Organisation tips for September

Usually, at this time of the year, I’d be all about embracing the back-to-school fee. My thoughts would turn to finding ways to enjoy the last of the summer weather while putting foundations in place for winter. However, I’m a little distracted from such things at present. I’m spending half of each week helping my parents declutter in preparation for downsizing. It’s a move I’m sure that will prove to have lasting benefits for the whole family. But right now life does seem to be made up of boxes of random objects, photos of people no one recognises and hundreds of mugs.

But there’s always something that can be learnt from any situation (working on my Pollyanna attitude…) and finding a way to do all my work in 3 and half days has been a useful experience into looking at what matters. I’ve also realised that it’s possible to be more productive when you’re both busy and short of time. It means that you have to be well organised. And know that every minute spent being distracted is another minute later you’ll be working.

So here are my suggesting for getting organised in September:

Work out what you actually need to do

Focus on the things that must be done. Particularly the type of things that you know needs working on but usually gets put off until the next day. Ignore the things that aren’t really important. The types of thing that can be put off for a few weeks without creating extra work. Then look at the number of days available to you work by week and separate out the work. Don’t get distracted by creating a multicolour schedule. Go minimalist and just allocate the work to the time and then do it.

Tidy as you go

Tempting as it can be to leave things to sort out later don’t. Likewise do not fling all the things into a cupboard, shed or storage box to deal with when you have time. Unless you schedule in time for clearing out it’s unlikely to happen. All you’re doing is creating a bundle of extra work for a later point. So do the washing up, eat the food in the fridge and keep your space clear. Otherwise, your mind doesn’t stand a chance against the chaos.

Take small breaks

I love chugging mugs of tea while I work. But stopping to drink my tea and read a few pages of a book is even better. But we don’t do the latter because being too busy to stop seems cooler. It’s more like how we imagine success. So stop signalling how much you love your work by pushing yourself and instead show your work respect by taking a break.