As I was thinking of what to write next, my mind began to think of doing another series. I see other bloggers do this all the time and it’s a really good idea. Plus, it’s been awhile since I’ve done one. So, this week is going to be my Business Series Week. Each day for the next 5 days (including today), I’ll share some tips and tricks with you on these topics: (a) Today: Organization; (b) Tuesday: Financials; (c) Wednesday: Training; (d) Thursday: Marketing; and (e) Friday: Productivity.
The reason I picked this series topic is that it is easy to share what knowledge I have about it since I’m a business owner and co-owner and been doing this since 1999. I’m not an expert by any means but I’ve learned a lot along the way. I love to share and hopefully it might inspire you or at least be good reading for you! ha haa!
So, let’s get started talking about organization. Now, I’ve written a lot about organizing including specific things I do, and you can read about it in this post. So, I won’t go into steps to be organized in this post as to not be redundant. What I want to discuss today is why it is important to be organized in your business.
Before I became self-employed, I did a lot of multi-tasking on my job. I worked for several departments and all of them had their specific deadlines. It was up to me to know how to plan my schedule so that I gave them their deliverables on time. As a business owner, I had several clients again with their specific deadlines. I had to gauge my time so that the assignments that were critical got worked on first. One piece of advice given to me that I use today is blocking out time. I put everything else away from my desk and only worked on that project for a couple of hours or so until I felt good about moving onto the next one. This practice has served me well and I feel productive at the end of the day.
When you have several projects going on simultaneously, keeping each project in its own folder or notebook is a huge asset. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as every piece of paper, notes, etc., related to that project stays together. For me, keeping my desk clear and only working one project at a time was paramount. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed. It’s like eating a slice of pie at a time and not trying to scarf down the whole pie!
Organization also goes beyond project management. How you file your papers is key. I’m old school where it comes to this. I do paperless, but I like to keep hard copies just in case. And for that, I use dividers. I graduated from file cabinets but that’s not to say you shouldn’t have them. They are still useful. And as long as you have a good catalog system for finding files, you’re good to go. The digital copies on my computer live in folders and I’m careful what I name them as well as the files that live in subfolders. I have had my share of searching my hard drive for a file only to find out I gave it some weird name that I had forgotten. Today, I catalog by client/year/month and then what type of project it is, ex., presentation, letters, etc.
I’m a huge fan of having a planner that either sits on the desk, or digital (ex., Google calendar). I write in my appointments, deadlines, etc., and I’m a big fan of alerts on my phone so I don’t forget anything. If you do social media posting, having a calendar for that would come in handy. This way you can write down what you’re going to publish each week and plan your month in advance. If you’re a blogger, you can add in your calendar/planner the days you plan to write your posts, take photos and when you plan to publish. I love to have my posts ready and future date them to publish so I don’t have to worry about it and I can work on other things. If you’re a YouTuber, you can write down the days for your shoots, video editing, and when you upload them. I embedded a video at the bottom from a lady I follow on YouTube on how she stays organized.
I also recommend keeping your desk organized with very little on it. You can read this post about how I downsized what sits on top of my desk. I like only the items I reach for the most to be there and tuck other items away.
One last piece of advice that I think is necessary is having a notebook of some sort (again having a hard copy) with all your login/passwords listing them alphabetically. And, you can have this same list saved as a PDF file, then upload it to Google DRIVE so that you can sync that file to all your devices. Then, no matter where you are, you have access to that critical information. You don’t want to leave this information in one place. Using DRIVE definitely has come in handy for me as I work offsite a lot.
As you work your business, you’ll find what works for you. Organizing your day, your workload, and even your paperwork will help you use your time wisely and it will keep you from feeling scatter brained or overwhelmed. Believe it or not that even just buying a couple of shelves to put your magazines and books on to get them off your desk is huge. What I like when I go to work is coming into an office that isn’t cluttered or full of papers. Seeing my desk clean everyday encourages me to go to work. I wish you all the success in your business and I hope my advice will inspire you 🙂