As I am currently juggling second year university, this blog and some sort of social life, organisation is the most important thing to me. Before you jump in and say “oh but joanna, the blog is just a bit of writing…”, I would like to tell you that nO, there are so many things that go into a blog post, writing, photos, proof reading, corresponding with companies and other bloggers. Sometimes a post can take me 2-3 days solidly working. But I am not complaining, this is my passion, and works very well alongside university, as it is fairly flexible and I can predict when I will be busier at uni and schedule posts etc. But all this requires organisation, time management, and a damn good calendar. This is where Kartotek stepped in, they kindly sent me a few of their stationary items to help me keep my brain in one piece, and I have absolutely fallen in love with their design and functionality. Bringing minimalism to organisation is the best thing that has happened to me, and it has inspired me to create a short list of 5 things you can do to be more organised.
1. Have a central calendar which includes EVERYTHING.
Whether you use physical or online calendars, make sure that you have a system and don’t use too many different calendars for different things. Whilst you may find it useful to split up work and personal commitments, it may mean constantly double checking and cross-referencing between calendars and it may all get a little confusing. Instead, the best thing is to either keep a system or to move everything into one calendar and this will help you keep track of all your commitments and deadlines and will make sure that you don’t double book yourself.
2. Do 30 seconds tasks now
I have this mentality that if the task at hand can be completed in under a minute, you should do it there and then. The only rule is if you need to leave for a bus or train and I guess every second counts. But otherwise, you have no excuse. Reply to that email as soon as you read it, tidy your desk after you finish working on it, add that meeting to your calendar straight away. Sometimes, in order to be organised, you have to take control of the small things to be able to move forward with the larger projects. Because at the end of the day, everything you do is a combination of smaller pieces. Every essay is a combination of little nuggets of information, every blog post is a collection of sentences, making up a larger piece. Basically if the task takes longer to write it on your to-do list, than it does to actually complete it, then do it straight away!
This one is definitely easier said than done, but if you can master your priorities, then I believe you have completed half the battle. For me, I like to mix long term and short term goals. This makes prioritising easier. For example, I will make sure I have a good grasp on uni assignments a while before they are due so that I can fit in little tasks in here and there, rather than working solidly on an essay the two days before it is due. You also need to identify what things hold more importance over others. This isn’t something I can really tell you, unfortunately there isn’t a formula to work out relative importance, this is one you will have to learn to master for yourself.
4. Know that you can’t do it all on one day.
This is something that we all often forget. There isn’t enough time in the day for you to complete everything on your to do list and we need to accept that it is okay. If you are one of those people who get a feeling of failure if you haven’t managed to do all the things you have set out to do, then maybe you need to shorten your lists. Create a different list for each day of the week and delegate jobs in advance to the future. Realise that you don’t have the energy to do absolutely everything in 15 hours and learn to accept that you tried your best. You’ll avoid disappointing yourself if you spread out your tasks over a few days and not taking on too much and this will actually combat the feeling of being overwhelmed at the days tasks.
5. Give yourself time to relax and recharge
If you put your mind to something and have the right stationary… ;), you will get a long way. By having a tidy mind and a tidy work space, you can revolutionise your productivity levels. Make your desk area an enjoyable place to be, it is the tidiest spot in my room and I try to always keep it decluttered. This means you don’t have to rifle through things and tidy up even before you have sat down to do work. Treat yourself with some nice stationary. You will want to fill up that nice notepad as soon as you get it and it just makes the whole organisation thing a lot nicer to cope with.
If you have some of your own tips for organisation and productivity, please leave them in the comments and share your wisdom across our community 🙂
A massive thank you needs to be extended to Kartotek for sending me some of their beautiful stationary items. Do go over to their site and check the whole range out for yourself. Kartotek are a Danish stationary and design accessories brand who reflect the Scandinavian simplicity perfectly. I have absolutely fallen in love with their design and hope you will too.