The Organized Freelancer

Many of us became freelancers or entrepreneurs because we’re wildly independent and some would say that we like to march to the beat of our own drummer.  Unfortunately, sometimes the drummer is a tourist without a map and has undiagnosed adult ADHD.

Today 5 of the Coherers took a little class on getting and staying organized from “organization-obsessed” Chris Jobin.  The most important part of the day was all of us eating at the hot dog stand first.  It is an absolute must to get hot dogs and fresh air before a workshop.

First, we each shared an organizational problem.  For some it was electronic organization, for others, prioritization of different projects, tasks or business ventures.  All of us are struggling with what Chris calls “barriers” or walls that block our successful transition to an organized life.  Some common barriers we face are internal dialogues that stress us out and block creativity, “you must make money, you must make money.”  Some are external barriers like that bastard box of never ending random papers littering our living rooms.  Nevertheless, it all comes downs to finding your own way to silence your unproductive inner self talk or a bed tall enough to push that box under (kidding).

We came away with several tips to help us all cope individually with our organization issues.

  • Set aside 10-15 minutes at the start or end of each day to take a step back from your life and plan strategically which tasks need to be done and in what order.
  • Create a separate google calendar for each section of your life (freelance work, regular job, home, kids, social stuff) etc.  Color code these and even set times to do specific tasks within each realm.
  • Use fun colored flags to remind you to get emails on to your preferred to do list.  We talked about gmail task lists, teuxdeux, todoodlist and even creating your own if you have the skills and desire to do so.
  • You’re creative!  Re purpose a cd holder as a file organizer or a vintage suitcase to hold your crafty supplies.  Fix up some cheap dowels inside a bookcase  to hang do-dads from or root around in a thrift shop for an unexpected item to organize your desk.
  • If you have several businesses, set aside certain days and times each week to only work on one business at a time.  This will help you set boundaries for yourself and your clients.
  • 2 attendees mentioned that they joined Cohere to give their days structure and to focus on business tasks during set hours.

We all made commitments to complete one task today to get us on the road to organizational recovery.  Chris encouraged us to be accountable to one another and help each other follow through on our new goals.  Overall, we learned the most from each other and are thankful that Chris spent a part of her day with us!