2018 has arrived and I know many of us are in full entrepreneurial-mode … full-force! When you own your own business being organized is a key factor to accomplishing success. But for me and millions of other scatter-brained business owners, how so we organize our chaotic worlds? There is always an ever-running to-do list, new ideas and goals around every corner, last minute client projects, email passwords, professional development seminars/webinars … and seriously, this list could go on for days. I don’t know about you, but some days I feel I need a compass because my mind is wandering in a million different directions and usually wandering a thousand miles away …!
Did you know (FACT) that 96% of people say their lives are better with to-do lists, 89% say they enjoy making lists and a good 28% of us (yes, I fall into this category) identify ourselves as obsessive list makers? There is even a good 50% who admittedly love to write down tasks they have already completed to then triumphantly cross them off. This way, they have a more complete picture of every single thing they’re accomplished. Yup, I admittedly fall under this category as well … guilty as charged, LOL! If you think about it, it’s another opportunity to cross something off. It’s sort of insane how much some of us just love crossing things off, huh?
It’s true, you really don’t need fancy products or a humungous team of consultants to help you get your act together. And keep it together. Boost your productivity by creating a system which can be based on these simple yet essential cornerstones of success …. Through organization! 🙂
First things first …. WRITE THINGS DOWN. Whether is on paper, in your phone or on your computer. This will help you focus and declutter your mind. Save some space for other things and help you from feeling overwhelmed … reduce the burden on your brain! This will also help you plan ahead and coordinate other projects, meetings and goals. Next would be to tackle your schedule and deadlines. Try braking your goals into smaller steps and mark them down in your day planner or calendar. This will help you establish a time frame to purely focus on each goal and all the steps involved in accomplishing it. Creating a breakdown of each goal will also help you feel more motivated by keeping track of each step and that amazing feeling as you get to strike it off your checklist.
FACT: Most people (about 83%) still prefer the tactile experience of writing lists with paper and pen. The visceral pleasure of crossing things off cannot be underestimated and people often feel more accountable when a list is in their own handwriting.
Secondly … DON’T PROCRASTINATE. Putting things off just creates additional stress that you really do not need or want. It will also kill your motivation and leave you feeling stuck and overwhelmed. So, try to accomplish things as soon as you can or while you’re feeling motivated and aware of the urgency.
FACT: Motivation dies within 5 seconds of postponing.
Not only should you try to tackle things right away but these “things” should be put in their place. This will save you time and energy because you won’t constantly be searching for things and you will be able to easily differentiate between things you need and things that are just plain ‘ol in your way, thus keeping your clutter to a minimum. And in the business-world … the less clutter the better!
This leading us to … CHECKLISTS. Seriously, I personally take great pride in this one. Just ask my other half or my bestie … I truly live in a world filled with lists, electronic notes and post-its, LOL! But seriously now, keeping track of all of your projects, responsibilities, goals and daily/weekly activities gives you more time to focus and create a useful daily routine. They also act as friendly reminders, especially when adopting new projects and goals.
FACT: Psychological benefits of using a checklist include … motivation, organization, creates order, sets priorities, consistency, creates the feeling of productivity and accountability, relieves stress and creates a system that leads to accomplishment.
Another good mental tool that falls under this category is … AUTOMATION. Automate everything you possibly can. For example, if you automate your bill payments you will no longer have to worry about whether you’ve made them on time or if you have enough money left in your business account to cover them. Use both of these systems to create more time for the things that truly matter in your business.
Lastly, I’d like to share some time, tested and true TIME MANAGEMENT tips.
- Leave plenty of time in between tasks. Be prepared for the unexpected.
- List your priorities every day and by importance in order to stay focused.
- Do the important things on your list first.
- Create an action plan for each project/goal in order to stay motivated.
- Reorganize and eliminate time wasters.
- Minimize interruptions so you can concentrate and accomplish things quicker.
- Set realistic goals. Doing this give you more of a chance to accomplish them.
- Synchronize your calendars … yes, this also includes day planners.
So, how do you plan on staying organized this year? I would love to hear all about your tips, tools, resources, strategies and apps … Please feel free to share them here in the comments on Virtually Untangled’s Facebook Page.
If you enjoyed today’s post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by sharing it on social media or emailing it to a friend. We’re started off 2018 with a BANG and we’re going to keep at it. Next week we are talking about INSPIRATION (Monday) and PRODUCTIVITY (Thursday) so keep your eyes peeled!