’m just thinking about how terrible I am as a human being.
Make sure you have days off when you need them, and listen to your brain and your body. Being organised doest not mean being busy 24/7, it means getting done exactly the amount you need to, which sometimes is nothing at all.
Let me know if these were useful to you, and if you have any more tips on being organised!