Undisciplined, sloppy, inefficient. Messy, unorganized, discombobulated. Do you worry that those words apply to you?
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners feel overwhelmed by the mountains of work they need to perform to keep their businesses running. It’s not unusual for tidiness and organization to slip through the cracks, especially because, to many people, it seems like meaningless busywork.
But being organized is proven to improve efficiency, and we all know that trying to get work done in the middle of a pile of clutter makes it seem more difficult and stressful. But this doesn’t have to be permanent. Here are four ways to get it together:
- Create schedules. And follow them! Even if you’re not much of a list maker, setting up a calendar with all your tasks and deadlines can help make things clearer for you. You’ll need schedules for daily, weekly, monthly and even quarterly (especially if you file quarterly taxes) activities.
There are tons of free calendar tools online that cover all of these. You may prefer a traditional paper calendar or book diary. Those are fine, too. I also like a whiteboard for single day use because you can position it on the wall or on a window ledge where you’ll see it easily.
- Put things in their place. This applies to physical items such as receipts, books, desk supplies, office equipment, samples, CDs and DVDs, every actual “thing” you use. If you want to get fancy, you can color-code your stuff so that each project, time period, or other category gets its unique color.
Putting things away not only relieves the material clutter, but it also helps people to think more clearly, feel more relaxed, and regain confident control.
- Throw it away. My mantra is, “When in doubt, throw it out!” Anything you haven’t used in 6 months should go. This includes emails. Don’t waste time every day scrolling through old emails you don’t need. Just delete them. If there are financial documents you think you might need, scan them or take a picture on your phone and save an electronic version. Then throw away – or recycle – the piece of paper.
If you need incentive here, remember that cockroaches love to nest in paper! Getting rid of things that have outlived their usefulness is incredibly liberating. Try it!
- Make someone else do it for you. Sometimes it’s just too difficult to know what to keep and what to toss, where to put everything, and when to perform all the tasks. Maybe you just don’t have the time. In these cases, you can offload the job of organizing to a virtual assistant. She can get you sorted and filed, de-cluttered and un-jumbled. She can even assist you in the dreaded throwing away process by joining you virtually online to help make those tough choices.
If you are ready to shake off the disorder, if you want to know that everything is where it’s supposed to be (and you know where to find it), you are ready to get organized! I’m ready and waiting to help you out. Just contact me today!