Creatives can’t get organised. Myth or truth?

It’s true that creative people need different ways to organise themselves because traditional methods usually don’t work too well for them.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to organising; in fact, since each person is unique, each person’s organising system should also be different.

Let’s look at four areas to organise yourself for success:

  1. Attitude
    It’s a myth that creative people can’t work in a structured environment. On the contrary, having a bit of structure in your life actually enables you to be even more creative and to do better work.

A few years ago, a client emailed to tell me how she’s been energised and has been creating beautiful things again.

What was the difference in her life? We’d worked on organising her office space and within the new-found order, she could be creative once again.

Stop telling yourself that you can’t be organised; rather tell yourself that you organise yourself in non-traditional ways.

  1. Schedule
    Traditionally, we’ve all been told to work according to the clock. I’m telling you to work with your energy cycles; don’t try to battle them.

If you know that you go through a bit of a slump around lunch time, maybe that’s when you want to run errands or exercise to give yourself an energy boost.

If you design websites and you know that you’re most creative at midnight, then design your websites at midnight  Who made the rule that you have to start working at 8am?

  1. To-do list
    Scrap the to-do list. Yes, you read that correctly. The to-do list may set you up for failure especially when you feel you’re not getting things done.

Rather use an Eat the Frog list. This list helps you be more flexible so you only need to get the most important things done. My clients are always a bit shocked when I tell them, “the fewer items you have on your list, the better it is”. Just make sure those are truly important things on your list.

  1. Workspace
    When you can find your equipment and supplies easily, your valuable energy is used for actual creativity and not wasted on looking for things.

It’s so important to have your workspace set up according to your organising style. Are you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner? Are you a paper or electronic person? Maybe the reason you can’t seem to get your papers organised is because you’re actually an electronic person.

I’ve had clients with very messy offices whose computers are perfectly organised, and vice versa. It’s so important to play to your strengths.

My friend, Suzanne, admitted on the podcast that she hadn’t been creating because her workspace was too messy. She then took up my challenge to organise her environment so she could create again. Look at these fantastic results!

My challenge to you
Check your attitude and start telling yourself you can get more productive once you organise according to your style.

Tag me on instagram to come see your workspaces and creative environments. I can’t wait to see.

Are you creative? What are your particular challenges with regard to your workspace?

PS I wrote about my space to create on the blog before.

I’m on the So Suzy Podcast

Is anybody out there still reading from 10 years ago?

If yes, you may remember my organising buddy, Suzanne Moore.

Suzanne and I both blogged about organising way back in the day when people still commented on blogs. Ah, it was a glorious time back then.

We even met up in Scotland in 2008 and spent 3 wonderful days together in Stirling. Here’s my favourite photo of the two of us at Loch Lomond.

Suzanne also had a podcast back then called Let’s Talk Organizing but nobody knew very much about podcasts back then.

Anyway, Suzanne invited me onto her new podcast and, after some wrangling (what could I possibly have to say?!), I accepted her kind invitation and it was So Much Fun.

Please go and listen at any of these links

iTunes

iHeart Radio

Stitcher

Go have a read and let me know what you think 🙂

Suzanne’s instagram

 

5 steps to a tidy study

I seem to have “tidy study” on my to-do list every week so I decided to go back to basics and share those basics with you too.

Here are the 5 steps I’m following to my organised home office:

1. Have a plan and make the rules clear to all those who use it
Do not allow anything in there that doesn’t belong. Decide what the space is used for and only keep items relating to that purpose there.

My kids can use the table in the study but they need to take their stuff out afterwards.

2. Divide the space into zones
There may be a children’s desk for homework and school projects, a reading corner, the filing area and a computer desk. It is easier to keep the study organised and neat when you know where everything should go, e.g. books should only be in the reading corner and not on every desk.

No-one but me uses my actual computer desk because the crafting area is my big, green table.

3. Store items where they are used
If two people use the study, then have a wastepaper basket at each desk. And have two sets of staplers, scissors, etc. This will prevent your stuff going “missing” from your area. Have a punch and file tabs wherever you do your filing, if you like to file.

4. Batch routine tasks
Keep all items that you need to file together so that you file 5 pieces of paper at once. Make all your telephone calls at the same time. Write out all greeting cards and wrap gifts for a month at a time. Your friends and family will feel loved and cared for, and you will feel accomplished!

5. Tidy your study every day
Take just 5 minutes and do a quick tidy-up of the desk when you’re finished working every day. Throw trash away, make neat piles of paper if they’re in-progress (label with post-it notes), put pens and pencils back in the holder and take cups and glasses to the kitchen.

