Megan Dryden is the Founder and Professional Organizer of The Organized Life, a company focused on a vision to change people’s lives by decluttering and re-organising their homes or work spaces.
Balance the Grind spoke to Megan about launching and building up The Organized Life, a day in the life of running her own business, scheduled date nights, and more.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where I studied interior decorating and design. I was always very passionate about design and organising since I was a little girl.
After graduating from school, I moved to Sydney, Australia to travel and explore this beautiful country I now can call home. I met my amazing husband Connor and not long after started my business, The Organized Life.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
I’m the Founder of The Organized Life, which currently means my days are jam packed with new client meetings, marketing, advertising, client shopping days, site visits, and of course – decluttering and organising.
I have been a solo operator for the past two years, however I have been fortunate enough to bring on some wonderful casual employees to assist with the increase in demand.
Throughout this time I have embraced growth within myself and within the business. Needless to say, none of this could have been possible without the support of my loving husband Connor who as built his own empire Code5 Fitness.
Together we have had countless early mornings and long nights, building our dreams from the ground up and we will continue to work hard as our jobs are our passion. I’m truly loving each and every day, I have been able to turn my passion into my career which is not always an easy thing to do.
A great quote by Steve Jobs – “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My mornings usually begin at around 5:30am where I head off to the gym Code5 to start my day off right! Exercising in the morning really helps to clear my mind, balance my day and to start it off on the right foot.
After the gym, I always love to pop into my favourite coffee shop where I start by checking my emails, looking at my diary and ticking things off my wunderlist. (Wunderlist is a fantastic free app that really helps to keep you organised).
Then anytime between 8:00-9:00am I will arrive at my client’s house where we begin decluttering and organising their chosen space. Every client has different wants and needs so each job we do is slightly different. My day usually wraps up anywhere between 5:30-7:00pm.
When I arrive home my husband and I usually cook a healthy dinner together and begin to get prepaid for the next day by packing our bags, getting out lunch together and checking my diary and adding to my wunderlist for the next day.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Yes! My two big things are scheduling things in my diary with time allocations and tackling my biggest task in the morning.
So, I always know how long a task should take and don’t muck around- my soul focus will be on getting that task done in the allocated time! (sometimes things come up and I can’t do it in my allocated time but usually it works well)
Starting work early and doing my biggest task- this is key for me because I find I’m always more motivated after the gym around 7:30am and I can do anything that’s important.
5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
Yes- I have date night every week with my husband, we both put this ahead of work unless something ridiculously important comes up! Also the gym each morning helps me wake up and start my day with purpose, it’s also a great way to social with my friends as we all go to Code 5 Fitness in Brookvale.
I use Google Calendar not only for work but also my personal life, this enables me to oversee my schedule in advance and ensure I’m not over-committing. I believe this is a key tool which enables me to find balance within my life.
6) What does work life balance mean to you?
I believe work life balance means having the ability to chase my passion of organising by building a business around this, ensuring my mental health and physical health is in tact, but also having the time to maintain meaningful relationships with friends and family.
It is something that can be challenging through periods of growth, but can be accomplished with the right support and foundations.
7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Using my diary, planning ahead and ensuring I allocate time efficiently (including making time for myself to take a step back from the grind).
I also believe that you should practice what you preach, I have implemented routine and structure within my business but also within my home which ensures I return home each day to a stress free, clean and organised environment.
I am grateful to have a partner who takes pride in their physical and mental health and motivates me to start each day with exercise, his positive outlook has pulled me through some of the toughest times.
I have also learned over the years that it is ok to say no to social events if I need to rest and recover after a big week of work.
8) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I would recommend Eat That Frog from Brian Tracey. Simple to read and great advice throughout the whole book.
The other book is The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne which was what got me up early every day wanting to train then get straight into work.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Condo is also a fantastic read which really resonates with my business.
9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Each morning I make it my goal to get up on the first alarm and avoid the snooze button. I always make my bed before leaving the house – it takes 2 minutes and it’s a great way to start and end the day with purpose.
10) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Love what you do but don’t live to work. Ensure you have 1-3 things each week you look forward too. Book social events into your diary, there’s nothing better than a meaningful conversation with a friend or family member.