This past month I have been all about cleaning up current systems and keeping my organization skills fresh. Right around this time of year I need bit of a reminder to step back, breath and keep on task, not allowing the rest of the clutter to take me out. As the year rolls by I have my goals scheduled but other tasks, ideas and jobs get added into the mix, creating chaos which can become too much without a proper structure behind it.
Keeping your life and business organized can be a huge task all on it's own, but once you have your own systems in place it gets much easier. We are almost half way through the year and this is when some of us have started to drop the ball. To help get back on track I am sharing 5 ways I keep my life together, mind you this should be called "Top 5 ways to make sure I don't loose my sh*t!".
At the beginning of the year, you should have had some goals laid out, but things get tweaked, changed and added as the year progresses. So before putting the next month's calendar together, I make a basic list of what I have planned for the month along with my other daily tasks. Once you have your list identify your "Big Rocks", which are your major tasks for the month. Place those deadlines in first as they become the hardest and sometimes most daunting, which often end in some procrastination. But being most important we want to make sure those are placed on our calendars first. From there I bulk my similar tasks into groups and place as in need of importance. During each day of the week, I also have my daily tasks set and that way I can focus on a specific task for the day, instead of a bunch of random ones. Let us not forget to take a personal day, I like to take at least one day a week to do what I need to do for myself and my home.
2) KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE TIDY
As basic as it sounds keeping your area organized will help you keep on task. It will cut down on your feelings of anxiety and stress, while improving your productivity. Clutter keeps our minds stimulated and draws our eyes away from work, creating those feelings of frustration and guilt. I know for me trying to focus while in filth and clutter can be a completely overwhelming feeling. It just feels so great after everything is clean and put away properly, I love that satisfying feeling of sitting down in an organized and clutter free space, it's amazing!
So go through your creative space, get rid of anything that is not needed and organize your files. Consider the help of electronic apps to organize your receipts and other bookkeeping needs, all this will help with de-cluttering.
3) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ORGANIZING TOOLS
There are many tools out there to keep your weeks flowing! I use an array of apps to stay organized and help me keep things moving while at home or on the move. Dubsado is a great CRM system to keep workflow with your clients on time, help from automated emails, questionnaires, invoicing, bookkeeping and more, it's a life saver. It can take some time to set up your program but once set, you are ready to flow. I also use Buffer to plan my Social Media calendar and Evernote is a great tool to put my thoughts on photoshoots and group events together. Evernote also allows me to keep all the visuals, timelines and collaborator information in one area, as well as being able to share it with others. But my number one go to is just an old-fashion planner, I do use my google calendar for some appointments but I am old school. Writing out my thoughts and placing them into my calendar is almost cathartic for me. I love the Franklin Covey planner system it works so well for me from my yearly goals down to my daily tasks, they also have books that help your productivity.
This is always a hard one for me, but it's ok to let go and pass the task along. I am a controlling person, I will just flat out admit that, so when starting my own business I was just consumed with many small and large things that needed to be done. I would do everything myself, which is a never ending list of tweaking and perfecting, but once I was able to put a little more money into my business I started hiring people to do the things I did not want to do. It makes sense right? Hiring others do what they are skilled in, instead of somewhat doing it correctly myself or having it take twice as long because I am figuring it out as I go. I put in money on the tasks that are my least favorite to do allowing me to focus on the important tasks that I enjoy.
5) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
It is so important to take care of yourself, mentally, physically and spiritually. Many people do not realize how much your health can effect your business and life. It is very simply connected, if you are not at your best how can you give your best? Take time for yourself, meditate or take a nature walk, make sure to eat healthy and get physical, often. I know that it can sound impossible with a full plate but its more important to say no to one thing and to keep your health in mind. Do what you can when you can, get creative because a little activity and movement is better than nothing. Feeling great will bring you more focus and a clearer thought process when coming to work. Besides that who doesn't like feeling good?
We all deal with chaos in some aspect of our lives and nothing will ever be perfect, but having some systems in place with good organizational skills, it will be much easier to handle it all. As you tweak your systems to meet your needs don't over do it, as I said things will never be perfect but it will get a heck of a lot easier.
Any tips or tricks of your own? I would love to hear about them!