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I pride myself on being organised. It’s one of my best qualities. I’m not trying to toot my own horn – heck I RARELY compliment myself – but my organisational skills are top notch. I work from home and I’m self employed, so staying organised is of a super high importance to me. If I’m not organised, then my working day would be absolute mayhem.
Photo by Tanya Trukyr on Unsplash
Working in an office, I guess you have organisational methods and systems already in place. Filing cabinets and folders from the way the company have always organised things. It’s just up to you to learn those techniques and carry them on. But when you work from home, it’s alllll up to you baby!
I firmly believe that staying organised helps you stay productive and lowers stress levels too. I know from experience that if I’m having a day where I’m feeling particularly un-organised (which is rare), my head is ALL OVER THE PLACE and I feel like a computer screen with 16 different tabs open.
So today I’m going to share some super easy ways you can stay productive when working from home. Whether you work from home permanently or on the odd occasion, these tips can easily be implemented into your life!
Try and get into a routine
Although not directly related to organisation, more so to productivity but I feel like the two go hand in hand. And a routine is a big part of that. I won’t suggest a routine for you to try because it’s important to remember that different things work for different people. But try and find a routine that works for YOU and do your best to stick to it!
Store everything properly
So the other week I was looking for one of my tax books from a previous tax year. I’m SUPER organised, as you well know already so I was horrified that I couldn’t find it. How could I be SO CARELESS with something SO IMPORTANT. Oh, what’s worse, is that this book contained my log in details for HMRC *internally cries*.
We finally found it. It was in the shed. I don’t know why it was in the shed but it was in the shed. Among a load of other old rubbish, photographs and nick nacks. Not the ideal place to “store” important documents. So if you work from home or work for yourself, a good storage system is VITAL for organisation.
If you’re looking for good quality storage for all those old files, folders and important business related documents that you really don’t want to misplace, Magenta Storage have a perfect packing shop with all sized boxes you’ll need to keep mega organised.
Keep a dedicated office / work space
This is one point that I really need to take my own advice on but sadly it hasn’t been possible for me to have a dedicated work space at home because there isn’t the room! BUT if you do have the option, find a dedicated work space and make it your own. Whether that’s a spare room or a garden office. It’ll be much easier to stay organised if you’re keeping your work stuff and life stuff separate.
I’m a huge advocate for de-cluttering. I hate clutter. Hate, hate, hate it. And I honestly feel like my mind is more cluttered when I have more physical clutter around me. Psychology, eh? So of course it’s important to de-clutter your kitchen cupboards and your wardrobe regularly but don’t forget your work space too. Your desk, your files and even your laptop and digital devices!
Lists, notebooks and spreadsheets
Yay, lists! My favorite thing EVER. Not a day goes by without me working from a to-do list and I believe they help massively with organisation. Notebooks are great to stay organised too as you can dedicate a different notebook to a different area of your work. And spreadsheets, well… who doesn’t love a spreadsheet?
Again another point that will help with both organisation and productivity and that’s stop multitasking. Stop it. Seriously. This is something I’ve been working tirelessly on for years, being of a certain go-go-go nature. But why would you want to half ass 3 jobs when you could do 1 properly? Think about it.
Take breaks regularly (especially if you’re always sitting down!)
And finally a point to help you keep up the momentum. Because working from home… there’s a lot of distractions. And temptations. The fridge. The dog. The PlayStation. So it’ important to take those breaks, as you would working in an office and not push through until you drop.
How do you stay organised when you work from home? Have you implemented any of these tips or have any organisational hacks to share yourself? Let me know!
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Taking regular breaks is a must I definitely agree, in the office there are lots of little breaks we take without even thinking about it. But at home its all to easy to get sucked into hours of sitting down time staring at screen, logging in and out of daily conference calls.
It can really take the wind out of your sails & leave you feeling lethargic…
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Oh gosh, I agree with you totally here! I’ve been told I’m super organised as well. Although, there’s always room for improvement. Thank you for sharing some great tips Jenny!
