Are you organized? One of the biggest challenges faced by webpreneurs is getting and staying organized. With so much information coming in and the fact that most of us wear so many different hats, it’s easy to get unorganized and when that happens, we become inefficient and less effective.
Organization, or lack of, impacts a lot more of life and business than you think. For example, if you have an issue with procrastination, organization can help beat it. When you have dozens of unfinished action items and a lot of clutter in your mind and workspace, it is all taking up valuable mental resources that could be used for things you want to accomplish, not to mention the time that you will waste. Ultimately, I believe organization is one of the keys to success and even if you achieve a level of success, it will be difficult to maintain or further it without organization.
I hear people, who are struggling to get done what they want to get done, ask how high achievers get so much accomplished and the answer is that a big part of it is organization. Obviously hard work and other things go into it, but organization is a key component of getting stuff done. I also believe that clutter and disorganization take up mental resources that could be used for other things. It’s like a giant weight being lifted off your shoulders once you get organized.
Organization is a journey, not a destination. You can’t get organized once and be done. You need to make a habit of acting in a way that you can stay organized. Some people practice it daily, some put in the time on a weekly basis. Start the process and do what works for you, but regardless of what you try, you will benefit from the efforts. Below is a list of tips you can use to get organized and stay that way. Some may not apply to you, but any of them that you use will help.
– Clean out your stuff and get rid of unnecessary items and information. Less is more. If you are saving things for inspiration or future use, find a place for them and label that for what it is. Whether it’s a file or a place in your desk, put the items there and know that when you come across things that fit that category in the future they have a place to go. The more you get rid of, the less you will have weighing on your mind and the less you will have to look through to find important things when you need them.
– Find a home for everything. My goal at the end of the day is to have a clean desk, everything off of it. The only way I can do that is to put everything in its place. Once everything has a place, you can use it then put it back when you are done. This tip alone will change your life if you are not doing it.
– Figure out what kind of an organization routine works for you and start doing it. I like to organize at the end of the day to be ready for the next. Some people work like tornados all week and then on Saturday or Sunday when they have a chance, they take some time to really go through everything they did during the week, put everything back together, put stuff where it belongs and get ready for the next week. Regardless of how often you re-organize, make it consistent, schedule it and don’t deviate. It’s important to reduce distractions when you are doing this, because you will also be making a mental checklist while you are organizing of what you did and what you still need to do. This is a good time to plan as well, but that’s a different post.
– Make organization a routine. Whether you end the day organizing or begin the day, the more you set up systems to help you stay organized, the better off you will be. If your bookkeeping is disorganized, spend 30 minutes a day after lunch working on it and know that that is your pattern. Clean out your inbox daily and know that you can’t shut down until it’s empty or everything has been addressed. If one of your goals is physical fitness and working out every morning, organize your gym bag the night before you need it so you can easily grab the bag and go in the morning. It reduces friction and makes it much more likely that you will stick with the program.
– Use a calendar. If you are running a business, I assume you keep a calendar. If not, start. It is imperative that you keep a calendar, schedule important tasks, communications, events, reminders, etc. Use it.
– Set up your organization systems so that they are easy to use. If you are making bookkeeping a daily task, but the software you use is difficult or a pain for you to use, do your books manually or get help. If your organization system is difficult, you are less likely to stick with it.
– Recognize that every time you do the right thing and work within your organization systems, you are gaining strength and improving. It’s like a little win for you. Be cognizant of that and you will positively reinforce your own behavior. It’s like building a muscle, keep doing it and it will get better and grow.
– Reward yourself for staying organized. If you stay organized, celebrate. I can assure you that when you become organized and stay that way everything else in your life will improve as well, and in my opinion, that’s a great reason to celebrate.
If you are not organized, stop what you are doing and start getting organized, it can change your life. Below are a few more resources to help you get organized, but don’t get caught up trying to figure out what’s best and searching and reading, the best thing you can do is keep it simple and be consistent.