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Organisation is the key to a more productive life.

We all have good intentions when it comes to being organised; whether that be a loose plan to get the things you need to do to get through each day or a more detailed approach that ensures you are on top of absolutely everything and super productive in everything you do. Whatever your reason, being organised definitely reduces stress and makes life a little easier.

Here are some organising tips which help me, and which I hope will help you too:

Plan Ahead: Get a Planner!

Personally, I find it really helpful to use a planner that enables me to plan months, weeks and days, but there are many types of planners available, just find the one that works for you.

Once you have chosen your planner, add in the non- negotiables, whether that be school runs, dog walks or regular appointments. This will give you a starting framework.

From there, add in your working hours and any regular work commitments.

It is also very important to build in time for yourself. This should not be an afterthought and don’t feel guilty! Taking time for yourself is good for your wellbeing and improves productivity.

Colour Coding

Whether you use a paper or online planner, colour coding can help to differentiate between personal and work tasks or even clients. In addition, prioritising tasks by colour can also help you to ensure that the most urgent tasks get completed first.

Write it down!

Who doesn’t love a list! Using your planner to create a daily/weekly task list helps to unclutter your mind, ensuring that the jobs get done and nothing it forgotten. There is a great sense of achievement when you cross a task off the list. I have been known to add a task to a list just so I can cross it off! If you prefer an app to paper then todoist is a great resource.

Set deadlines – soft and hard.

Ultimately, everything needs a hard deadline because it means that things get finished. Without a deadline, we often find ourselves procrastinating and this leads to unproductivity, which is stressful in itself.

An upcoming deadline increases the pressure and as a consequence, most of us find ourselves doing more work in those final days or hours to ensure this deadline is met.

However, if you create soft deadlines and use them properly you can combat this last-minute stress. Setting a soft deadline earlier than the hard deadline means you can complete the task ahead of time which in turn improves your time-management.

Breaking the task down into mini-tasks and setting soft deadlines for these is also a great way to conquer that project without feeling overwhelmed.

Declutter your workspace.

A clean and tidy workspace helps to keep you focussed and on task. It also minimises time wasting and reduces stress. Leaving my desk clear at the end of each day, enables me to start the next with a positive “Let’s go!” attitude. It’s hard to keep your desk tidy while you work, but I also find that taking a few minutes to do so when moving from one project to another, gives me a fresh perspective and stops me feeling overwhelmed.

Don’t be afraid to say No!

One thing we are all guilty of is over committing ourselves. This is why planning ahead is so important, as being able to see a month/week at a glance enables us to see what other commitments we have. It is always easier to say no if there is something already in the diary.

Hopefully you find these tips helpful. However, if after reading this, it all still sounds too daunting and you would like some help, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. I would be very happy to chat through how I can help you achieve a better routine and get more organised.