For some being organised comes as second nature. They’re the kind of people who strategically plan aspects of their life and usually enjoy doing so. For others, being organised isn’t as important and they can be more content living each day as it comes, relishing the chaos that this can bring.
If you’re running a business, chances are you’ll have to adhere to some level of organisation. Missing important work deadlines, invoices or falling behind with bookkeeping would be detrimental to your chances of running a smooth operation. Make time to ensure you’re following the following steps and awaken the organisational beast inside of you.
Get it out of your head
I am forever writing things down, whether they’re lists, thoughts or finances. Keeping track of all the jumble my brain produces is a way of filtering and processing the bizarre tangle of grey matter. It can be hard to think properly when your mind is darting all over the shop. Putting your thoughts down on paper allows you structure, prioritise and work through one thing at a time
Jotting down and note making can also be a way of alleviating stress. It’s thought that the more organised you are, the less stressed you’ll be. Instead of keeping it all in your mind, it’s on a handy piece of paper for you to reference when you need to. If paper isn’t your thing, try using Evernote, Wunderlist or Omnifocus – three excellent organisational applications for your phone or tablet.
Stop it and tidy up
A free-flowing chasm of paperwork, cold cups of coffee and God knows what else can be soothing to some, the flip side is that it can be a cause of stress and upset to others. Keep a bin – or even better a recycling bin – nearby to chuck unneeded paper in. Survive on Coke? Get rid of the empty tins. Not referenced the notepad in your tray for a year? Put it away.
Psychologist Sherrie Bourg-Carter found that clutter can “bombard our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.” However, for some you might need visual stimulation, especially if you’re a creative.
Think about how you work best. Some clutter might be good but unnecessary things taking up your deskspace you might want to rethink their purpose.
It’s fantastic when you’re freelancing full time. You’re in total control of your life. Need to take a sunny Wednesday off work? Why not! There isn’t anyone telling you what to do and when. However, you still need to plan and organise your time effectively in order to meet deadlines and get your workload complete.
Planning ahead can help you be a lot more organised with your time. Using your phone, calendar, or even an old-school diary to pencil in time slots when you’re working on certain projects can bolster your productivity, allowing you to see what the week holds instead of winging each day. It’s important to plan for some dull admin time too: bookeeping, receipt filing or invoicing.
Let the creative juices flow
It’s been found that working in a disorderly, un-organised environment helps creative minds flourish. A 2013 study found that messy work environments stimulate creativity and encourages people to “break free from conventional thinking”, whereas tidiness can help inspire ‘good’ ideas, for example healthy eating or giving to charity.
If creativity is flourishing, excellent! However don’t neglect other aspects of your business and let important admin fall by the wayside.
Image by Quinn