3 Tips to Be Less Stressed and More Productive in Work and Life

January 15, 2024  | 

We all want to be more productive in work and life. As a professional organizer for more than 21 years, I can say that making lists and scheduling your time well are two very good ways to keep track of what needs to be done and create a manageable plan to do the work. But they don’t necessarily help keep stress at bay.

And let’s face it, working with less stress is a key factor in being more productive and successful.

I have worked with many women entrepreneurs who juggle family, work, and life. Being productive, and staying sane, while maintaining this juggling act can be difficult. But it is possible when specific parameters are set in place. If you want to be less stressed and more productive in your business, look no further than these organizational tips to lead the way.

3 tips to be less stressed and more productive {in work and life}

1. Remember this tenet: Everything must have a home.

In organizing speak this is very important – perhaps the most important tenet. Here is why:

When something has a convenient, logical, home you know what you have and, importantly, you can find it again – easily and often! When everything has a home you stop spinning your wheels, wasting precious time looking for things. The area is tidy, and you can put your hands on what you need when you need it. This means everything from your daughter’s permission slip to your daily work tasks. A home is the answer to where are my keys, or where is that one piece of paper I need for a client?

When finding a home, remember to:

  • Use your good real estate and bad real estate properly. Store things you use often in a space where you can see them and reach for them more easily. And store items you use infrequently in the spaces that are up high, out of reach, perhaps out of sight.
  • Know the limits of your space. Only keep things that fit in that space. Don’t keep more than you will use!
  • Find the right space that works for how you like to see and use things (i.e., on a shelf vs in a closet, on the desk vs in the drawer, etc).

Some examples of a home are:

  • a shoe box bin to store bulk office supplies, first aid items, batteries for the house
  • a file folder to contain a project (and a graduated incline sorter – like this one from Staples – to keep them, and similar to-dos, in your periphery)
  • a desk drawer with dividers for specific, most-often-used tools
  • a shelf in a closet
  • a list to place (and remove from your brain) the random and not-so-random to-dos that pop up throughout your day
  • a schedule to visibly see tasks, meetings, and anything you wish to accomplish

Everything having a home is the most powerful tool to keep your space and your mind clear, reduce stress and frustration, and leave you room to focus on being productive.

2. Tidy up daily

I recommend this tip to everyone because I know that even if you aren’t super organized, when you tidy up you restore some sanity in your space – and therefore your head. Tidying up is a great tool to use regardless of your level of organization. And the great news is that when you have designated a home for things, tidying up becomes easy.

At the end of the workday, reserve 10 minutes to:

  • put away paper and files you are finished with
  • close out computer tabs, and save to Pocket articles and research you will need at a later time.
  • straighten up your desk so it is more welcoming the next day
  • make a list of the 3 most important tasks to tackle the next day and familiarize yourself with your schedule. (Doing this puts those tasks in a “home” and takes them off your mind.)

At the end of your home day, reserve 15 minutes to:

  • clear the sink of dirty dishes
  • clear the counters of visual clutter
  • straighten up cushions and pillows on the couch
  • lay out your clothes for the next day

The way you end the day sets the tone for how you will start the next day. If you want to start with less stress, ready for productivity, you must tidy up.

3. Create space

This is code for decluttering. Or better yet, for consciously having your finger on the pulse of what you like, need, and use. And permitting yourself to let go of what doesn’t serve you, or your space. There is so much power in having space in your head, and your home. Space makes room for ideas to be birthed, projects to be completed with fewer roadblocks, and mental clarity to flourish. When you create space you can see more clearly not just the countertop, but your vision for your work, and your life. Productivity abounds when you have the space physically to move freely and mentally to think clearly.

To create space mentally:

  • keep your calendar clear of unnecessary commitments that will pull you from your goals.
  • replace negative thinking with positive affirmations about your worth and abilities
  • physically take a break – take a walk outside, drink some water, and meditate for 10 minutes. This will quiet the noise of other people’s opinions and expectations, and allow you to reset and refocus.

To create (and maintain) space physically:

  • think before you buy
  • question everything to be sure it has purpose and necessity
  • determine immediately the home for everything you bring in
  • If something has run its course, is out of date, or is irreparably damaged let.it.go (and do so often).

Creating space mentally and physically is integral to keeping stress at bay and seeing your space differently, perhaps in a more appealing way. Instead of feeling suffocated and unproductive, you feel free to do and conceive of any number of good, fun, fulfilling things.

Francesca Verri quote

Productivity is not a result of doing more tasks or spending more time at work. And sanity is not based on perfection or found solely in silence.

Being successful in work and life is about learning how to navigate the often-messy obstacle course you call life so you can more easily catch the curve balls it throws at you.

It is all possible and available to you when a balanced environment you can easily maintain is created.

One that is clear and neat, with spaces and spaces that positively affect your life on every level.

This is a guest blog written by Francesca Verri, a Life Architect who uses her 22 years of experience as a Certified Minimalist Lifestyle Coach and Professional Organizer to help people who are cluttered and overwhelmed streamline their life, gain space in their head and home, and make sustainable changes, so they can juggle family and work more efficiently, manage day-to-day routines sanely, and live more intentionally. Francesca believes deeply that when you let go of what doesn’t serve you positively you are freer to make the best lifestyle choices and actively create a life you love. Connect with Francesca and learn more about her programs at francescaverri.com.

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