At times when it feels like you may have bitten off more than you can chew, it helps to take a couple of days to really get organised, both in the projects you’re working on, and in the physical space in which you’re trying to make things happen.
Here are a few ideas that may help you to feel more organised when working, more in control of your surroundings, and in the long run, help you to get more done.
Get rid of clutter
You don’t need clutter in your life, that’s why it’s called clutter. Are you trying to sit down and write in a space that’s full of cardboard boxes from when you moved six month ago? Are there papers strewn across your desk? Could you build a fort with all the random bits and bobs within arms reach of your writing space? Then it’s time to get a rubbish bag and remove EVERYTHING that you have no use for – it’s only getting in your way.
Whether you need The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying to do this KonMari-style, or you’re ruthless and simply chuck things without thanking them first, the goal is to get rid, so don’t be afraid to do that.
Pick a spot (not your couch)
Do you write on a laptop from your couch, or your bed? It usually takes a few weeks of this for many to realise that it just isn’t the most efficient way to get things done. If you’re sitting on your couch, then you’re more likely to stick the TV on in the background while you’re typing. And thus, you’re more likely to watch the TV and become distracted. Don’t pretend you’re superhuman, we’ve all had an episode of Mad Men on “in the background”, and that’s OK.
Same goes for working in bed. Your bed is where you sleep, so working there means it no longer becomes a place of slumber, but a place of deadlines and thinking. Not relaxing. It will pay off in the long run to create spaces for each part of your life; sleep in bed, watch TV on the couch, and work at a dedicated desk.
Change the way you use Facebook
Facebook is the procrastination downfall for many people, and it can be hard to turn off a site where all of your friends are having conversations and posting about the fun things they’re up to. That’s why turning off Facebook altogether isn’t always an option, but rather, changing the way in which you use it.
Have a scroll through the kinds of things on your news feed. Is it distracting to see Sally’s meals three times a day? Do you feel disheartened when you see selfies of Jim at the gym getting fit when you’re at home? You don’t need to delete friends from your list, but it might help to choose what kind of content you want to see. If someone distracts you or gets you down with their posts, turn off those notifications. Same goes for pages, if it’s not something you’re truly interested in, get rid of it.
Find a bunch of pages that post about entrepreneur motivation, inspirational pictures, things to get your creative juices flowing (like the Desk Life Project page, for example!), so that when you’re scrolling through your news feed it becomes a place to feel inspired and uplifted, and you’ll be ready to get to work.
Clear out those folders
If you’re a generally cluttered person, you probably have a million projects on the go and have been saving random documents and images everywhere and anywhere, thinking “I’ll come back to it later”. If your computer is in use from the moment you wake up in the morning, and pretty much all day afterwards, then it’s likely that you’re constantly downloading things, saving things, moving things, and never actually tidying things up. Once you’ve cleared up the clutter in the physical space around you, it’s time to clear up your digital space.
Create a few key folders and subfolders for all of the projects you’re working on, and spend some time (even if it’s just 10 minutes each day this week) putting all of your random documents somewhere you can actually find and use them. A great time saver.
Create an inspiring space
The space in which you work needs to be one that you feel happy to come to every day. If it’s messy and grey and totally boring, then you’ll take one look and find something else more important to do – like avoid work. Think of things that will make you want to visit this creative space.
Add a coaster to put your coffee on in the morning. Find a colourful poster that makes you want to create. Add inspirational quotes on post-it notes to remind yourself how awesome you are and how important the project you’re working on is. Create a space that’s personal, motivational and cosy, and you’ll never want to leave.
Got a few ideas of your own? Post pictures of your work space on our Facebook page and make us jealous.
Photo by Bench Accounting via Unsplash Bench Accounting