If you’ve ever felt you spend too much time looking for that file or sticky note, emailing back and forth to find a good time to meet, or staring at a never-ending to-do list despite being busy- you’re not alone!
Lack of focus, wasting time and energy, and disorganization are common challenges that can hold you back from your desired results.
It can all feel overwhelming to manage, despite believing passionately in your work and purpose. Ready to regain control of your business and your time?
Here are 3 things you must get organized now:
1) Calendar and schedule
Your calendar is a very revealing tool. Look at yours and see what a typical day and week looks like. Is it working for you? Does your current approach to calendaring events and commitments work for you, or does it leave you feeling exhausted? Your schedule should support you and your goals so if you feel like its “all over the place” or even could be more efficient, consider:
- Designating at least one day or two half days to work ON your business (e.g. no client or networking meetings…just you and your biz gettn’ jiggy with it. Find out the rhythm or flow that works for you.
- A scheduling tool like my favorite, Calendly. There’s already enough emails in your
inbox, so save the back and forth emailing to schedule every appointment by using a web-based scheduling tool.
- Reserving at least one non-work day per week. We all need recharge and play time to enjoy other things and interests. There’s a tendency to approach productivity and business success by working harder and longer. While there are certainly times when longer hours or more intensive periods of working are required to meet a deadline, or reach an aggressive goal, failing to plan and organize for time away from your business can backfire.
Choose one of the tips above to implement right away to take control of your time. In the comment section at the bottom of this post, tell me what you’re committed to doing to get and stay in charge of your calendar and schedule.
What does your desktop look like right now? If you’re finding that it’s always a mess, or there are old piles and stack of paper folders and materials on and beneath your desk. It’s probably an indicator that a good new habit is in order. Piles are fine when you have an open project and those files and materials are needed to reference regularly. But once that project is complete they need to be put away. If you can’t tell yourself everything that’s in the pile on your desk it’s been there too long AND IS REALLY JUST TAKING UP space and not paying rent. I love walking into my office and seeing a clean and clear desktop surface. It supports a positive feeling that I’m ready and excited for this brand new day.
Take a few minutes at the end of each day to clear your desktop of files you’ve used that need to be put back. If you have a pile of papers or flyers from an event, quickly go through them and decide if it’s a “toss” or “keep” item. Then for the “keep” items, either file them or snap a photo and add it to your electronic folder that’s stored on the cloud.
3) Goals, plans, and to-dos
First, have clear goals that you’re working toward. If you don’t have any, contact me and I’ll support you to get the clarity you need asap. Providing you have your goals and plan to reach them, it’s no use to write them once at the start of the year and then keep them on a shelf and forget about them. You’ve got to use the you-know-what out of them.
Your goals and plans should be easily accessible and in an easy-to-read format. My clients in the Signature Business Building Program have access to our Action Plan Forms for each of their goals where they to map out milestones, strategies and action steps with dates. These forms are a must when you’re getting comfortable and efficient with the goal setting process and the practice of using the plans you create.
If you’re a paper person, write your goals them at the front of your paper planner or in your ideas notebook that you reference regularly. If you’re down with technology and like organizing digitally, consider using Evernote. I use it for goal documentation and management because it so easy to use, I can access it on my phone, and I voice-to-text my ideas for action steps. Then, I can electronically check off each step as I complete it. Love checking things off!
What about your to-do list? Where do you keep it and how to you keep it manageable?
Keep your “working” to-do list with your goals so you can trace your to-dos to your goals. The majority of your tasks and to-dos each day should map directly to your goals. Why? That’s how you make progress instead of just being busy.
Every week I list my priorities for the week and add them as weekly goals to my Outlook calendar. Then, I identify which days (and sometimes which blocks of time) I will accomplish the tasks and steps to complete those goals. Using my calendar for weekly and daily to-dos keeps it doable and it’s visually in front of me without being cluttered with different papers, lists and sticky notes (sound familiar?).
Choose a way to keep your goals and plans visible. Will it be in your notebook? On your whiteboard? In your digital file organizer? Get all your goals listed there with deadlines ASAP. Then consolidate all your fab ideas and to-dos in a master task list where you can dump them and then refer to them later. Note: Your master task list is not your “working” or daily to-do list. Your daily to-do list needs to be short (3-5 top business to-dos) and most items should be clearly connected with your goals.
Get the support, community, and tools to get focused, stay on track, and feel in charge of your business with the Fab Fempreneurs Membership program launching in Spring 2017. Apply to become a member today.
P.S. Did you think I forgot about money? Nope, it’s up for next month with a post of its own :-). In the meantime, act on the 3 things you must get organized above and check out our coaching membership program.