I'm a serious scatterbrain sometimes - I'll put something down and then never remember where I put it when I need it to hand. Working for myself and running two websites and managing client work can be quite the juggling act, and I'm forever beating myself up when something gets lost within the crowd and I end up being behind on something. This is why I've set myself five little rules to follow so I can try and stay on top of everything, and I wanted to share them with you today for anyone else craving a more organised life...
Reply to emails within 24-48 hours I can be terrible at replying to emails - most replies start with something along the lines of 'I'm so sorry it's taken me forever to get back to you'. I've set myself the new rule of replying to emails within 48 hours, though preferably 24, as between managing correspondences with clients, readers, ALO contributors, and business related stuff, I know I have to make more time in my work day for my inbox.
Have a process Having a process for all of the regular tasks in my daily routine helps keep everything as streamlined as possible. So whether it's something as small as social media scheduling, or how I format content and communicate with freelance clients, I have a process I follow each time to make things as simple as I can. My best advice is to actually share your process with any clients or co-workers - this way they'll be in the loop as well and understand how you work.
Follow the two minute rule It's a super simple rule, but if a task pops up and it will take two minutes or less to complete - maybe it's filing something away or a quick reply to an email - then do it. Two minutes is fast enough that it shouldn't interfere with your routine, and it means that you won't find yourself with a 20 minute long extra to-do list come the end of the day with all the things you've been putting off.
Keep lists Lists are how we stay on track - even when I try and convince myself I don't need a list that day, without one I'm unfocused and tend to get nothing done. The night before I usually write down anything I need to remember to do the following day, though on the whole I follow a weekly to-do list with all tasks spread out throughout the week. Just a super simple and focused to-do list is all we need - I shared how to build a productive one here.
Make time for admin Oh admin, I don't know about you but it's my least favourite task. So much so that I can sometimes just let things pile up until it feels impossible to tackle it. So from now on my rule is that I have to make time for admin - no excuse. Invoices and receipts must be filled and organised, expenses must be recorded and all incomings and outgoings noted down. The boring side of being self employed is never going to be the most enjoyable, but it comes with the territory and I know I need to just embrace it and build a process that works for me.
What about you, what are your steps for staying on top of everything?
Image background via June Letters
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