Some days I wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, brush my teeth, wash my face, sit at my desk, and .... what am I doing?
Ever felt that way?
There are triggers for this, a messy desk, a messy kitchen (my desk is my kitchen table), a messy lounge room (my kitchen and lounge are open plan), and this all equals a messy mind, where I can't focus because I'm too distracted by the pile of magazines, empty food packages, or unwashed dishes. I'm sure you have experienced this, even when your dedicated office ROOM is chaotic - like a hurricane of papers and pens and ink cartridges hit during the night.
because there is a messy desk/room and your mind is messy, your calender appears messy, you put the wrong events on the wrong dates, and you've triple booked that lunch time with a network meeting, massage, and Dr's appointment.
WHERE IS MY MIND?
(*** Not in anyway referencing The Pixies song***)
There are a few things that I do to FIND MY MIND, or rather organise myself so that I can be as efficient as I can and have the success that I know will come slightly easier if I was more organised.
My desk with books in cane containers and pens/pencils in tin and ceramic pots.
1. Figuring out what works for me - I have a dream, a minimalist dream where the draws hold only the essentials, the cupboards have neat lines of produce, clothing, books, there is a nice rug on an empty floor, and everything is dust-free. I'm not there yet. I am working towards it though .... slowly. BUT, my flatmate is the opposite, piles of papers, clothes, and makeup, stacks of books on the coffee table, and shoes piled up at the door ... but she knows where everything she needs is - there must be some order to the madness! Complete opposites, but these different existences work. So, what way of organisation works most for you? Figure this out and you have a start to finding your organised state of mind.
2. Get necessary with the unnecessary - when you figure out what works for you, then ditch what is outside of this realm of organisation. For me that involves being very proactive in keeping on top of clutter, AND being rather ruthless with "things." If I haven't used it, remembered it, or "seen" it recently, get rid of it. Make it a necessity to ditch the unnecessary every week, don't let it pile on top of you.
3. Get specific about where you put things - On my kitchen table/work desk I have containers that specifically hold pens, pencils, post-its, sticky-tape, staplers, stamps, business cards, work books, etc. This makes them all very easy to move to enable the work desk to be transformed into a kitchen table at a moments notice. In regards to this though, remember that each item has its spot and try to put it back there after you have finished using it ... makes it dead easy to find the next time.
4. Keep your virtual desktop as tidy as your real world one - yep, your laptop/computer desktop can become just as cluttered and craze-inducing as your physical space. So use that trash can, use those folders, be ruthless, be thoughtful, and lower, firstly, what is visible on your desktop, and then what is actually in your folders. Make sure you have subfolders in folders and label them as specific as you can be, in my "Speaking Work" folder, I have many subfolders, including "Marketing," "Press," "Feedback," "Booking Confirmation," etc.
5. Organise that ticking clock - or rather your time and where you are spending it and not spending it. Some of my best friends work well with spontaneity, me? Not so much. I like order to a certain extent, especially when it comes to work and weekdays. Be conscious of your time and be deliberate with it. Set boundaries and let others know - this is me working and I can't be disturbed, and this is me with free time that I can spend with you, on my hobbies, or just plopped in front of the t.v. You are in control of what you do with your time, no-one else is.
Following these tips has helped me (slowly) start to get a flow happening to my life, a flow that is determined by me and helping me move not just my work forward, but also my life. Give them a go (or just one or two of them if you like) and let me know how it goes in the comments.