Many people think that creativity and organization are mutually exclusive. You either have a messy desk and a cluttered home or an office that's a flurry of productivity. But the truth is, there are ways to simplify your life without cutting out creativity.
The key is getting creative with managing devices, documents, project files, and other clutter in your life.
There are many steps you can take to simplify your organization.
For example, you can scan important documents to keep safe and store them digitally. If you're working on a project, create a shared folder or file that everyone involved in the project can contribute. If you're working from home, use a project management app like Trello to help keep your projects on track without feeling too cluttered.
Try these tips for simplifying your organization without cutting out creativity:
Avoid taking on more than you can handle. It's natural to want to keep busy and have a lot of projects going at once. But you'll only succeed if you can manage your time effectively.
Save time by creating a timeline for each project and focusing on the relevant tasks of that project.
If you're switching between multiple projects, prioritize them so that you're working on the most important one at any given time.
Don't marry your great ideas. You may have unique ideas. But making those ideas happen won't happen if you don't manage the details first. Also, you can't expect to fulfill any of your thoughts if you keep switching between them.
Try scheduling a few hours of your day to focus on one thing. If you have more than one project going on, schedule blocks of time for each project, so you can focus on getting it done and meeting your goals.
Arrange your to-do list. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of projects and tasks you have. By consolidating your lists into one place, you make it easier to stay organized.
If you plan on creating a digital file that everyone involved in the project can edit, make a template to gather all of your needed information and work together on it.
Create a central document with all your tasks for different projects arranged logically. This type of document helps you see each project from a bird's eye view and identify any issues that might arise.
Break your tasks further down into weekly items. To further simplify your organization, break down each project into weekly deadlines. Breaking down tasks gives you a strong sense of what's coming up and what's over. It also helps you target specific tasks and ensure that they’re completed on time.
Check in with yourself at the beginning of the week. Try to see how much work is left and how much time is left.
Remember to stay realistic. Don't expect to go from 0 to 100 overnight. It takes time to achieve your goals, so adjust your timeline accordingly based on the work that's left.
Make the most of your greatest asset. There's no way around knowing that time is one of our greatest assets. It's the only thing that we can't get back. So, use it wisely.
Try not to overschedule yourself, or you'll find that you're busier than ever with little to show for your efforts. Also, remember that every decision you make wastes a small part of your time.
The more decisions you have in a day, the less time is left for actual work. So, try to avoid micro-decisions that don't rely on logic and streamline your daily task list.
If you've found yourself struggling with organizing your tasks while maintaining your creativity, this guide may help you simplify your system. But they're not enough to guarantee success. The one thing that all of these ideas have in common: time management.
Time management is the lynchpin for any productivity-related endeavor. If you're too busy to manage your time correctly, then things slip through the cracks - no matter how organized you are otherwise. So, if you hope to achieve new heights of organization, remember that time management is critical - first and foremost!