Lígia Nóia is a mother of two and is passionate about organisation. In her blog, she shares tips and interesting articles about personal, home and office organisation. It’s been over a year now since I went to Lígia’s workshop, Organisation and Routines for People Working from Home. I remember this because the workshop was held again this year, more or less at the same time of the year, and I’m still trying to put some of her tips into practice. Last year’s session had people from many walks of life and who had their offices at home. I went looking and I found the notes I thought applied most to translators:
- “De-messing” is a term Lígia uses a lot to describe getting rid of everything superfluous. According to her, a good way to do this is to put only what you need for your day-to-day routine on your work table and then take a photo. This could be a good starting point for understanding what you don’t need and beginning to create the ideal space.
- Filing routine: the natural tendency is to let papers build up and even to mix work documents with domestic things, adding to the feeling of disorganisation and making it difficult to find whatever it is you’re looking for. The result: time wasted and spreading yourself thin. After you’ve chosen the most suitable filing method, you need to decide how often you’re going to file and reorganise your paper documents, keeping your structure efficient and organised.
- Making the most of breaks: when it comes to personal organisation, one of the main challenges we face is probably coordinating work with keeping up the house. Even if you don’t think this is a priority, it contributes to a feeling of well-being, comfort and organisation, which helps make you more productive. Because breaks are mandatory, or even unavoidable, why not make the most of them and dedicate 10 minutes of every working hour to one quick domestic chore?
- Being able to close the office: even if you don’t have a space in your home exclusively for work, it’s possible to introduce some ritual for ending your working day. This lets you “switch off” and makes your free time healthier.
- Take off your pyjamas: when you start working from home, it’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of not bothering to get dressed every morning (or afternoon depending on your “working hours”). A good way to avoid this is to get into the habit of leaving the house shortly after you get up: to take the kids to school, go to the gym or have a coffee, for example. Another suggestion is to radically eliminate all your “around the house” clothes. Without this temptation, you absolutely have to wear something “presentable” even if it’s only for being at home. And they say it makes a difference…