First question: do you know where your phone is?
If you don’t, then you’re probably disorganized.
Okay, terrible question. Because I don’t know where my phone is, and I am super organized.
That’s not true. I am organized, but I also know where my phone is. I didn’t used to though.
I don’t mean one of those, “where is my phone??” and you’re holding it. I mean when you really don’t know where you last put it down. Under that stack of papers? Is it in the bathroom? Starbucks??
This is actually turning out to be a great analogy. Let me explain…
Organization Comes Naturally
I vaguely remember a time as a kid when I liked my room messy. But I’m fairly certain that’s just because all my friends had messy bedrooms.
It was the ‘cool’ thing to do. And trust me, I had to do whatever I could to be cool (stop laughing, mom).
Then one day my mom told me to clean my room… and I was tired of cleaning it over and over again.
From then on everything had its place and you’d best not move anything… or else.
Today my ‘desk’ consists of a computer and a whiteboard. And an insanely organized Google Drive that I can find anything in. Which means that at home I have my whiteboard, but otherwise I can office anywhere and be really efficient.
How do I do it? It comes naturally. But…
Organization Can Also Be Learned
It takes some time and effort, yes. But we’re all learning and getting better.
So let’s learn something new today! Step into my office, enjoy the view, and find out how it got here with these 3 tips.
1. Take Time Before to Have Time Later
Here’s the part where I lose you. And I still have two more tips for you! Stay with me…
Take time now. Literally schedule it in your calendar (if this is foreign to you, give me a shout out… we have more work to do than I thought!) to get yourself organized.
Then you’re going to need to organize your…
- Computer Files (online, desktop… all of it)
We’ll start there. But when you know where everything is, you can find it.
And when you can find it, you can take action. All that time you used to spend looking for a file? It’s all yours.
Fantastic! A bonus in the middle of a blog post!
How do you organize files? Particularly on your computer? Oh, and emails. This works for emails too.
Lots and lots of folders.
Let’s say I want to find a document for a particular client that I was working on yesterday. If I know what the file is, then I know where to look.
Let’s see… yesterday I was working on Facebook Ads for Ann…
Now I go to: Google Drive/Web Marketing Outlaws/Client Funnels/ELI-Ann
Each of the above names between slashes is a folder. On the left is the more general, and on the right is the more specific. In my Web Marketing Outlaws folder are 7 other folders I can navigate to: Funnel Creation, FB Ads, Old Notes, Client Funnels, Leverage Plans, Graphics, and Newsletters.
Plus there are some big picture documents in the folder.
But the deeper into a folder you go, the more specific you are getting with your files.
It seems like a lot of clicks and a lot of work, but if I know exactly where something is, then I’m really saving myself time.
2. Be a Minimalist
Plain and simple, just have less stuff.
Do you know one really easy way to be creative? Have a blank canvas.
And we all need to be creative somehow in our jobs. That doesn’t just mean drawing, designing, or playing music.
I love marketing because it is the perfect mix of business and creative. For me, the creative comes in the form of strategy (creative problem solving) and writing (matching a brand and being an attention grabber).
Whatever it is you need to work on, you can be creative to solve your problems and get your work done.
With a clean and minimal desk, computer desktop, walls, etc, you are creating an environment where you can think freely and dream big!
3. Create New Habits
Do you remember my ‘perfect’ phone analogy from the beginning of the post?
I really did used to always lose my phone. I would put it down and couldn’t ever find it!
It’s partially because I have two kids but also because I don’t always wear pants with pockets.
Thus, puts phone down, loses phone.
But I rarely lose it anymore though.
Because I created a new habit. Now when I put my phone down, I have a few key places that I always place it. So when I can’t find my phone I only need to look in a handful of spots:
- My pocket
- My purse (and a particular pocket in the purse)
- Top corner of the couch
- The shelf next to the chair
I got myself in the habit of only putting my phone down in those places. They’re convenient if I’m working, in the kitchen, or playing with kids, which means I can put it down anytime. Then when I need it again, I know where it is.
Whether it’s finding your phone or cataloging emails, you can create a new habit where you take a moment now to save hours of searching later.
Result: Get More Done
Now that you’ve saved all this time… You can get more done!
Seriously, organized people have it easy. Do you know what I do all day? A lot.
I am a wife, mom of 2, freelancer for 4 clients, starting my own business, volunteer at my church, and I make sure to do “5 minute favors” for people whenever possible. And I still have time to try new recipes, do yoga and read pretty often.
I might be crazy, but part of it is just because I’m organized. I plan my days and weeks (though I don’t usually know more than one week at a time), I know where things are, and I’m able to get a lot done in a day (including the things I don’t plan!).
Warning: It Might Be Addictive
I don’t really know because I’ve always been this way.
But I imagine that when one area of your life is organized and you get to feel the results, that you want the rest of your life to match.
Teach others what you’ve learned. Get your family in on the game! And who knows, maybe one of your kids is secretly really organized. Start them off on the right foot by showing them how well set up they are for success.
Are you naturally organized or disorganized?
What is the first thing you’re going to do to start being more organized and getting more done?