It’s that time of year when all of our lives suddenly get busier. We need to start thinking about Christmas presents, festive food and whether our house is ready for guests. That’s on top of getting work done and all the usual household tasks.
Your business might also be getting busier in the run up to Christmas. I’ve recently spoken to a photographer who’s been booked solid for weeks as everyone realises they want family portraits for Christmas cards.
If you’re feeling frazzled already, don’t worry. Here are my top 5 tools to help you get organised and into the New Year in one piece.
1. Make a list
I love lists. I find them really comforting, especially when I start ticking things off. You can make a list for absolutely anything. Things that you have to buy, essential tasks and who you need to send a Christmas card to. I use it for work tasks as well.
The key is to keep them all in one place otherwise you spend half your time trying to remember where you wrote things down. I put everything related into a single notebook or in one folder. For work, I have a folder for each client on my desktop. That way I know exactly what I’ve completed and what still needs doing.
2. Use a diary
It might be old fashioned but a paper diary will be there even when your computer crashes. I write down the things that are time sensitive then I can work everything else in around those. It helps me to plan my time better as I have to be realistic. I can’t cram in 101 tasks that there isn’t enough time for.
3. Organise yourself with bookmarks
How many times have you seen the perfect present on the internet three days before payday? Or read an article that sparks a blog post idea when you’re about to go to bed? Bookmark it and put it in a folder then you can come back to it later. I even have folders for blog content, links I want to share and Christmas presents. I admit it, I’m obsessed with stationery, even if it’s on a computer.
4. Don’t forget to delegate
You don’t have to do everything yourself. If you can take a bit of time to work out what you can delegate, you’ll be amazed at how many hours you get back. You can outsource your finance, design, photography, email campaigns and blog posts. And those are just off the top of my head.
If Christmas is getting you stressed, get the family involved. I will never persuade my husband to wrap any Christmas present other than mine but he’s brilliant in the kitchen. No-one else will do things exactly as you do, but that’s no bad thing.
5. Try Trello
There are lots of organisational apps out there, but Trello’s my favourite. It’s the online version of a Kanban board where you can move post it notes along through the columns as you complete each task. You can create whatever columns and tasks you need so you’ve got a visual record.
Best of all, you can share boards with more than one person so if you’re collaborating on a project you can see where everyone is up to.
Do you have any top tips for me? Drop me a comment!