Gemma | https://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com/
There’s always room for improvement! Until I am Bree Van De Kamp organised, I won’t be satisfied haha!
I love all these tips! It’s so important to stay organized when working from home. I need to work more on managing my distractions.
I am fortunate enough to have made a home office in our small 3rd bedroom in fact I’ve been able to revamp it during lockdown. It really helps me stay focussed although I must confess I have up to 30 tabs open at 1 time! I also love organisation and lists.
That’s great, I’m so jealous!
I found it a lot easier to work from home as I had a proper desk set up and my work phone xx
That’s great that you have a desk x
We just moved and honestly Jenny you’d be so proud of how much crap I got rid of. Instead of constantly having to shift crap to have space to work, everything is nicely organised and the clutter is at a minimum! It’s made a huge change to my headspace too. Also, I feel you on the lists thing! I can’t get anything done without a list. I even had a huge list of all the things I needed to clean before we moved from the old house. Hopefully now I can stay organised like you and get much more done! x
Oh my god this makes me so happy, I’m so proud! Glad you’re feeling the clearer head space as well from the lack of clutter!
I am very chaotic, so these tips are very helpful. Thank you so much
I definitely think that trying to keep to a routine and having some sort of structure to your day helps, even if it is a bit different to normal working hours to suit your lifestyle or when you feel more productive. I hate, hate, hate, hate when files are a mess. Whether that’s on paper or computer files that need sorting, I always feel quite overwhelmed if mine aren’t in order. I really need to work on taking more breaks. I look at my screen all day unless I’m recipe prepping, and even if I do take a break from a task there’s a very high chance I use it to look at something else on my screen. Such a bad habit! x
Messy files do my head in too! Hope you manage to fit more breaks into your routine!
Making lists and spreadsheets helps x
I am 100% with you on multi-tasking – it’s a complete myth, and I think the nature of how chaotic it is means it definitely doesn’t affect our organisation in a good way. I’m a big proponent of single-tasking (though I do need to commit to it more) and I also love de-cluttering every morning before I start work.
Agreed! The only multi-tasking I really like to do is listening to music whilst doing some basic tasks, like replying to blog comments x
I really like the tip about storage. I never thought about that, but I guess it is really important. I always a have a pen and paper with me so I can note down any idea that pop into my mind or write down things I need to do so I do not forget. Were you not supposed to get your own office? What happened to that?
I am still getting the office but lockdown hit before the builders were able to come and do it! And because my Dad is high risk, we didn’t want to get them in to do it when they were able to work again so I’ll have to wait a little longer, sadly!
That is a shame, but totally understandable. I hope you will be able to get it soon though 🙂
Great tips! I’m so not used to working from home haha, I definitely need to remember to take breaks, I get so carried away especially when its busy (which is pretty much all the time for me) As its only a temp thing, I don’t really have paperwork for my job so I don’t have to worry about where things are stored. I also do shift work so I can’t really get into a routine as I might work from 9am one day and then 2pm the next. I do enjoy not having to travel though! Looking forward to getting back into the office though
It bet it’s been such a tough transition for those who aren’t used to working from home!
Really loved this post, I do struggling working from home and completely agree that being organised with lists is the best way to be productive!x
It really is 🙂
A dedicated space to do your work is essential to me. Making it a routine is also a great tip! Thanks 🙂
I honestly am the worst person with the clutter. I just like to have things where I can see them. But I also know that if I won’t clean it makes my creativity non-existent because I think about the mess only.
Great post! Thank you x
You’re welcome! I think there’s such thing as organised clutter 😉
Oooh! I need to stay organized during this lockdown. I agree with all of these different points! Storing everything properly and getting a habit of doing it on the spot will help your future self with no backlogs in this area. I need to do a better job of not multi tasking. I find myself being lost in what I am doing that I realized I wasn’t paying attention to meetings. Breaks are definitely needed too. Thanks for sharing!
Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me
You’re welcome 🙂
Wonderful tips, I need to implement so many of them! I wish I had a spare room to use as an office during the shelter-in-place. Right now I’m working at my dining room table, and it is not ideal. But I’m thankful to be able to work from home.
Having a dedicated work space is so, so important! I was given that advice by a friend that was working from home when I first embarked on this journey and I’m SO happy he said something. I probably would have fallen into the trap of sitting on the couch or in bed all the time with my productivity paying the price!
I currently sit in bed and work because I don’t have the option of a dedicated work space right now and would NOT recommend!
These are all such great tips for staying organized! I am now back to work so I am unfortunately no longer a stay at home cat mom and full time blogger lol I am trying to get back in the habit of blogging while working full time again. It is much harder than I remember!
I can imagine it is! I admire anyone that blogs whilst working full time!
I loved this post! I’ve been forced to work from home since I had to left my college’s campus back earlier this year due to the pandemic. I currently have a desk in my bedroom that serves as my office space. I’ve also made it a habit for me to take a break just so I can refill my water bottle or grab food if I’m hungry.
Sounds like a good plan!
Thank you for this!!
This is such a helpful post, thank you for sharing. I’ve been trying to get into a routine that I can stick to but I’m definitely going to try out some more of these tips.
Hope they help!
Ah this works perfectly with my latest post about working at home! Totally agree that a dedicated space and a routine are so important. And I live for my lists!
Couldn’t live without a list!
These are all great tips! I definitely think having a dedicated space works wonders. I currently just set up on my dining room table during the week but at the end of a friday I pack it all away so it’s not reminding me of everything I still have to do on monday!
That’s a really great idea!
I’m this lockdown I can’t actually work from home since I’m a beauty therapist but my boyfriend does and he definitely finds it hard to concentrate at times so I’ll be passing this along to him! X
I don’t blame him! Hope he finds it helpful!
Stopping multitasking is one of the best pieces of advice! I always do that, where I’ll try and do about a million things at once and it just makes everything so unorganised 😩 great post x
Stop multi-tasking is something I definitely need to work on! Love all my projects but they hardly ever get finished 😂
It’s easier said than done!
I love this post and I agree with everything.
I think also being intentional about staying organised it because something I can procrastinate and never carry out my routine.
Super guilty of multi tasking. Whenever there’s a task that requires a bit of waiting, I end up starting something else thinking I’m saving time but in the end it takes me longer to remember what I was doing in the first place!
I’ve been guilty of that too!
These tips are honestly so good, I’m working from home and I always have a prioritised list to do
Love, Amie ❤️
The Curvaceous Vegan
That’s great, hope that helps you!
Thanks for sharing these. I really need to follow the ‘taking breaks’ tip. I can sometimes end up sitting at my desk for hours on end without moving!
Oh same! It’s awful!
This is such a great list. I have worked primarily from home for almost 10 years and I endorse the importance of having a routine. When I went full-time work from home a couple of months ago, my well established routine went out the window for a variey of reasons. One day, I started working at 6 a.m. and was still in my pyjamas at 3. I told myself that was enough and got back to a routine. It makes me way more productive!
Oh goodness haha! It’s important to find a routine that works for you.
Thank you so much for this post! I agree completely on the point of not multitasking. I mean yes, sometimes it works, but if you really want to start finishing tasks you got to focus on one at a time.
Helpful tips to follow!
Routine is such a big thing for me. If I wake up later than usual or don’t have certain things done by a certain time, my day begins to feel more stressful. Love writing down notes as well, being able to see what I’ve accomplished each day. Lovely post! https://thestyleoflaurajane.com/
These are some great tips especially for those who are having to stay from home. It can be so hard to stay organised and motivated when working from home. Following these tips can be helpful. I use to-do lists, my planner and my bullet journal x
Lists are an absolute lifesaver! I make multiple a day usually but it really keeps me on track! Would hardly get anything done without them haha xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
I’m still trying to adapt a routine but lists, oh my lists are the number one thing keeping me going!
