Hello friends and followers! I hope you all had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend filled with sunshine and delicious food. I spent the weekend catching up with old friends and new and treating myself to swanky meals all over the city. It was a much needed mini break before the madness that has already started brewing this week. You see, friends, I made the worst best decision to triple book myself this week. Yes, that's right, I'm working three jobs this week because I am a sucker for pain. And also because I want to have some extra spending money for summer shenanigans. But mostly because I'm a sucker for pain I guess.
I am one of those people that functions extremely well under pressure. I love a deadline. I love having a to-do list eighteen miles long (even if I do complain about it, I still love it). I adore bouncing between lots of different projects - it keeps things exciting and engaging. It also keeps my mind working in hyper drive while allowing for healthy distractions when I feel like I've been working on the same project for too long.
That being said, juggling three jobs and about 18 projects can be really chaotic and messy if you're not careful. So today I want to share with you some of my favorite tips, tricks, and tools for staying organized, efficient, and on top of EVERYTHING that you have to do.
1. Embrace the list. Lists are my everything: they are my holy books, my guiding spirits, my ink-on-paper gods. I don't know how I'd ever function without my many, many, MANY lists of things to do, things to buy, or things to remember. At any given time, I have at least 6 active lists in my life. Back in the day, I used to bow down at the altar of post-its. But that soon got messy and wasteful, and the environmentalist within me decided to take my list-making habit digital. Over the past few years, I've used a couple different tools to manage my lists - all of which sync up between my computer and my smartphone. I started off with Wunderlist, then moved to Asana, and am currently using ToDoist. I love ToDoist for it's user friendliness and also the aesthetic value of the web app AND the iPhone app. I'm a big fan, but I encourage you to find a list maker that works best for you!
2. De-clutter your inbox. Email nirvana is a real thing, friends. I make it a personal goal to reach it every single day. Nothing grinds my gears more than having to search through thousands upon thousands of emails to find that one email with the answer to that one question I asked a client eighteen years ago. Even with the search feature in almost every mail client, I still hate scrolling through the masses of search results. I use Gmail for work and play, and I've set up a number of labels and filters for my account. I created a label for each of my clients, and then created a corresponding automatic filter with their email addresses so that any email from them is automatically filed into the folder I created. Easy peasy! Now instead of searching through ALL my emails, I can just open a client's digital filing cabinet in my inbox and everything we've ever said to each other is right there! Additionally, I highly recommend taking ten minutes everyday to delete spam or junk or messages that you simply don't care to read. If you take a few minutes everyday to clean out your unread messages, you won't have to spend an entire weekend clearing up a year's worth of backlog. Fact.
3. Stop the scrambling and searching. When I've got a thousand things happening simultaneously, I often find it really helpful to set up a folder in my Google drive for each respective project. In this folder, I'll create a 'Notes' document that will compile the important information and details, then share the document with all contributing parties so that they can add their notes and comments as well. I find that this method works better than constantly emailing each other and cluttering up our inboxes. Google Documents also allow you to add annotations and comments in the sideline, which can be really helpful when drafting/editing web copy, blog posts, promo copy, press releases, etc. Instead of searching through 50 emails related to a project's details, I like to keep all my info in one place that is easy to access from anywhere and easy to share with anyone.
And there you have it! Three simple things that you can start doing RIGHT NOW to increase your efficiency and decrease your stress levels! I hope you found this Industry Hump post helpful. What are some of your favorite efficiency tools? Got any tricks up your sleeve to help keep you on track? What are your best coping mechanisms when it seems like you might have bitten off more than you can chew? Drop it all in the comments below!
Working hard to double my typing speed, xx Nikbear