Keeping Fashion & Style Police up to date, promoting it, working with clients on various features, running a PR freelance career, and having a life, means I am always very busy. In order to get all my work done for the day, I had to teach myself to be productive and stay organised. What helped me the most to keep my productivity up was to get super organised. I can’t begin to tell you how staying organised saved my life, sanity and business.
As a self-employed person, organisation is key. It saves you time and plenty of stress. Here’s a list of how I manage to stay organised.
1. I have an action plan
Your life becomes chaotic when you don’t exactly know what to do and when to do it. Without a clearly defined plan, you’ll take up jobs or responsibilities whenever they jump at you, and never have the time to complete them or focus on the jobs that matter.
To create your action plan, write down your goals and outline clear steps on how you plan to achieve each goal. To keep everything in perspective, I prefer to have an action plan for each quarter, and I check I am on the right path at the end of every month.
2. I develop an efficient filing system
I like to have all I need within reach. Having a filing system made it easy for me to find what I’m looking for and spend less time searching for important stuff.
Have specific folders on your computer for your documents, contracts, invoices, emails, blog posts, etc. and label each folder accordingly. To be on the safe side back up your folders on Dropbox or Google Drive just in case anything happens to your computer or hard drive. Or you have file the important documents in the traditional way – in an actual physical folder.
3. I keep a to-do list
The old fashion to-do list is more powerful than it looks. It helps me keep track of all the things I need to do for the day. I like to write my to-do list the night before. This helps me wake up fresh with a defined purpose in mind. And it helps me stay focused and organised, and leaves no room for procrastination because I know what needs to be done.
But don’t overdo the to-do list. Stick to at least 5-8 items a day. The key is to do the most important tasks first.
4. I schedule posts in advance
Automation has been a life saver. I usually write my posts well in advance and schedule them. I also schedule tweets and other social media posts on Buffer. You can use Hootsuite, Buffer or Edgar to schedule social media posts. If your site is on WordPress there’s an option to schedule your posts in the section where you hit publish. As for email, MailChimp, Ontraport, ConvertKit allow you to schedule your emails to your subscribers.
5. I have a work schedule
A work schedule will help you keep track of the appointments you have for the day and deadlines for client work. The work schedule helps me know when I have available slots to work so that I’ll know when to accept an order from a client or not. It also helps me know if I have available time when I can reschedule.
This work schedule is so handy for my PR jobs. It keeps me in the loop without having to think.
6. I stay focused.
FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Succesful. Although the above help me stay organised, it is important to be committed to staying focused. Focus helps you follow through no matter what. So I work because I have to. I enjoy my job so it doesn’t feel like a chore but on days when I can’t be bother to work, I still work because the bills won’t pay themselves.
7. I stay upbeat and motivated
You may be super organised and extremely focused but if you feel uninspired, it becomes really difficult to achieve your goals. Put time aside to unwind. Time away from work will keep you fresh and allow you to see things with a new perspective. To stay motivated, I read books, magazines and blogs. I also like to jogging or go for a long walk to clear my head. Chilling with Netflix also helps on some evenings.
Do you work for yourself? How do you stay organised?