ORGANISATION & PLANNING TIPS + MY NEW WEBSITE

First of all, welcome to my new website! I've given it a bit of a cleaner makeover and also added some new artwork that hasn't been seen before, so please let me know what you think and if you have any other suggestions!

As promised in last weeks blog post , this week I'm going to share some tips on keeping organised and planning projects that I've recently picked up from some methods that I've been using. As with last weeks blog post, I'll probably come back to this in the future as this is all new to me so I'm sure that I'll learn much more and adjust accordingly.

Before you put any of these steps below into action, please, please go and plan your goals. I try to do lifetime goals, 10 year goals, 5 year goals and 1 year goals. It is difficult, but there are plenty of articles out there to help you along and in all honesty, it's really just about what you want. Don't limit yourself either, if you limit your goals because you don't believe you're good enough or will ever make enough money, you're already setting yourself up to have a much less fulfilling life than you could have.

ANALYSE YOUR TIME

I'm going to start out by being a bit of a hypocrite here, because to be able to plan your time, the first thing you need to is to know how you currently spend it, this is the only step in this blog post that I'm yet to do because I've been so busy so I've just had to focus on getting projects finished up more than anything, but it's something that I'm definitely going to be putting into action from next week.

The main benefits of analysing how you spend your time is that it allows you to see where you're wasting time, where you can save time, when your most productive hours are and enable you to judge wether you are under or over charging for certain projects. Once you know how long each task takes you and when your most productive hours are, you can start organising your time on a bigger scale.

BULLET JOURNAL & SCRAP TO-DO LISTS

I've talked a little about the Bullet Journal method before, but if you'd like to know how to get started from the pros just head on over to the official website here. To me personally, one of the main benefits of using this method is that it helps to keep everything in one place, I have a habit of writing lists, goals, plans, brainstorms etc. then putting them in a pile and completely forgetting to ever look at them again, but everything like this is actually supposed to be kept in your bullet journal.

You still do technically have to-do lists when you use this method, but the different bullet points you can use make a massive difference. Often when we write to-do lists, we tend to gravitate towards the easiest or quickest tasks first, which generally eats into time we should be spending on more important or urgent tasks. However, with the bullet journal method, if you have any uncompleted tasks at the end of the day, you can either scribble them out and forget about them or move them over to another day. This is the key, because it forces you to make a decision on what are important or essential tasks which will get you closer to your goals and which aren't. You can either keep carrying tasks over and create a backlog of out dated work or choose to solely focus on what's crucial and relevant to your future.

 My bullet journal (I'd show the inside but that kind of gives away some secret client projects I'm working on!)

My bullet journal (I'd show the inside but that kind of gives away some secret client projects I'm working on!)

 

CRAFT YOUR OWN CALENDAR

I've always had a calendar, always a shop bought one, usually branded with my favourite game or TV show and it's great being able to turn it over each month and have a new, awesome visual on your wall. The first thing I would do at the start of each month, is write all of my important tasks and deadlines onto it, and then never look at it again. Sometimes I'd glare over at it, but in all honesty I think calendars these days are too busy and not all that functional. Then I watched Frannerd's Youtube video where she actually plans out and designs her own calendar.

 My messy calendar at the minute (excuse the fact that I've had to blur a couple of things out for confidentiality reasons).

My messy calendar at the minute (excuse the fact that I've had to blur a couple of things out for confidentiality reasons).

I thought that it looked amazing, so I gave it a try myself, I didn't really have much to hand other than a few highlighters so it's not exactly pretty to look at, but I'll do better next month! It's really worked for me so far, again the first step is to note down any important events, dates, deadlines etc. on your calendar. This enables you to get a good overview of your month in general and gauge when you're going to be the busiest and have the more free time. Next up, think about your goals and how you can work them in to spend time on them. For example, I really like to put content out and work on building up my personal and business brand, so as you can see on my calendar, I have specific days set out to work on developing content for this blog and my Youtube channel, streaming on Twitch and I also have a few hours spare to edit those videos on a weekend. Adding colours to each specific category also helps because you can simply just glance at your calendar and have an idea of what's next. 

Also plan in any business days you might need to take but don't necessarily need to be taken on a specific day. So for me I'm setting aside one day a month to work on the finance side of my business such as dealing with taxes, invoices, contracts etc. and chasing up payments. I think for anyone creative this is a much better way to plan your month because first of all, it looks nice, you can make it look how you like and make it really personal. The fact that you've designed and put the effort into crafting it yourself also gives you more motivation to make good use of it.

ALWAYS PLAN YOUR NEXT DAY

It's been scientifically proven than people get more done if they plan their day the night before, and I can definitely see why from my own experience. This is pretty simple, but the best way to do this is to plan your month using your bullet journal and your custom calendar and what I usually do is write a list of tasks based off your monthly goals for that specific week on a post-it note which you can then move around to your current day in your bullet journal. All you need to do from there is complete your day based on your to-do list in your journal, then once you have finished up, think to yourself, 'if I was going to work for another 8 hours, what would I do next?'. That's your to-do list for the next day!

I hope that this was helpful to you guys, as always feel free to contact me if you would like to chat more about it! I haven't yet decided what next weeks topic will be, however it'll be something related to this kind of area and me giving my advice from what I'm learning at the minute jumping into freelance full time.

Thanks for reading!