Wednesday, 17 April 2013

O is for - Organised

Writing Space - Maria A Smith

Get organised! What does that mean? In my case and perhaps yours too, it means a big clean-up. I hate getting bogged down in mess, and at the moment, I don't have a dedicated writing space, so everything has to be portable, and easy to pack away.

Here are my best tips.

  • Get rid of anything in your work space that isn't absolutely  necessary. When working on the move, its essential not to have lots of things to pack away or to carry around. However, if you do have a dedicated space, I think its nice to have a few cherished items around you. Something fun to look at is also good for your moral.
  • Know where everything is, including pencils, pens, and spare batteries for your mouse. 
  • Clean up after yourself, its especially important if you're working at the kitchen table like I do often! People need to eat, including you.
  • Keep a notebook beside your computer, or in your pocket or bag, at the least have it ready to pull out and jot things down as and when they come to you.
  • Write down what you are going to do in a day, try and do this the evening before if you can, and work out how long it will take you to do each task and write it alongside. Add everything up, and decide what time you are going to get up, and what time you are going to retire. Copy the list into your diary, or phone, and write the time it will take to do each task beside the item. Then work through your list, crossing through what you do, or updating as necessary. 
  • Stay hydrated, have a bottle of water in your bag if you are on the move, or set up somewhere like a cafe where you can order drinks regularly. If you work from home, don't forget to get up and put the kettle on every hour or so too, otherwise you'll begin to feel headachy, tired and your stamina will start to wain.
  • Keep a supply of snacks tucked away in your bag too, or in a nearby drawer. Things like nuts, and fruit are good. But chocolate tastes better! 
Right - now you are ready to write! Do share your organizational tips with me.


  1. Are you really this organised? Groan! My work space is a tip but if I devote a morning to clearing it up I shall be accused of prevaricating again. Can't win!!

  2. Organised and me don't go together.. until they do then I'm all over it!!
    When I edit I have my fairycake cases, pens and highlighters in a special pencil case and each novel has their own 'container' for notes. Needing things to look at and touch, a clear space would fill me with dread..

  3. Great tips, Maria - I wish my work space looked as tidy as yours!

    I live and die by my phone - I have an excellent reminder app, called 'Due', which I use all the time. It's best feature is being able to set repeat reminders that go off at the same time every day, or once a week/month etc. Like the daily one I have set to make sure I spend time reading some A-Z blogs. If you can't immediately do it, you have the option to defer it for 10 minutes or an hour. It's brilliant.

  4. Look at that lovely, clutter-free workspace! You've inspired me to tidy my desk (though I prefer to work at my kitchen table too most times). I read about the pomodoro method yesterday and will be trying that soon, I'll get back to you on whether it's a good organizational tip or not! :)

  5. Great advice Maria.I set up computer on the dining table then have to clear it away to it's righttful place,but I hate a messy space.

  6. Great tips! I never think about water or snacks, very important and saves time from walking back and forth to the kitchen in search of munchies!

    I try to follow the rule of only letting paper touch your hand once (and decide if it gets tossed, acted on or filed) to reduce piles on my desk, but it's an endless task!

    Enjoy your A to Z!
    Jess/ Blogging on the Brink

  7. I wish I was you.
    Of your list of seven things, I do none of them.
    No wonder I get nothing done!

  8. Hello, Maria! These are great tips. I love organizing, and I'm such a neat freak! My best tip for staying organized it to get rid of the clutter. Only have what you use, love, and absolutely need. The less you have, the more organized you'll be!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  9. Maria: Great tips! I especially like having a notebook handy for ideas. I have a notes app on my phone and I also keep a tablet by my computer at home. I like your suggestion of writing down what you will do the next day. It keeps me on track because I have many projects I'm working on at any one time. Cheers!

  10. Great tips, Maria! I love organization and especially workspace organization. I like to think I stay pretty organized, but man it takes constant vigilance for a space we use so much!

    Thanks for the ideas.


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