I think that setting yourself a routine is key in staying organised! Also who doesn’t love a de-clutter?! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Thanks a lot for sharing.
It can be difficult to switch off when working from home but it’s good to stay organised!
I am the ultimate multitasker and found that when I work from home it’s so hard to jump from work, to my blog, to housework. I definitely am most productive when I can direct all my energy into one task at a time. Thanks for sharing!
Love this! I also feel like I am a pretty organized person, however, there’s always room for improvement! I love learning new ways to be organized and productive. Thanks for sharing!
Kristen | https://globetrottingguiris.com/
I love everything about this topic. I really enjoyed this post. The house seems to get so much more disorganized now that I’m home all of the time. (Even if I spend 6 hours at my desk working!) It’s like some weird twilight zone, where I clean and put things away but turn around and there they are. I always appreciate new ideas on how to stay organized. Thank you!
You are such an inspiration! I like that idea of a garden office…something wonderful to dream about. All of these ideas are good. I think keeping up a routine is so very important in anything that you want to do. We have to make time for the things that are most important to us…and that does involve structure, Without that, nothing we want to do ever gets accomplished. Thank you for this…such a good reminder! 🙂
Spreadsheets and to-do lists are a lifesaver for me when it comes to working from home! I’ve also found that leaving my phone in the other room is a huge help too so I’m not constantly scrolling through Facebook! x
Honestly I cannot agree with the storing everything in its place enough, because there is nothing more annoying when you end up throwing everything all over the place just to find one document haha! I am definitely an organised person, so these points I pretty much do xxx
Like you, I’m a really organised person. I don’t like clutter or chaos because it makes me anxious. I already follow most of these tips but you’ve given me a couple of new ideas too so thanks!
I’ve really been struggling with working from home and this is such a helpful post in order to combat the struggles that might arise due to that. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
wonderful post to stay organized, its going to help me!! thanks.
Lovely post and so helpful. I’ve got a good routine down and am able to organise my days off well, but sometimes I fall short of my own expectations and my days become cluttered.
I find making lists and arranging my calendar is very usual though – in fact I’ve just written a blog post regarding how I plan my life to reduce anxiety.
Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk
Great post, I was fairly new to working from home by choice, when this whole covid thing happened. With 2 kids at home all the time things aren’t as organised and as structured as I’d like. I’m just having to do what I can during all of this.
When things go back to “normal” I really want to up my organisation game, and have a somewhat structured work routine.
Routines are so important for me! They definitely help me get through the day and they keep me on track. I do not know what i would be doing this lock down if I didn’t have my routines! De cluttering is also a great help for me.
This was a really great post, it can be difficult to switch off when working from home but it’s good to stay organised!
I have almost given up on being organised, for it seems the harder I try, the less I achieve!
But I love what you say about multitasking, as that might well be where I’m going wrong!
Routine and notebooks are my saviour! I have a daily to do list on a whiteboard on the fridge I tick off. I would struggle otherwise. A fab post and some great tips!
It’s so Important to maintain a routine! I like to get up at the same time each day even on weekends to make sure that I’m making the most of each day
Great post thank you for sharing.
Like yourself I LOVE a list and that is a key factor of my organisation, if I don’t write down in order of importance what I need to do I find myself not concentrating on the task in hand and constantly going back and forth between other jobs that need doing. Definitely would be an absolute mess without my list!
This was really helpful. Thanks 🙂
Trello boards have been my lifesaver with working from home being able to organise what I want to work on that day rather than getting flustered because it’s harder to talk through projects with people. I’m lucky that I can separate work and living space but this has just made me think about how cluttered my “office” is. Job for the long weekend, for sure. Great tips!