This is where I slack because I often forget to leave 5 minutes to tidy up on the evenings I’m on my computer.

When you keep things under control on a daily basis, it is easy to maintain the order of an organised space.

Do you have a routine to keep your office space neat and tidy? Or does it not matter to you?

My 5 current favourite podcasts

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I have written about my favourite podcasts on here before… but since that was over a year ago, I thought I’d tell you my current favourites:

(also, only two are still on my favourites list, another I listen to but no longer my favourite and two have completely fallen off)

But first, I’m going to tell you how to listen to a podcast.

I have an iphone but if you have an android, listen through stitcher or soundcloud:

  • Look for the purple podcasts app icon
  • Click on search
  • Add the name of the podcast you’re interested in
  • The podcast will pop up
  • Tap, and tap subscribe

That’s it – easy! IMG_4650

  1. Here’s the thing with Alec Baldwin

Here’s where I wrote about why I like this show.

Favourite episodes – Billy Joel (of course), Molly Ringwald and Julianne Moore.

2. Personality hacker

So I’m a big MBTI fan and this married couple know their stuff. I’ve read up on my profile on various sites over the years but it was still nothing compared to hearing them talk for an entire episode just on your type 🙂

Interesting fact – I was a bit miffed at first when I saw the ESTJ one was only 40 minutes and then they start and say something like, “we know you ESTJs want to get to the point so we’re not putting in any fluff today” 🙂 I love it!

Favourite episodes – my one on ESTJ and the one that talks about energy drains (I had a HUGE aha during this episode)

My suggestion – take the quiz on their website, and then go to that podcast episode first.

3. Roisin Meets…

If you like the Irish accent, you’ll love Roisin. She talks to Irish celebs – authors, musicians, radio personalities. Aside from all the wonderful accents and Irish turns of phrase, it’s the perfect Friday podcast to listen as you drive to and from work.

My favourite episodes were the ones with Marian Keyes, Cecilia Ahern and Cathy Kelly (all authors I read) and recently, the one with a new-to-me author, Jennifer Johnston (she’s 86 and still writing books – such an inspiration), but my very favourite is with a mathematician 🙂

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4. Happier by Gretchen Rubin

This one has not disappeared off my list in forever…. they recently won top podcast in the health and fitness category (emotional health?)

Start anywhere and work back.

Releases a new episode every Wednesday and a mini two-minute one on Monday mornings.

Favourite episodes – all of them but I did love the one about Sunday dread

5. The Lively Show

At the moment she’s going through a couple of big changes – just divorced, sold house, travelling without a permanent base so she’s “live podcasting” on feelings and such.

It’s a bit too much woo-woo/ intuition-type stuff for me right now, but go listen to the proper interviews she’s done because those are excellent.

Favourites – the one with Young House Love and the one with Liz Gilbert, Courtney Carver

That’s it for now.

Have you listened to any of these podcasts? Do you listen to podcasts? When do you prefer to listen?

A space to create

When we moved into this new house, I had pages of drawings in my bullet journal on where we would place all furniture.

I planned a craft space downstairs and just a desk in the study.

But soon I realised that I didn’t even have a place to wrap a gift since the laptop is permanently on the desk.

I moved my favourite green table upstairs and voila! I was in business.

I was so inspired to get creative again.

I think I wrapped/ assembled about 5 gifts in less than 30 minutes simply because I once again had a space to create.

This is not just about creating.

It could be space for reading, space to try out new recipes, space to do your budget and financial planning, space to set up a command centre, space to plan your week…

Where in your life do you need to create space for what you need?

Workplace Wednesday | use pretty stationery

Pretty notebooks | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I have this thing with work stationery.

You see, I don’t like “boring” stationery so I buy my own nice pens, highlighters and most importantly, notebooks.

And, as you can see in the photo above, I also jazz up my binder clips 🙂 Here is the tutorial. (Very useful to keep hands busy when you’re on the phone – I actually keep two rolls of washi tape in my stationery drawer at work)

I feel like we’re at work more than 8 hours a day so I want to surround myself with happy things.

My notebooks always get positive comments and most of all, it makes me really happy to write in pretty things.

What about you? Does your stationery make you happy?

If not, maybe you need to take a pretty notebook to work and buy yourself a Pentel pen 🙂

PS I bought this notebook when I visited the UK 7 years ago, so it made me extra happy when I remembered that shopping trip to Sainsbury’s with our friend, Shereen.

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