Let talk how to organize your business when you not organized.
Do you ever catch yourself thinking “I don’t have time to organize”. “It’s just not a good use of my time”. “I would rather do work”. My question for you is “do you really have time to not be organized?” Learning how to organize your business could be the best way for you to manage your time, work productively, and create more of a balance in your work and home life as a mom business owner.
Today I am wearing hats from both of my businesses…Let’s talk about organizing your business when you don’t feel like you are an organized person. I spent over a decade as a professional organizer helping moms to overcome their clutter and simplify their stuff so they could do more of what they loved with who they loved. So yeah, you could say I have a bit of a passion for organizing. And not just because it looks pretty.
Practicing your organizing skill is truly a way to optimize your time and energy. You can show up a better mom, a better business owner, a better spouse, and a better you all around. And today we are going to talk about easy ways you can start to practice your organizing skills…Even if you’ve spent your life thinking you’re disorganized.
Why Take the Time to Organize Your Business
When you take time to organize your space and time as business owner, you can work more efficiently. And expend less energy completing the necessary tasks. It takes so much energy to run a business, especially if you are just starting out or a solopreneur. Why spend any more time than you absolutely have to search for documents you know you created? Or distracted by the piles of papers on your desk when you don’t have to?
Decide today to devote time on a regular basis to decluttering what is unnecessary. Create systems. Organize your space and schedule. And regularly maintain it all will ensure you keep your business and your household running at an optimal level.
And as I said in the opening…you may think you don’t have time to organize. But do you really have time not be? Disorganization shows up as lost items or files, missed deadlines or communications, unpaid invoices or lack of invoicing…the list goes on. All of these actions take a toll on both your productivity and business success. As well as your stress levels. Because, let’s face it, if you are constantly looking for things, missing deadlines, or forgetting invoice clients, it’s going to cause a bit of stress and strain in your already tapped out life.
And if you’re thinking “I could never be an organized person”. Or “I’m creative so I can’t be organized”, I’m here to help you see that everyone can benefit from a bit more organization.
You’ll complete tasks because you know when they’re due AND where the supplies you need to complete them are. You’ll serve your customers better because they will receive their services or packages in a timely manner. And happy customers mean more money. Maybe even repeat business. And more business means more compensation. More compensation means less stress because your efforts are rewarded. See how nicely that all works together!
And this isn’t just a long-term strategy. I want you to close your eyes and imagine a workday where you know what you need to do. You know where you can find everything you need to do your job. You start your day in a clear workspace where you can focus. And end your workday by resetting the space for next work session. Can you see it?
And practicing your organizing skills in your business is bound to spill over into your home life too. You and your family can set up systems to find all sorts of items that were previously on the “mom, where are my (insert lost item)” list. And, as I used to discuss with my organizing clients, the earlier you start to practice the skill of organizing with your kids, the better. I firmly believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. But I also know the sooner you start to nurture skills the better.
First Steps to Organize Your Business
So, where do you start honing your organizing skills as business owner? I’ve got 3 simple steps that even the most disorganized person can implement to start organizing their space and time. Reduce. Systematize. Maintain.
- Reduce – aka decluttering. When it comes to organizing anything, whether physical stuff or calendar clutter, the first step is to reduce the amount of items that need organizing. It just doesn’t make sense to organize something you don’t need. Or you don’t use. Or that doesn’t bring value to your day. When you look at the papers you keep, do you actually need them all? If you’ve got digital copy, do you need a printed copy? Or could you keep a well labeled digital copy on the chance you’ll reference it again. Rather than taking the time to print and file that document? When you look at your desktop, is everything there necessary for you to complete your job? Or does it cause a distraction or additional stress because your desk looks messy. When you look at your schedule or to-do list, do the tasks or activities add value and increase the bottom line of your business? Or are they unaligned with your goals and values causing you to waste your precious time and energy. Look at your space and schedule and ask yourself, is this all necessary and essential? If the answer is no, what can go. I am giving you permission to let go of items or tasks that don’t serve your vision, goals, or values.
- Systematize – For some reason, many business owners love to make things harder than they need to be. Even when they know they don’t have the time for it. It’s the “I don’t have time to get organized” lie again. But when you take a little time to organize systems for routine business tasks, you’ll work more productively and have fewer mistakes or missed opportunities. There’s a chance you’re already using some sort of systems in your business and you may not even realize it. Do you have templates you use for social media? A nurture sequence when new subscribers opt-in to your email list? Or a process for sending products to customers once they’ve purchased from you? Then you’ve organized systems designed to offload some of the decision making you do during your workday. AND to ensure the work is completed with fewer mistakes and consistent results. Currently recreating the wheel every time you have a repeated task in your business? I challenge you to look for places you can create systems. Creating a new blog post? Uploading new products to your website? Writing an email newsletter? Onboarding a new client? These are all places you can write down each step you need to complete in the process. Then create a checklist of these steps. I know, I know. It may seem redundant to record routine tasks when you are used to doing them over and over. But some days, mom brain kicks in. Some days we miss a step. And mistakes can cost our time and money. Not mention, you can easily delegate a well documented system as your business grows. And your business will grow now that you’ve committed to using your time and space more efficiently. For even more on creating systems for your business, check out episode 57 from February 2021 called “Systems: What are they and why you need them”.
- Maintenance – Maintaining what you decluttered or the systems you’ve created is so key to staying organized. And yet, this step is so often overlooked. Organizing is never set it and forget it like a Ronco Rotisserie Oven (how’s that for a throwback reference). We have to review and reevaluate to make constant improvements. You might find that items you once thought were necessary for your workflow aren’t anymore because you’ve digitized a system. Or tasks your once did no longer align with your current vision and goals. Or the system you created feels clunky, outdated, or complicated. Just because you reduce and systematize doesn’t mean it’s complete. For instance, I make a habit of reviewing my marketing numbers at the end of every month. I’ve created a weekly marketing checklist, aka a system, so I know what I would like to post where. And when I write my podcast. And what needs completed that week to accomplish my marketing goals. Based on my marketing numbers each month, I refine and review my weekly system. I look for places I can eliminate tasks or where I need to lean in a bit more. Schedule time in on a regular basis, maybe monthly or quarterly, to review what you’ve done. And determine if it is still working for you. Or if it might need a little zhuzh.
Here are your action steps to organize your business, even if you don’t feel like you’re an organized person…
First, reduce the clutter. Eliminate any items that you don’t absolutely need or that cause distractions. Ask yourself “will I realistically need this? Or am I just keeping it because I might use it or someone else told me to have it”? Let go of items that don’t directly contribute to your success. Or align with your values. Or that distract you from doing focused work. You don’t have to overhaul your whole office at once. Start small. A drawer. Your desktop. A day on your schedule. Then tomorrow, do a little more.
Next up, systematize. Are there areas of your business where you repeat tasks? If so, create a checklist or automation to ensure you complete each step accurately. And yes, I know words like accurate and timely can start to sound a little confining to a free flowing creative. But when you create simple systems to offload the regular, boring, non-creative yet essential tasks, you free up brainpower for more creative time in your work.
And finally, schedule time for maintenance and review. Sure, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But as we develop organizing skills, we find that the stuff or tasks we thought we needed, aren’t really necessary. In fact, they may actually distract us. Make an appointment on a regular basis to review the state of your workspace, your schedule, and your systems. Evaluate that they align with your current, vision, goals, and values.
Need additional support in creating your best mompreneur life? Want to create a solid and simple plan to get your work done and have fun? Let’s jump on a free, no-obligation 15-minute call to see how I can help you feel more fun & fulfilled in your work and home life.