I personally find it hard to be productive when I’m not organized. I need my space to be organized, and I need my time to be organized. When my work space is a mess, it overwhelms me. If things aren’t in their place, I can’t find them and then I waste time looking for them. I personally believe that organization is imperative to my success.
As a wife, mom, and business owner, I have to keep everyone’s schedules organized. There’s no way I can possibly remember where everyone needs to be and when they need to be there, along with everything else I have going on each day.
Organization is actually something that I find enjoyable. I like knowing that things have a place and are in their place. I like putting things in their place. But unfortunately, it’s not something that I often have time for in my day. I do my best to keep things organized, although working at home makes that even more difficult since I’m often home most of the day, with my 2 year old.
I’ve picked up a few tips throughout the years to keep my life and my business organized. Below, I’m sharing with you my top 5 tips for staying organized as a business owner, wife, and a mom.
5 Tips for Organization
#1 Give Everything a Place, and Keep It There
How often have you wasted time looking for something because it wasn’t put back in its place? I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve wandered around looking for something because it didn’t get put away. Had it gotten put away in its place, I would not have wasted my time looking for it. Taking the time upfront to organize your workspace, and give everything a place, will save you time in the future. However, you must also put things back in their place when you use them.
#2 Purge Unnecessary Things
It’s a good idea to purge your workspace often. I do my best to keep only the things that I need in my workspace, and if I see something that i don’t need or use, I get rid of it immediately. I used to keep things “just in case I needed them”, but found that most of the time I never actually ended up needing them. I’ve found that purging things as I find them ends up taking less time than going through an entire room at once.
#3 Plan Your Day
The first post in my business tips series offered tips for time management. You can read that post here. Planning your day is important for time management AND for organization. Having a plan allows you to stay focused and prioritize the tasks that you need to accomplish each day. Keeping track of your tasks can be done with pen and paper, but also can be done electronically. I personally utilize the app Insightly for my business to keep track of tasks that need to be completed. I can prioritize each task, assign due dates, and even assign tasks to my assistants. It’s a huge benefit that I can access Insightly on my PC and as an app on my iPhone and it updates in real time for myself and my assistant. You can click here to check out Insightly for yourself.
There is no right or wrong way to organize your tasks. The most important part is finding what works for you, and then using it.
#4 Use a Calendar
I could not live without my calendar. I honestly don’t know how people survive without a calendar. At one point in time, I had three different calendars. I had a paper calendar for my business, a paper calendar for my personal life, and then I transferred information from both into a calendar app that my husband and I could both access. Take a guess how many times I forgot to transfer something to the calendar app. I’m not sure of the exact number, but I can tell you it was too many. It was quite clear that my calendar system was not working for me.
After previously researching many calendar apps, I chose to continue using only the Cozi calendar app. I couldn’t be happier. The calendar is accessible to me on my PC and my iPhone. It automatically syncs and my husband can view the calendar in real time on his phone as well. I appreciate that I can categorize and view entries by each member of my family, and set reminders to alert me, and my husband, of upcoming events. I would be a hot mess without my calendar easily accessible to me each day. If you want to see how Cozi can streamline your schedules, click here.
It truly doesn’t matter what kind of calendar you use, as long as you use one. If you choose to use a paper calendar, I do suggest using different colored pens to record information for each area of your life, and each member of your family, if necessary.
#5 Use Online Storage Options
I love a good post-it note. I really do. But when you have post it notes covering post it notes on your desk, they might not be an effective way to organize your thoughts. I am a note taker, and a list maker. If I have a thought, I need to write it down immediately. If I don’t, I will forget it. It’s guaranteed. For this reason, I utilize a few different online storage websites that help keep me organized. All of them are accessible to my on my PC and my mobile devices.
Dropbox is a great file storage solution for my personal files, and files I want to share with others. Click here to check out Dropbox. Google Drive is connected to my e-mail and allows me to easily share and collaborate on documents with others. The documents sync automatically, as changes are made by collaborators. It is included with every gmail account. Evernote is my new personal favorite. It basically functions as an online binder. I am able to have multiple notebooks sorted by topic, and then pages of notes filed in those notebooks. Check out Evernote here.
Getting organized can be overwhelming, and time consuming to start. But once you have organizational systems in place, they can save you time, as long as you keep up with them.
If you want to check out the first post in my business tips series, click here.
What is your favorite organizational tip? You can connect with me here to share, or ask any questions you might have.