organisation tips for getting back to work in 2017
After taking a suitably long break from blogging and all it entails over the Christmas holidays, I was more than ready and raring to jump back into the hot seat come January 2nd.
But this year, rather than give into my normal habit of making blog post production my first priority, I decided to suppress my inner content monster urges (never easy!) and figure out what I actually need to do to get the year off to an organised start.
…I’m coming for you New Year…but at a pace of my own choosing!
In a fit of demob happiness and with just a pinch of naivety, I’d earmarked a few tasks to be completed prior to downing tools for the Holidays. But we all know how that one goes on the time front when there’s the small matter of a family Christmas to bring to fruition.
My saving grace was that I did manage to make a back to work plan/To Do list before I finished – otherwise there was serious danger that any goals and ideas for 2017 would have been lost in the cheese and wine haze that followed.
This not wanting to jump straight back in, all guns blazing vibe is a whole new approach for me and I think its born out of wanting to get it right this year. That and
the need to be a control freak the need to feel in control, stepping out of the MUST DO MORE/BE MORE/ACHIEVE MORE mindset and the fact that, quite frankly, I’m in no rush to leave behind the slower pace from the Holidays.
In summary, I’m coming for you New Year…but at a pace of my own choosing!
Here’s my top six organisation tips in the form of what I’ve been up to so far and what’s on the agenda for the next couple of weeks…
Every month I compile all my blog and social media stats into a spreadsheet – I know. Such geekery and definitely fitting of one who used to work in finance. The irony of years spent going on about numbers and finally realising that the numbers themselves aren’t that vital isn’t lost on me.
Compiling it only takes me about ten minutes a month but makes keeping an up to date media kit so much easier. Whilst blog stats aren’t the be all and end all now, what is important is being prepared when a brand asks you for a media kit and your numbers.
And more important than the numbers part is the fact that your media kit effectively communicates your blog ethos and aesthetics and shows that you understand your audience. But we’ll come onto that in a future post when I’ll share an example of the media kit that I put together for myself. By myself. For FREE! It took me flippin’ years and a considerable amount of unnecessary expense to get this one nailed down let me tell you!
hard drive housekeeping
Since I acquired the MacBook last year and started working via iCloud, my hard drive doesn’t get in such as much of a state as it used to. But housekeeping of old images and documents is still important – as well as regular back ups too.
As any blogger will tell you, you acquire images on your iPhone faster than Olivia Palermo acquires shoes so a sort through here is vital. I do tend to do that pretty often anyway but a thorough year end tidy up feels good.
A new year is a great time to to undertake an Instagram hashtag refresh too – this one definitely warrants its own blog post too. I did warn you I was going to expand on the blogging tips this year – are you ready for the onslaught?
Looking after the ££’s
There’s nothing like an online tax return deadline hanging over you to kill the post Holiday Season buzz but needs must. Note to self: Don’t leave it so late next time!
Now is the time for archiving previous tax years invoices and remittances, sorting out any expenses/receipts and take a look at all your business outgoings. I’d subscribed to a couple of services that I no longer use so a quick scan has saved me a few pounds each month here and there.
Then there’s the chasing up of overdue invoices and ensuring that all completed projects have actually been invoiced. Understanding how purchase ledger systems work from my time in finance has come in really handy when it comes to getting paid.
Set up a new editorial calendar for the year ahead – yet another opportunity for more spreadsheet fun right there!
This helps for content, income planning and keeping track of projects happening now or later in the year. I also go through my iCal to check on any existing work related reminder alerts to ensure that they’re still current and required.
Finally I add in any upcoming deadlines/agreed collaborations or follow ups as new alerts – its my organisational safety net and without it, I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants!
Make new To Do Lists for immediate tasks (within next week or so) and then two more – one for short term goals – i.e. next quarter and a longer term achievement one for the year. This always provides a great excuse for a new notebook (as if one were needed!), plus it helps you retain focus for the year ahead.
One thing thats prominent on both my short and long term lists this year is the allocation of more learning time. I’m signing up for Jenna Kutcher’s Instagram e-course and Kim Klassen’s Lightroom workshop to start with. Not to mention the numerous book pile I have to get through!
For me, a blogging stock take means looking at what’s been working and therefore worth the continued time investment and what needs cutting loose so I can focus elsewhere.
This year, I’m saying farewell to Tumblr. I’ve been compiling beautiful pics there for years – way before the advent of Pinterest. A year or so ago I decided to start tweeting the latest one at 10am everyday with the hashtag #10amTumblr to see if it would generate any further interest.
The time taken in relation to the results (virtually zilch on the Goggle Analytics front and its not a value added activity), means that its time to ditch this particular batch of pretty and stick with Pinterest. Its a head Vs heart decision and sometimes a few of those are required in order to move forward.
Apart from work organisation, I’ve come to learn that I function far more efficiently if things on the domestic front are in some kind of order too. So at some point during the next couple of weeks, I’ll be taking another day off to devote to all things family admin.
Plus there’s the clear out and reorganisation of my wardrobe thats well overdue. That one will require a day or two in itself but seeing as what I wear is so tied in with the blog, then I think of it as time well spent.
Starting the year with well ordered closets and a style refresh sounds perfect to me – plus it makes me happy. And this year is all about those #HappinessTriggers!
How do you go about getting organised for a new year back at work? All organisation tips are welcome here!
📝 STYLE CREDITS: Pencil Cup – Kate Spade | Bulldog Clip – Kikki K | Scissors – Hay | Business Card Holder – Sophie Hulme | Letter Tray – Kate Spade | Note Pad – Kate Spade | Lipstick – Charlotte Tilbury | Quote Cards – Kikki K | Hand Cream – H&M | Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso | How To Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone | Desk Calendar – Kikki K | Marble Mouse Pad – Etsy