This is Day 4 of the Advent Calendar for 2015. Open more doors here >>
“Life is too complicated not to be orderly” – Martha Stewart
Ooo doesn’t this make you feel guilty?! (Unless you are in fact Martha Stewart, or someone who is very very orderly) I am not the most orderly person in the world. It’s something I have to work at – and before you know it there’s a pile on my desk that wasn’t there yesterday and I need to start putting things away in the right places. The current pile is three books, a newspaper, some keys, a magazine, a box of ibuprofen, the remote control for the DVD player, some pictures that my daughter drew, some post, a notebook and a school newsletter. None of these things live on my desk, but they are there creating chaos where there should be order.
Thankfully, being orderly isn’t just about being tidy. Orderly means to be neat and methodically arranged, so being orderly can be about having systems and processes in your business to help you be more efficient and work smarter. For example, each of my clients have a folder where I put their briefs and any real-life-not-on-the-computer things like sketches and notes so that I know where everything is. I also have a checklist for the order that I do things so that I can be sure not to miss any steps out.
Other ways to be orderly at work:
- perfect your to-do list. Make it really neat and methodical. I use two methods to cope with my to do list. I use good old pen and paper with scribbles and annotations, and I also use Trello, which is absolutely fantastic because I can move items from list to list and add extra notes.
- use cloud storage. Keeping things in the cloud means you don’t have to keep them in your office. They’re somewhere else. Virtual storage takes up no space whatsoever, but this does bring me neatly to my next point…
- keep your computer files organised into relevant folders so that it’s easy to find things when you need them. Create a system that works for you.
- Streamline your notebook use. I have one notebook for clients and one for working on my business. This makes it much easier to locate information when I need it.
- Set time aside. I’m not very good at this, but if you can schedule in some time for important things like doing accounts or business planning then you’ll be much more organised.
- Plan. Use a diary, a wall planner or a business planner (maybe even mine 😉 ) to help you plan the next twelve months. Then you know where you’re at and won’t have any sudden shocks.
Life really is too complicated not to be orderly. It’s so much easier when you have systems, plans and a tidier worskspace. Even if it is constantly a work in progress.
In the comments: What are your tips for a more orderly business?