Creating more time in your day is easier with an organized space. This certainly isn’t a new theory but it is one that gets easily forgotten. It is easy to let our busy days get the best of us, resulting in a very messy workspace (or house for that matter). I am an expert at just throwing my things on my desk to deal with later. I also am very aware of how this can affect my motivation, mood and ability to get things done. Sometimes the results are not pretty. Coming home to my work desk covered in receipts does nothing to inspire me to create. Knowing that there are clothes all over the bed in the other room totally distracts my work flow. So how can we all break these time sucking habits? I have a few tips that can make this challenge a little easier. Let’s all work on these together.
Setting up simple organizational systems is key. The best thing I did recently was to get a good old, used filing cabinet. I tried other cute ways to hold my files but nothing worked quite as well as the hanging files. I purchased several big hanging folders and labeled them into bigger categories – home, Lightbox SF, 200 yards, health, work (my other job) and bills. Then I bought other non-hanging folders and made subcategories. Lightbox SF is broken into several different sections – receipts, Creating Space, clients, collaborations, etc.
Hopefully you have been better than me at cutting down paper use. I have done an ok job but at the end of the month it is amazing how many papers I find in various parts of the house. Paper build up can drive me wacky and knowing that my doctor bills and the pets vet info is in the right place gives me peace of mind.
I try to put things away every evening but I do dedicate one day a week to filing. This same process can be used for organizing your computer folders and files. I spent a week last year re-organizing my computer files and wow in the long run did it save me tons of wasted time. If you are having this same issue, dedicate 30 minutes a day for organizing everything from photos to word docs. Then try to commit to continuing this process. If you do, you’ll never have to do this again. Everything will always be where it is supposed to be.
Do a little everyday
Cleaning your space a little bit everyday can do wonders. Even an unclean room near your work space can be incredibly distracting. I remember dreading the Saturday morning big cleans that we were assigned when I grew up. I dreaded this so much that I now I do 10 to 15 minutes of cleaning every day. I recently told a client that I cleaned my bathroom every morning and she thought I was crazy. When I told her that it took me 5 min to do this, she begged me for advice. First I make sure I have all the cleaning products I need are in a basket under the bathroom sink. The kitchen has its own set. I also love love love the Method daily shower cleaner and I leave it next to the tub. After grabbing a towel it grabbing the bottle is the first thing I do post shower. I only have to deep clean the tub every two to three weeks. After I apply my makeup and brush my teeth the sink gets a quick cleaning with the products under the sink and viola, its sparkling. Five minutes max if everything is kept in its place. The floor gets swept and mopped once a week.
You can relate this cleaning process to any space – office, studio, etc. Just setting yourself up once and get into the habit of putting things back where they belong and you will never spend another entire Saturday cleaning.
Know what you need
I visited a jewelry friend’s home jewelry studio one day and instantly fell in love. She had it set up like a little store. One corner was where she worked with all of her tools right where she needed them. She carefully selected this corner because of the beautiful light that came in during the time of day she worked. Across from this space, she had samples of her past and current lines all in glass cases but easily opened by potential customers. The other corner she had her packaging and payment area. She was mainly selling at boutiques but did have the weekly studio visit for both commissioned work and big sales. She never had to scramble looking for boxes, paper, contracts or receipts. She never had to spend time getting ready before a client came to visit. Not only is her jewelry gorgeous, the room was beautiful as well. She kept it minimal in décor letting her jewelry be the art. She knew how she needed the space to be for her to be productive and she was always ready for a last minute visit. My one visit to her space inspired me to not only really think about how to make my own space work for me but also inspired me to eventually develop Creating Space where I can help others do the same. Taking a few days to ask yourself what you need to change about your space and taking a few more to make it happen can leave you with a lot more time to be creative. And we all know productivity = $$$$
Hopefully these tips help us all get a little more organized. What tips and tricks do you have to share?
Shelly Kerry — Lightbox SF
Shelly is the motivation and creativity side of Lightbox SF. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – weekly advice to help keep you motivated, push through those stuck times, and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find the space in your head and the space in your life to pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself.
Besides creating and running her own jewelry design business, em’s studio, Shelly writes guest posts on living your best life on well-known blogs such as Kanelstrand, Handmade Success and Awfully Grand and is pursuing a Core Strengths coaching certificate through San Francisco State University.
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