3 steps to getting your business organized
Whether you’re a new or seasoned entrepreneur, every business can benefit from getting more organized.
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Are you stuck on how to best organize your business? Whether you’re just starting out or are already a serial entrepreneur, I’m sharing my top 3 tips which I also shared with Harness Magazine.
Often the hardest part of any business is getting organized. We all have great ideas, passions, and extreme drive, and we want to focus on that versus wasting time being disorganized, or wondering if we could be more organized.
Here are my top 3 tips to getting your business organized:
Step 1: Closet
A laser-focused closet ensures you are on the way to a structured, system-driven office space. Trust me, don’t skip this step. I don’t care how hokey you think it is!
I take clients through an exercise where they can better understand how much time they waste in the mornings in their closet—whether it’s because they’re looking for things, because they have too much stuff, because they don’t have the right stuff, or because they’re always having to re-iron clothes that weren’t stored correctly. This is usually the “ah-ha” moment for clients, and it breaks down the ways a disorganized closet costs us time and peace of mind. In my experience, having an organized closet can save an hour a day. And I know everyone is excited about the prospect of an extra hour per day, which now sets the motivation to get started decluttering everywhere else!
However, this step goes deeper than just time-saving while looking for clothes. Especially for women, one major productivity waster can be attributed to the amount of time we spend worrying about what we are wearing instead of focusing on our business. We want to look put-together in business settings, and if you know that your wrinkled skirt is really going to bother you, you need to find a way to ensure your skirt won’t be wrinkled to avoid this distraction (or if you feel uncomfortable in a blouse because you could not find the one you usually wear). These examples can lead to obsessing over our appearance instead of whatever work it is you’re meant to be doing, which can be avoided by having a laser-focused closet to begin with.
Step 2: Space
Next, ensure that your workspace fits your lifestyle and there is no clutter lingering in either space. To begin decluttering, you need to make some hard decisions about what items are practical necessities, what items are emotional necessities and what items are just plain trash. Everyone’s definition of clutter and trash will be different, and there are no set rules about what items fall into what category. Going back to my organization mantra: the most important thing is that the items you keep need to fit your lifestyle and business routines and if they don’t, they’re better off somewhere else.
To start, try tackling the biggest time-wasters first. For example, if you are always spending time looking for important files because of scattered papers on your desk or your online files, start here. Having disorganized files can be one of the most common causes for slowing you down at work and wasting time. In addition, you’re more likely to forget or miss important deadlines. Some quick tips to declutter your work station is to invest in folders (if you still use paper) or spend time making folders on your computer. Start here: every single day, be sure to schedule 10 minutes to organize your files. Scheduling organizing time is a great way to stay on track.
Step 3: Task elimination
Automate and outsource. You might wonder why clutter starts to pile up in the first place. It is usually because a task takes too long, or we don’t like doing the task. Take a hard look at your routines and systems, scrutinize where your time is best spent and whether or not a task or duty could be performed by someone else, automated, or even completely eliminated. It is surprising how even small routine tasks can cause a mess because we don’t like to do these in the first place. One example is bookkeeping, an area where unless diligent record keeping is put into place from the very start, it might be better outsourced to prevent clutter.
To conclude, I know that the same organizing strategies and skills that work for living spaces can work for businesses, whether they take the form of large corporate offices or shared workspaces. That’s why I suggest starting to redefine your personal space and move on to your office. Plus, with my mantra in mind, remember that everyone has a different style and approach, so the structure-orientated MBA may employ a task-based system, whereas the creative entrepreneur might prefer big-picture outcomes for their daily planning and organizing style.
Now you have my top 3 tips to help get your business organized. Next week I will be sharing my key tip on how to plan effectively the evening before to maximize your days!