Providing virtual assistance support to a range of different clients has taught me many lessons about organisation.
Today I’d like to share a few tips with you to help assert order in what can sometimes feel like a chaotic world.
Focus on your objectives
Remind yourself of your long-term goals and keep checking them and updating them when things change. Make sure each of your projects and tasks map to one of your objectives – if they don’t, deprioritise them.
Based on your objectives, keep a daily, weekly and monthly to-do list of tasks. Categorise them into those which are important and those which are urgent; anything that’s not important or urgent also goes in the deprioritised list.
Use calendars and planning tools
Pick one way of planning your time and stick to it – if you use multiple planners and calendars you run the risk of forgetting appointments or running into conflicts. Keep tabs on your planner. Once a week, look ahead to the following week for upcoming events, especially those which may necessitate planning, like travelling to a meeting or birthdays requiring special purchases. Every evening, check your planner and make sure you’re prepared for the next day. Look at your planner again first thing in the morning to remind yourself what’s ahead of you. Don’t get caught out!
Expect the unexpected
Unanticipated issues crop up all the time. Instead of letting them throw a spanner in the works, be open to replanning your schedules and plans and reprioritise your tasks accordingly. Instead of planning every minute of your day, it can help to keep a small space of time free to deal with unplanned occurrences. If goals get pushed down (or off!) your list because of an unforeseen event, don’t get discouraged. Instead look ahead to how you can replan those goals back into your roadmap.
Whether it’s your phone or your laptop, make sure you’re taking regular backups of your appointments, notes, photos and documents. Set aside some time each month to make sure all your devices are backed up or – even better – arrange automated back-ups.
Keep an agreeable workspace
This is such an important topic I’ll dedicate a whole post to it later on! But in summary, a clean, neat and pleasant workspace is essential to good organisation.
Make sure you have a workspace that you enjoy working in. This might mean you have pictures on your walls, photos of your family or it might even require a bit of redecorating. Keep your workspace clear, with only the most critical items or information that you access frequently on your immediate desk space – everything else should be sorted, filed or archived on shelves or cabinets. This doesn’t always need to take a lot of space, and there are many compact or desktop storage systems available which can really help.
Quote: “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never change that fact! In addition to rushing around being productive, you also need to ensure you have plenty of time to actually live!
Read my blog post 10 tips for better time management to help make sure you’re in tip top shape!
If you’ve organised as much as you can and still aren’t getting time to focus on the projects you want, or you feel like your work/life balance is out of equilibrium, maybe it’s time for some virtual assistance support. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a chat.