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My secret to staying productive

The honest truth – I love to organise and do things. My friends say I am Monica from Friends and I take that as a compliment.

Staying on top of everything between work, home and 2 kids can really be difficult, but that is why I want to share with you these tools that will make staying organised easier for you. 

I have been freelancing for about 5 years now, and before that I was doing my BFA online while raising a child so I have learnt to be responsible for myself and my business as I didn’t have anyone I could depend on that would remind me of what I had to do. Those years of being responsible for myself have helped me come up with a few ways to be more productive and so I want to share them with you in the hopes that they will help you out.

Here are 4 tips that will help you be more productive/ organised. 

Get yourself a calendar and use it! – I got mine from Chiara Celini –  her lovely illustrations are so inspiring. At the beginning of the year I write down important birthdays, school holidays and exciting projects. Then every month I add more details, like due dates for each project. This can also work in the form of to do lists. I like to spend a few minutes on Sunday writing down everything I need to do that week ( like a brain dump) and then I sort out each task for each day. I use this layout which you can download here and print out whenever you need to use it. 

Stay ahead of your deadlines – I always add one extra week to the actual deadline for projects. So if I know it will take me 2 weeks to complete a design, I tell the client it will take me 3 weeks instead. This way I have some time if in case life happens and I get delayed. I don’t have to ask the client to extend the deadline because I already made space for that. If I finish the project on time, I either wait for the deadline, or hand it in a few days before, which always makes the client happy.

Keep your space tidy – if my studio is messy, my life is messy. Everything I use has a designated space, from where I charge my iPad, to where I keep old sketchbooks and inspirational books. I also make sure I always have a surplus of art materials. This way I don’t have to run out into town to purchase new pens or paints, which is the best way to waste time. If everything around you is more organised, then you will find it easier to be more productive. 


Save your files correctly – this was a game changer for me. Initially I was storing similar files in one folder – example all invoices were in the folder invoice. Instead, what I do now is that for every client I have a folder where I save all their invoices, and then a separate folder for all their designs. This way when I am searching for something I know exactly where to find it.  I suggest adding into your calendar a few days to organise everything. Go through all the files on your computer and save them in the appropriate folders. Then set a date at the end or beginning of every month to reorganise your computer and all the files.

By setting time aside to keep things organised you are bound to be more productive. 

I hope these tips have helped you out. I would love to hear from you if you end up trying any of these  or if you have your own specific way to stay organised. 

I hope you enjoyed this post from yours truly, Monica Geller. 

Hi! I'm Elisa.

I’m a designer, illustrator, creative entrepreneur, self- proclaimed Ghanaian at heart, and mom of 2 boys and lots of animals

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