How To Organise Your Life and Business Effectively
Being organised. Is it a thing you are or something you can learn?
And what does it even mean to be organised?
Mainly it is planning ahead, right? Ensuring you have all your ducks in a row.
But then there are so many levels. Where do you even start?
In this post, we are going to share our 5 step system for organising anything in your life whether it is your schedule or your clothes and everything in-between. Because when you are organised, it prevents decision fatigue and allows things to flow.
The Basic Steps
Step 1: Break it down into the area of your life.
Step 2: Break it down into subcategories.
Relationships. Significant other. Family. Friends.
Health. Mental exercise. Physical exercise. Nutrition.
Home. Errands. Tidying. Cleaning. Washing.
Self-care. Relaxation. Journaling. Reading.
Step 3: Get everything out. Declutter and create flow.
This step applies whether it is clothes or digital files or anything else buzzing around in your mind. Think about flow, think about systems, think about what you need to get out of the system. For example, if you are organising your day to day clothes, what do you need to grab first? If you are organising your workload, how do you prioritise? Looking at the way you work best and making changes to suit will make it easier to live in your space regardless of whether it is digital or physical.
Step 4: Create a master list.
Have a master list. A place where you write EVERYTHING down. Mind dump it all down under each category and then when you think of something else, pop it down as soon as you can. And sub-label that list, so nothing gets lost.
Step 5 Create a system.
When it comes to any area of your life, you need a system, whether that is how to manage your social media or how to maintain your weekly meals. Systems work.
BONUS: Use your reminders.
Not necessarily a step but a tip to stay on track. When you remember something that needs to be done or when someone asks you to do something, or you know there is a deadline, set reminders on your phone so you are reminded at key times. This way, if ‘now’ is not the right time to do it, you have a reminder to sort it out later.
Ok so now we have got the steps out down, let look into some of the most common areas of your life that need organisation.
Income and Finances
The business organisation can not only save you time but money. By having your processes streamlined, you may save not only your time but your staff members time which means they can spend time on the work they are employed to do instead of admin. Receipt Bank, for example, has saved so many of our clients time. With Receipt Bank, all you need to do is snap a photo of the receipt and press submit, the alternative ways of doing this are much more time-consuming. Trust us. So Look at Your Processes
Look at your client attraction.
Look at your PR.
Look at your actual product or service.
Look at your sales funnel.
Look at your working environment.
Look at your marketing strategy.
Look at your customer service and support.
Look at your finances.
Look at your access (go cloud and paperless)
Look at your time management.
Look at your people management.
Now, this list may be a tad overwhelming so start with, so pick one that you feel will make the most impact. We would suggest that finances and customer service are two important ones to focus on.
Take your big vision and break that down into yearly goals. Break your annual goal down into quarterly action points. Finally, pick three things a week that will move you closer to achieving those goals once you have reached them. To keep on track, consistently update and add to a micro or macro to do list.
These three things become your main focus throughout the week, if you complete them early you can move on to something else, but those three things must be done. Plan these three things on a Friday or Sunday so that you can hit the ground running when Monday swings around.
Use post-its to plan and break down ideas. We love using digital tools like Trello, Asana, and One Note but sometimes you need to get your ideas out on paper (or Postits) let them flow. For any project type planning, grab a space that will not be bothered (something like the back of your office door or on a clear table) and over the course of a few days keep adding to the task list. This organisational process will ensure nothing is missed. This technique is also helpful when packing for a trip, throughout the week, keep adding things that you remember, and this will ensure you do not forget anything.
I have one notebook (small) for all things. Journaling, list making, and any other random things. I then have my big notepad, this is for my self-development and course learning.
I am sure that it doesn’t surprise you that we are going to stress the importance of getting your finances tied down.
How can you expect to grow your businesses if you stick your head in the sand when it comes to finances? Not only does this practice a positive money mindset but it is essential for growth.
There are so many ways and things to organise within your business and your finances, but we want to give you three actionable points:
Get Your Accounting Systems In Place
Xero and Receipt Bank are a winning combo.
There are so many applications on the market, but this duo is a great place to start streamlining your accounting process. We use this duo with all of our clients as we really do believe that they are game changers.
Take A Money Minute
A Money minute is where you take a minute each day to look over your finances. You check the money coming in, you check the money going out, you check the business and personal accounts, and you simply evaluate whether they were all necessary purchases and everything is correct.
Get A Bank That Does More Than Just Good Rates
Challenger banks such as Starling and Tide are fantastic. Our advice is to use Starling as a personal bank account and Tide as a business bank account. You can set up both accounts within minutes and all from your phone. Starling does offer a business bank account, but as of yet, it does not link with Xero.
