It’s hard to believe that January is just around the corner! Are you ready for what 2015 has in store for you and your business? Do you feel organized?
Being organized can be really hard at times, especially when you have kids!!!
There are so many areas of a business that need organization, over the next few weeks we are going to cover some of these areas, but for now we are going to start with what for me is the most important starting point…your workspace
If you are like me, you might find working in a cluttered untidy space distracting. Instead of focusing on the work I should be doing, I am thinking about tidying up the area.
Let’s get you set up for productivity!!
Is your workspace ready for a busy year? I am going to put my hand up, I have only just got my office organized again! My office is currently in our spare room, we often get visitors from Canada so my “office” has to be multifunctional. Every time we get guests I have to move out of my office (which I am more than happy to do because I love having visitors), but it means that I have to put it all back together again after they leave and that can be time-consuming.
Not only is my spare room my office, sleeping space for guests it is also where I store my props. I am an on location newborn photographer so you can imagine how many props I might have!
I have struggled for the last couple of years to find the best setup to make it quick to move in and out of without losing organization and I have FINALLY done it, thanks to IKEA and their fantastic storage solutions.
The following areas were my focus when setting up and organizing my workspace, you might find these areas also a great place to start.
- Desk area
Good lighting is essential for your workspace, having ample natural light will help you stay focused. Personally, on a bright beautiful day I am more inspired to work and my productivity level increases. Make sure you have plenty of natural light, when you are stuck working at your desk, you don’t want to be in a dark gloomy room.
If you have the space in your house, you might want to consider relocating your office to a brighter room if the current room is dark. If that isn’t an option, try to improve the lighting, maybe use natural daylight bulbs.
Bad lighting vs Good lighting
Do you have to keep moving items to get started for the day? Do you have to set up on your dining room table? If you have an office space, have you set it up to utilize the space available to it’s full potential? I am going to show you some things that I have done to make sure my office helps me be as efficient as possible.
I have laid my office out the best way I could with the space that I have not forgetting the walls! Walls can be used to hang a whiteboard and corkboard, which for me is an office must. Whiteboards are great for being able to brainstorm. Try to also include some inspiring artwork in your office, it would be rather boring staring at a blank wall!
Storage is one way that you can make sure that your workspace stays organized. If you have piles of papers laying everywhere it is going to be hard to find what you need quickly. I would suggest having trays that you can keep the important paperwork that requires attention, and then file the others away as soon as you have finished with them (don’t worry we are going to talk about filing in the coming weeks).
I have multiple requirements for storage, I have to store paperwork, stationary, props, blankets, and camera equipment. I opted to go with the KALLAX shelving unit from IKEA, because they were big enough for what I needed but small enough to go in my office. I also like the fact that I can use boxes for my props, wraps and other little bits that can be fiddley to store. For my paperwork I use boxes and magazine holders to store paperwork, which fit nicely on this unit also.
I have two drawer units, one doubles as a filing cabinet and holds my craft tools and the second unit has all my pens, staples, sticky notes and other little office essentials. I also have a ribbon holder unit, which sits on the shelving unit that holds all my packaging and stationery supplies. The ribbon unit has 3 drawers, I use the drawers to hold my USB drives and packaging supplies, if is my favorite thing in my office, well that and my blackmail fund!
Do you have a comfortable chair? Let’s face it as photographers, we spend a lot of time in front of our computers, so having a supportive chair is super important. Up until recently I was using a kitchen chair at my desk, I finally bought myself a proper office chair, and I am so glad I did, it is so much more comfortable for my late night editing sessions.
Because my office doubles as a guest bedroom, I have a day bed (which converts to a king size bed when needed) I have this set up with cushions and a throw so that if I want to get comfy and do some reading or brainstorming I can.
This is just an important as the other areas, if your desk top is cluttered and untidy it will be hard to find what you need, you will spend more time looking for the stapler than actually using it. Make sure it is easy to keep tidy and clean and is not cluttered.
I personally don’t have much on my desk, purely because my desk is not the biggest and I like to be able to spread my papers out. There are a lot of great items you can get for your desk to keep your desk area organized, here are just a few ideas:
- pen holder
- paper trays
- desk tidy – this will hold pens, paper clips etc.
Try to get into a habit of making sure that your desk space is cleared and ready before you go to bed, meaning you will have more time to get your work done the next day, rather than wasting a half an hour getting started.
Having an organized and tidy workspace means you will be able to sit down and start working right away! You will be more productive and dare I say enjoy working more!
So what is your workspace like? Set your office up for productivity by getting it organized, make sure everything that you need to use everyday is easily accessible. I even have a Tassimo coffee maker in my office, because I enjoy my coffee when I am working.
Getting organized is a work in progress and this is why we have decided to give you tips over the next few weeks.
If you need inspiration for your office why not head over to Pinterest, we have created a board of inspiration just for you here.
Here is to an organized 2015!
I would love to hear below how you plan organizing your office, feel free to share photos of your organized office!!
Sales in Plain English Instructor for The Photographers Element
Photographer at Erin Freeman Photography
PS. A little fun fact, my son likes to pretend he is superman with my office chair……
Originally from Canada, she upped sticks and moved to England 13 years ago, where she started a new adventure with her British husband. Her love of photography was ignited over 20 years ago when she travelled to Moscow, Russia aged 14, she hasn’t looked back since.
She started her business nearly 3 years ago, she soon realized that to offer her clients the best possible service, it needed to be personal, so she started looking into more ways to create this service, when the opportunity came to meet with Elizabeth Halford to take the Sales in Plain English class, she jumped at it.
When Erin isn’t working, she enjoys hanging out with her son at the British seaside and camping (or glamping as her son calls it). She also loves a bit of crocheting and sewing in the winter months.