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15 ways professional organisers swear by

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11th-Mar-2017       
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Life Desk :
We'd all like to be more organised. We'd all like to be that person: the one who never forgets her kids' sunscreen, who pops dinner in the slow cooker before heading to work, whose house never looks like a 'before' picture. So what sets super-organised people apart and how can we steal their tricks? Homelife spoke to four of Australia's leading professional organisers: Carol Posener of Get Organised, Clutterfly's Georgie Rees, Chelsea Smith of The Organising Platform and Linda Eagleton of Creative Surrounds.
1. Write everything down. Carol says that if she doesn't write down her appointments, contacts and reminders, she'll forget them. "Relying on your memory is exhausting!"
2. Don't stop working. "If another task comes to mind while you're working, don't stop what you're doing," says Georgie. "Simply write down the thought on a sticky note and get back to work."
3. Productive days start the night before, says Chelsea. She spends 15-20 minutes at the end of each day tidying the house, cleaning up from dinner, putting toys away, turning the dishwasher on and doing a load of washing overnight. "When I get up in the morning, I'm not waking up to chaos."
4. Create a home for everything, says Carol. She doesn't buy anything unless she knows where it will go.
5. "Set reminders for your appointments. Not only does this help you remember them, but having an electronic record of things like doctor's visits can be helpful down the track," says Georgie. Printing out electronic calendars is helpful, too, as you can then fill available blocks of time with small tasks.
6. Time management is more than just keeping a diary, says Linda. "You also need to factor in how much time it'll take to get to your appointment and back, and ensure you include that in your diary as well."
7. Create folders for your inbox. "I have a folder for each client, for instance, so I don't get confused," says Carol.
8. Share your online calendars to cut down wasted time. Use iCal or Google Calendar to synch your calendars with your partner or people you work closely with.
9. Don't multitask. While Carol acknowledges that to-do lists will always grow longer, doing more at once isn't the answer. "Keep chipping away at one task before moving on to the next.
You'll be more productive and get more done."
10. On that note, shorter bursts of work are better for productivity. Georgie follows the Pomodoro Technique - 25 minutes work, then 5 minutes rest - while Chelsea does 45 minutes of work with a 15 minute break. Choose what works for you
11. Tackle tasks when you can. If Linda has 30 minutes to spare, she'll pick a surface that's become a dumping ground and focus on putting everything away. "If you focus, it doesn't actually take too much time."
12. "Do little things every day to stay on top," says Carol. "Clean your kitchen before you leave for work, put a dishwasher load on before bed."
13. Got more stuff than you know what to do with? Instead of asking for things for your birthday or Christmas, ask for experiences such as movie vouchers or restaurant bookings.
14. Delegate if you can't do it yourself. "If your computer isn't working, don't ignore the problem; hire someone to fix it," says Carol.
15. "Say no. Doing too much is what makes us feel overwhelmed, and then it's impossible to stay organised," says Georgie.

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