Stop waiting to “find the time” to organize your business
“I’ll get organized when I have the time.”
“Maybe once this is over I will finally have the time to get organized.”
“I want to get organized, but it’s too much work.”
“Every time I try to get organized, I get overwhelmed and give up.”
“I know getting organized is important, but something else always seems to be more urgent.”
Do any of these sound familiar?
If you have been wanting to get more organized in your business, or if you’ve reached the point where being disorganized is hurting your business, this is for you!
Listen to the audio:
Don’t wait until you “find the time” to get organized
Why is waiting until you "find the time" to get organized a bad idea? If you are waiting until you feel ready, until you feel motivated, until you can find the time, I have to be honest with you: it's probably never going to happen.
If you are serious about getting organized in your business, you need to make it a priority. If you are not prioritizing it, if it keeps getting pushed down your to-do list, it might never happen.
So what are some things that you can do instead? First of all, decide that organization is going to be a priority this year, this quarter, this month, this week - whenever. Make it a clear priority.
You also need to make a list of the organization tasks that you want to accomplish and stop letting them get pushed down to the bottom of your to-do list. We're going to talk about this a little bit more later.
Organize your business without a huge time commitment
When I'm talking to business owners, one of the things that holds people back when they want to get organized is that they think it's going to be a huge time commitment. And it doesn't have to be.
Here are some ways to incorporate more organization into your business without it taking up a giant chunk of time.
The first thing to do is pick one of those organization tasks to work on and set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Even that little chunk of time is going to allow you to get something done. It might just be the little push you need to actually get started on that task. You may end up in the flow and spending more time on it - that’s great, but it’s also okay if this doesn’t happen!
Giving this task a container of a set period of time with the timer can help convince your brain that it’s not going to be so bad. If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start, I highly recommend trying this.
For example, one of the common things that I come across is that people are overwhelmed by the clutter in their email inbox. Maybe you have so many old emails in there that you've never filed and cleaned up. Maybe you are on a bunch of mailing lists and there are things you need to unsubscribe from and get rid of. Maybe you have hundreds or thousands of unread emails in there. Don't worry, I'm sure I've seen worse whatever it is you have!
It can be so overwhelming, because you're looking at that total number at the top and you're thinking, "2500 emails! I will never sort through all of that!" And you're thinking about how many new things are coming in each day and you just get so overwhelmed by the big picture that it's hard to even start.
But if you set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes a day and just plug away at a little bit of it, just for that small period of time, all of a sudden it's not going to be as difficult to work your way through it.
Create a reward system
Another thing that has worked for me in the past on some of these tasks that are necessary for my business but I don't necessarily want to do is to set up some sort of reward system.
For example, I have created little punch cards for myself where if I do something say five times or 10 times I get a reward, like getting takeout or buying a new book I’ve been wanting.
You decide what the parameters are - do you get this reward if you do this task every day for a week? Do you get the reward if you do the task 5 times, regardless of when those 5 times occur? Decide what makes the most sense to you and what reward is going to be enticing enough for you to want to do it.
Use an existing habit or routine
Another tip is to incorporate a new task into an existing habit. If you are trying to find five or ten minutes to work away at something or to add something new into your routine, do it when you already have something going on.
For example, every morning if you brew a pot of tea or coffee, take that 5 minutes while that is brewing and do something new. This could be time where you're chipping away at something that you want to finish or just a completely new habit that's you want to start and that’s going to be ongoing.
You can also add extra time to something that you're already doing. For example, if we go back to our cluttered email inbox example from before, if you start off your day by checking all of your new emails every morning, add an extra 10 minutes onto that to deal with a backlog of old emails.
If you're already in your inbox answering and organizing your new emails, it won't seem as difficult to make yourself jump in and work on those older emails at the same time.
Create time to get organized
Now, here is a very crucial step in the getting organized process: you need to actually create time in your calendar to do it.
This depends on how you organize your calendar - for example, some people like time blocking and some people don't. So you could assign a time block for organization tasks. You could put them in as meetings or appointments. You could block off a day where you are not going to take calls and only focus on organization tasks. Decide what makes the most sense for you and your business.
If you can find ways to set aside time specifically for working on these organization tasks, then you are more likely to get them done. In my experience, just putting "get organized" on your to-do list and hoping that it will magically happen usually doesn't work that way.
Follow this process to make an organization plan
Here are the steps that I recommend to make a plan to get organized.
First of all, write out a list of specific tasks that you want to accomplish. Don't work on your big organization project as a whole - break it down into specific chunks. The more specific you can get the better.
The next thing to do is to set due dates for each of these items. They don't have to be hard and fast due dates, but I find that when I'm aiming to get something done by a specific date I am more likely to follow through rather than, "I just want to get this finished at some point."
The final step is to block out time on your calendar to work on these things. Even just 15 to 30 minutes a few times a week is going to get you a lot further in getting organized than you think it will.
I hope that these organization tips have made you feel better about whatever state of organization your business is in. I promise that getting organized is easier and faster than you think it is, but when you get caught up in the big picture it just seems so overwhelming.
Please use these tips to break it down into more manageable steps so that you can actually move forward this year and get the organization that you're looking for. If you have any questions about how to get more organized in your business or you're looking for support, let me know down in the comments or feel free to reach out.