Some of the questions I’m asked most frequently about our business and working from home in general, have to do with staying organized. As you can probably surmise, it’s sometimes a challenge to keep life and work separate when they’re both taking place under the same roof. Having methods and habits in place that keep you organized and able to focus are essential when working, and especially when working from home.
I’m always happy to share some insider information on how I keep things running here at Priority VA, so today I’m going to answer some of your questions on how I stay organized.
How Trivinia Keeps Her (Work) Life Organized
First, I have my workspace completely defined. I have an actual office – a room with a door I can close, with my desk, my computer, my bookshelves, and my most favorite wood word art.
When I walk into my office, my brain and body know it’s time to get some work done. I can close the door to shut out the distractions if I need to, and my physical space becomes my literal work-zone. I have my meetings, calls, and productive time from my comfy office chair.
Yes, I work other places in the house (or other coffee shops in town), but for the most part, I get more work done and am able to think more clearly from my set-aside workspace. If you don’t have an extra room in your house to set up an office, that’s fine – just make sure you can dedicate as thee spot you’re going to do most of your work from.
Second, I have everything I *have* to have in order to work, right at my fingertips. For me, that’s my computer, pens, post-its, and coffee. Do not forget the coffee.
I need you to understand, this is all I have at my workspace. I don’t have it cluttered, I don’t have piles, and I don’t have to search for things. All I keep on my desk are those key essentials: computer, pens, post-its, and coffee. I have to have a clean desktop and tidy work area in general. Virtually and otherwise. My computer desktop isn’t cluttered with files, either.
Everything has its place, and there’s a place for everything. Amy Porterfield taught me a clean workspace is essential for some of us to be creative or productive. I definitely fit into that category. I organize my space by keeping it sacred so I can truly perform when it’s work time.
I’m also very visual, and I cannot live without my whiteboard. I have a wall in my office dedicated to my whiteboards (and these whiteboards are also kept virtually in Asana) and its sole purpose is to organize everything from my brain-dump sessions. I keep track of all the things I want to do in my business, what I’m working on the current week, and what I’m working on the current day. I also have the DONE column where I get to see my favorite post-it notes literally stack up on one another, showing all the tasks I’ve accomplished and completed.
Third, to help me organize my life, I have to communicate how I need to be communicated with. When I hired my assistant, I had to make sure she knew how I best receive information. She manages my calendar in a specific way so I know where I need to be and when. She logs my flights a certain way because I function with snapshot information when I’m traveling. I have to have everything in one spot.
When I have a Zoom meeting, the links to the meeting rooms are in the “location” field of my calendar appointment so I have a quick, easy reference point. It’s little things like this that save me two minutes of head space before I need to switch gears between appointments.
These habit-systems of mine keep my brain organized and are easy for anyone working WITH me to figure out and implement themselves. I don’t like to spend a lot of (or any) time searching for something. I need everything right where I can access it in one fell swoop.
I can take one glance at my calendar, and know who, what, where and why for all of my appointments or arrangements. I can look at my whiteboard and know exactly what I have going on for the day, week, and what I’ve already taken care of. I can look at my desk and see my coffee, sticky notes, and pens and know I don’ thave to waste precious time sorting through paper piles or clutter to find something I need. I can sit in my office and kick serious tail in productivity, because that’s my space.
I don’t have to have a complicated process in place to organize my life – and that’s kind of the whole point. The simpler my organization systems, the simpler my work life is. The easier it is for me to stay organized, the easier it is for me to pour into the areas of my business that need it most.