We all know what it’s like, back to work and feeling overwhelmed. It’s easy to have big dreams and ideas and then hit a stumbling block when it comes to getting things done. I want to share with you three quick organising tips that will help you get started the right way.
So to keep you going in the right direction the best advice you can take is ‘little and often’ as the simplest way to stay on track. The thing with organising is that it sneaks up on you. Before you know it you have 100’s of emails, an untidy desk and nothing has been done which then leads to overwhelm and it keeps getting worse.
So here goes….
Write it down
I know it sounds simple and it may not be something you are used to doing but it works. On a Sunday write a list of all the things you need to get done, then tick them off. I also write daily lists of three things for the next day that I must get done, any more than this and it gets overwhelming. So pick three and get them done first as the sense of euphoria will help build momentum for bigger and scarier tasks.
If you aren’t particularly keen on writing lists, there are lots of apps that can help. ‘Todoist’ is a great app that lets you create a digital list and tick it off, it sends reminders and hassles you slightly.
There are lots of beautiful stationary options to also choose if that helps you. I like to keep all my lists in a book so that I can scan back to other days to see if I did the thing I meant to do. You know the one where you ponder for ages on whether you cancelled that appointment or booked that training. Wonder no longer. It also cuts out all the random post it notes that never make sense and you guessed it…leads to overwhelm.
Once you know what you are supposed to be doing, set a timer. Break it into 25 minute sections and smash the work out, it’s a take on the Pomodoro Technique. Where you do a task for 25 minutes, concentrate solely on that task and then have a short break afterwards before starting your next 25 minutes on something else. It really helps focus your mind onto what you need to be doing.
I often use Alexa by Amazon to do a similar thing or a kitchen timer works well too.
Use an app like Toggl to see where your time is spent, it’s free and easy to use as an app or on your desktop. At the end of the week it will show you where the drains are on your time. This is a great start too if you are looking to work with a virtual assistant because you’ll know where your time is best spent.
If your desk is a mess…tidy it up before you start working. If your emails are full to bursting then look to unsubscribe from things that clog up your inbox but never get read. To start with you can set up a rule to move them all into a folder then unsubscribe en-mass if you aren’t sure what to keep or what should go. It’s all about streamlining systems and processes to get the best out of each working day.
On your phone, move your photo’s to a storage facility and free up space, delete any apps that no longer serve you and remove anything that distracts you. You can set apps that block your phone at certain times so you can’t get distracted or leave it in another room and consciously go there to have a break and check your social media.
Once you have a system in place then it takes a few minutes a day to keep yourself on top of incoming mail or tasks you need to complete. Half the battle is knowing what you need to do and by when, the rest is actually doing the work.
If you need help or want to delegate tasks to a virtual assistant then please do give me a call or request a free consultation. I can give you all the information you need and we can make sure we are a good fit to work together.