Wednesday, 10 July 2019

How I organise my day

I like to think that I'm a very organised person. I love making plans and lists, I know where pretty much everything in my house is, I usually remember everything that needs to be taken up to school, and I don't very often lose things.

I work from home, both on this blog and for a home working company, and although it's not very reliable or demanding I can fit it around the children and their needs, as well as much of the school and household admin. But in order to do so I need to have a system, and I thought I'd share how I plan my day to keep myself organised.

As I've discussed here on the blog before, Trello is vital to me for organising my life. Trello is a free online organisational tool which uses cards, lists and boards to keep track of projects. I turn each item on my to do list into a colour coded card, which I store in lists. Each day has its own list, and when a one-off task is completed I delete the card. When a recurring card is complete I move it to the list for the next day or week. Every evening I make sure that the day's list is complete, reschedule incomplete tasks as necessary, and delete the list.

So every morning, I load up my To Do Trello board and sort through the tasks for the day. I'm a big believer in eating the frog, and so if there's a task that I really don't want to do (like making a phone call!) then I'll move it to the top of the list and get it out of the way first. Some tasks can't be done until the children get home from school or until the evening and so they get moved to the bottom. Some of my daily recurring tasks, like little bits of blog admin, only take a few minutes, and so I like to get them out of the way early on and drag them over to the next day.

I'm flexible with my time, and as I sometimes meet friends and make time for gym trips, every day is different. I try and plan my week in advance to a certain extent, adding more tasks for the days that I know I'll be at home, and getting things out the way beforehand if I have a busy day coming up.

I also know the times of day when I'm most productive, so I'll try and schedule accordingly. For example, I find it easy to get on without distraction in the morning, but it's difficult to regain my rhythm after lunch. So this is when I'll plan a gym trip, or to do some housework away from the computer.

Laptop at a desk ready for work
Photo credit Kari Shea via Unsplash

If I have an event coming up with lots of tasks, for example a holiday or a seasonal event like Christmas, I'll split the tasks up and spread them out so it's not too overwhelming and doesn't end up being left to the last minute. For an upcoming holiday I'll make a card to pack for each person, as well as cards for shopping that needs to be done or housework that I want to get done before I go away. It also means more things to tick off which is very satisfying!

I do however try not to get too hung up on my lists. Although the important things generally get done, it's very rare that I complete everything on my list for the day. I just slide it over to the next day or week and don't worry too much about it.

My system also works really well for things that pop into my mind through the day, like a birthday card to be bought or something I need to pick up from the shops. I'll just open up the Trello app on my phone and type in a quick card to remind me. I tell my family that if I add something to my to do list then it will get done, as I'm constantly going over it!

How do you keep organised and make sure that everything gets done? I'd love to hear your tips!

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