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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.

De-clutter regularly

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?

Stop multitasking

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!

90 Comments

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    Sophie

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

    1. 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!

  8. 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

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

    Sarah x

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.
    Great post!
    <3
    ooomaye.com

    1. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

    Lindifique

  22. 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

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. 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! 🙂

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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!

  29. 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! 🙂

  30. 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

  31. 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.

    Adam – http://daddoesautism.com

  32. 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.

  33. This was a really great post, it can be difficult to switch off when working from home but it’s good to stay organised!

  34. 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!

  35. 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

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

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