I’m not going to lie, I feel a little bit hypocritical writing this blog. In 2018 when Purple Frogs was born I decided that I would write a blog at least once a month for the website. I didn’t think this would be too difficult as I love writing blogs and it’s one of things I most enjoy to do for my clients. However, I realise that I haven’t actually written a blog for Purple Frogs since August 2020 (and before that it was March 2020!!) and my only excuse is that I simply haven’t been organised enough to ensure this task becomes part of my monthly routine.
Today (April 26th) is Get Organised Day and, despite the fact that I have clearly dropped the ball when it comes to blogging for my own business, I do want to share some simple tips that I have in place for staying organised and generally keeping on top of my work load:
- Number your to-do list in order of priority and complete the tasks in that order.
I have been doing this daily for years and I really find that it stops me from feeling overwhelmed as when I finish a task I know what I need to move onto straight away. This also stops me procrastinating (which I am the QUEEN of!!)I always try to prioritise the time consuming or more difficult tasks over the quick simple ones. This means that as I go down the list my day gets easier. I also try to write my to-do list the night before so that I can sit down at my desk and hit the ground running straight away rather than trying to remember what I need to do that day.
- Keep your inbox as empty as possible!
This is very much a new one for me and in March I spent weeks clearing the almost 13,000 emails that were just sitting in my inbox, dating back to March 2018 – that’s three years worth of email hoarding! I deleted the ones that I no longer needed and created folders for everything else. As you can imagine this was a pretty boring task but the sense of satisfaction when I moved the final email into its folder was completely worth it. I actually noticed a shift in my mindset as it was when less thing to feel overwhelmed about. Now the only emails in my inbox are ones that I am yet to deal with or reply to. Once I have replied or completed the tasks within the email it either gets deleted or moved to it’s relevant folder so now when I open my emails in the morning it’s very clear who I need to reply to or what I need to action.
- Keep a list of all of your clients in eyeshot of your desk and check in with it every day – I have a white board by my desk with all of my clients listed, this includes clients that are more ad-hoc (ie: the ones that send me tasks every so often rather as opposed to clients that I support on an ongoing basis) and before I downtools each day I check in with it. This keeps them all fresh in my mind and helps me to keep on top of the workload I have for each one and pinpoint any tasks that may still be outstanding for whatever reason. This then prompts me to chase up any information I need from them to complete outstanding tasks, reminds me of anything that isn’t necessarily a priority but will need to be done in due course or simply to remind me that I am on top of everything and it’s safe to close my laptop for the day. I find that ending my day with that clarity on where I am with everything helps me to step away from work both physically and mentally.
These three tips are very simple (unless you also have 13,000 emails to organise – in which case, I urge you to get started now and do a little bit every day until it is done. It’s actually quite addictive once you get started!) but they are crucial for the daily running of my business and providing the best possible service to my clients while maintaining my own sanity.