I have my YSL shoulder bag with all my main items in it. Think about functionality and practicability. For example, my AirPods and keys are such small items and easy to lose but are needed for easy access. So they are put in the front section of the bag, which is secured with a zip. The bag has a built-in section for cards, so I only keep the cards I need in the bag. My top two most used cards are held on the right side, and all of the rest are on the other side, this makes grabbing them easier, and when I leave a location, all I need to do is check that my most used cards are in there. A quick glance that there are two cards and we are good to go. Finally, my phone is kept in the slip at the back. This protects it from any damage as it is the only thing in that compartment. Everything. Has. A. Place.
The Entrance Way
Another hotspot is the hall. Everyone comes through this entrance so of course, it is going to be a hotspot for mayhem. So give everyone a basket or place to put their main items.
You Dressing Area
The area in which you get ready.
Have only your day to day items out and stack them in order of use. Not only does this reduce decision fatigue but it makes the process so much quicker.
Your Cleaning Products
Whether you have a cleaner or not you are bound to have products in which you need regularly. I am thinking items such as wipes and all-purpose spray. Keep them in or near the places you need them. If they are there, you are more likely to wipe down the surface after use.
Finally, meals. You need to work out what is important to you when it comes to your organisation of meals. Do you hate the idea of making a meal? Or maybe it is the inconvenience of shopping? Or perhaps you like the creativity of cooking but need all your ingredients in one place. Pinpoint your pain point, and then you can address it accordingly. Here are some of our suggestions:
Freezer pack meals
Slow cooker meals
Automated meal delivery
Automated pre-cooked meals
Automated meal kits
Know what is in your freezer and have at least one meal to turn to when you are in a hurry. When you are hungry and tired, you will thank yourself for being so organised.
Self-care is often the thing that is the least organised and for many people the most neglected areas of their life. But you see in order serve your clients, to manage your employees in a good way and to
Self-care is not all bubble baths and face masks it is about allowing yourself what you need, without guilt. For some this may be meditation, for others it may be cleaning or gaming. What is it that you need? We have two ways we like to approach organisation when it comes to self-care:
The Self Care Box
A self-care box is an excellent way to be organised when it comes to your self-care. The self-care box is there for those times you just really need to CHILL.
A self-care box takes self-care from a physical and mental point of view. It is a physical box with all the things you will need. Here are some suggestions as to what you could include:
Letters and positive notes.
An instant meal such as soup for the days you just need to get some food inside of you.
Journaling prompts to get you out of any negative mindset.
Store the box away in an easily accessible location.
Self Time ‘dates’.
Our second suggestion as for how to approach self-care in an organised manner is to set in a date in the diary like you would a meeting. It is arguably as important. When you put it in the diary, you are more likely to actually do it!
Know Your Why
When you do anything, you must go in knowing your ‘why’. So when you start to organise your life you have got to tune into your ‘why’. Do you want to save time? Do you want to save energy? Do you want more calm in your life? Do you want to reduce decision fatigue? Do you want to increase your business and life efficiency?
Then you need to know the desired result. Get crystal clear on this. Go a level deeper. So for example, why do you want to increase efficiency in your life and business? Maybe to create more time that you can spend with your family. Perhaps so that you manage your stress better. Discover your why and go deeper. So with that in mind, we want to leave you with some organisational principles. The Organisational Principles are just some general tips that can help you on your way. Maybe choose one of the tips and take it from there.
The Organisational Principles
Some general tips to apply to your life:
Make Backups Of Everything
Everything we do is on the cloud. We like to use the example that if we lost our laptop tomorrow, it could be remotely wiped and we could go into Apple, and we could set it back up within minutes. Back up everything.
Give Everything a Home
Everything has a place. Whether it is your shoes or your digital files.
Allocate time in batches. Reply to emails and messages at designated times. Have assigned times to clear up. Have chosen times to have meetings. Batching is much more efficient than picking up whatever tasks come in at that moment.
Keep Hotspots Tidy
Keep hotspots clean and tidy. Like we have mentioned before, your kitchen, your bag, your computer desktop, your email, keep those hotspots clean and tidy.
Whatever it is you are trying to organise (and keep organised) you need to have regular check-ins. For projects that can be weekly reviews for goal progress, it can be monthly.
Try to approach life with a minimalist approach. It is often seen as owning nothing, but it is actually only owning things you love or that are practical.
The main takeaway here is to have a system and stick to it. Move things around if they do not work but the system only works if you do. The other takeaway is not over to complicate it. If it works for you but isn’t how someone else does it, don’t change it just because they don’t do it the same way, trust your own strategy.
About the author
Chloe Slade is the Marketing Manager here at Cone and focuses on creating content that brings business and lifestyle together. Chloe is a keen makeup lover, foodie and loves to work from luxurious destinations.