I hear from people all the time that they’d love to have a more organized office, but there’s never enough time to do it. If you knew how much it was affecting you, do you think you’d make the time?
Most people underestimate how much clutter and disorganization can affect us. If you were to describe you how you feel when you walk into your cluttered space, I would likely hear words like “anxious, annoyed, stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, defeated”. Is that really how you want to describe your a space that you spend 8 hours a day in? Imagine if you could walk in and feel organized, prepared, calm, productive, relaxed – Wouldn’t that be worth a few hours of your time?
As a business owner myself, I know how hard it is to juggle multiple roles; marketer, salesperson, tech support, admin, operations, human resources… the list is endless! And I find that more often than not, it’s the general administration tasks that fall to the wayside because, at first glance, they don’t appear to directly affect the bottom line.
You’d be wrong.
Every receipt you forget to file is a business write-off lost. Every cheque you forget to deposit is income unrealized. Every client follow up missed is an opportunity for your competitor to steal your business.
I would say that is worth a few minutes of your time every day. Wouldn’t you?
So the big question now is, how do you get organized?
Step 1: Organize your workspace into 3 sections, preferably using 3 separate surfaces. Your main workspace, which includes your computer should contain only projects and files that you are working on that day. The second space, ideally placed on your left or right, should be for on-going projects. The third space, placed behind you, should be reserved for completed projects that are ready for filing, shredding, recycling or storage.
Step 2: Sort through all of your paperwork so that all necessary documents are in the right section. As you’re doing this, purge any items which are no longer required (old notes, duplicate presentations, initial drafts, etc). If you find an item that doesn’t have a specific home (ie: business cards), place them in your ‘ongoing projects section’ and either on your calendar or to-do list, note the task and a time to follow up with it.
Step 3: Create client file folders. For every client you work with, you should have a working file that contains all relevant notes, documents, receipts, contacts, invoices, contracts, etc That way, at the end of every day, you can organize your workspace easily and efficiently by utilizing specific client folders for your paperwork.
Step 4: Create business file folders. These should be in filing cabinet that is easy to access and should contain folders such as “Marketing”, “Invoices”, “Reference” as well 12 folders, labeled January to December for all relevant business receipts and write-offs.
Step 5: File all paperwork into its proper place. And if you don’t have a folder for something, make one. Miscellaneous Folders are far too vague and rarely serve purpose.
Step 6: Repeat Step 5 at least once very couple of days. Maintenance is key to creating a clear and uncluttered workspace.
So, just this week, include “get organized” on your to-do list. The benefits will be worth the time spent.
For more information on how you can get organized, visit www.jorganizing.com