Being organised is one of the most valuable skills a small business owner can have to achieve success. You can think much more clearly and therefore, you can concentrate on your targets and how to reach them. Once you have systems in place for carrying out your work and plan regularly, you ensure that you keep your significant tasks a priority.
Achieving success comes from working proactively to drive the business forward. If we're always functioning in a reactive way and working in a chaotic, cluttered environment then progress slows down. Here are some tips to ensure you keep yourself organised:
Organise your workspace
Don't underestimate the time lost or stress caused by an inefficient working environment. If your productivity feels low, perhaps your workspace is letting you down.
To restore order:
- Be ruthless and remove anything that doesn't directly serve a function in your day to day activity.
- Create consistent homes for all work materials so you know where to find them. Choose locations logically based on where you tend to use the items, for example, store spare copy paper near the printer. Move outside your immediate reach anything you don't use regularly. Always return items once you have used them so they'll be where you expect them the next time.
- If the information needed for your clients' proposal is buried under various bits of paper, for example, this is going to create unnecessary stress for yourself. Use trays and files to organise information and label it. Better still, create a virtual office by saving all information on a cloud-based service like Dropbox or Google Drive. This means you can access information when you are away from the office too.
Time spent planning saves so much time when it comes to implementing it. Implementing regular planning strategies will keep you focused and on target.
Start planning today for tomorrow. Each day implement a routine as part of your shut-down to wrap up loose ends and prioritise key tasks. Ensure your plan is workable. A good plan for tomorrow allows you to clear your head and enjoy your evening.
Once a week, make time for a 60- 90-minute appointment with yourself for larger scale planning and review. Use the time to research, plan new strategies, or any of those tasks which typically take a back seat. Select a good time in the day when you're at your best. Keep this appointment with yourself and treat the time as sacred. It's often during this period when we tap into ideas, solutions, and experience breakthroughs that may open new opportunities.
This requires consistent ongoing effort. The key is to remain focused on the benefits it brings to your business success. Spend a few minutes each day restoring order to your workspace. Perform your daily planning without fail. Remember, things happen and priorities change. Don't despair, just review, revise and keep moving forward.
Be brutally honest about what you need to keep. Studies suggest that 80% of what we file is never accessed again. Ask yourself this. Is there a tax or legal reason for keeping it? Why would I need this in future? Is it information I could obtain online or otherwise? Put paperwork you do keep in good-quality folders and label them clearly. Or again, set up a virtual filing system using a cloud-based service.
If you find it hard to keep yourself organised and you would like some one to one help, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to help.