It’s a new year and we all know what that means. Resolutions, good intentions, and hopefully a ton of growth in 2018!
If you’re planning on growing your business, though, you need to have a solid plan of organization.
I’m not going to lie. It’s tough to stay organized and on task, all the while looking at your bottom line. Over the years, though, I’ve learned that cutting corners to “save time,” in the end only causes more stress, and eventually the loss of revenue.
You know what I’m talking about.
It’s when you decide that you’ll move that client file to right digital spot when you have time. Or, that you’ll sit down and make your weekly to-do list later, but right now you have to get to work because someone has to pay the bills!
Ultimately, you just end up spending more time (hence, money) later on when you’re trying to find that missing file or when you have that sneaking suspicion you’ve forgotten to do something (like a client project).
Let’s let 2018 be the year we all kick the bad habit of organization neglect. Here are a few of my tried and true tips and tools for easing the overwhelm and getting organized.
5 Ways to Beat Organization Neglect
Take a few minutes each morning to plan. It can be tempting to roll with the punches and tackle every project or issue that happens to confront you during the day. It’s also exhausting! So take a few minutes each morning to think about what you want to accomplish this week. Then think about what you want or need to accomplish that day. Tie up any loose ends from the day before and then work methodically through your task list.
Use project management apps. A few of my favorites include ToDoist and Trello. I’ve used ToDoist when working with clients and I use Trello as a tool to plan my blog posts, content, and my goals. It integrates with many other apps, and it’s free!
Set a timer. How many times have you thought to yourself,“Oh that takes about five minutes to do,” and an hour and a half later, you’re still at it. Setting a timer helps to keep you aware of how you spend your time. Also, if you have clients that you bill by the project, it will help you to provide a more accurate estimate as well as keep you on task so you don’t lose money. Toggl is a great tool for keeping track of your time — both for solopreneurs and for teams.
Don’t let your inbox get overwhelmed. Alright, this is definitely easier said than done. However, it’s totally possible to get to inbox zero (I admit I’m still working on this!). Make it your goal to address your email every day at a fixed time. Reply to any emails that warrant a response, and if they involve a to-do item, put it on your Trello list. Delete any emails that you don’t need. Email extensions like Sortd can help you to organize your emails and even integrate tasks, put snooze timers on emails, and sort them into lists that you’ve created.
Name your files and/or label them. If you’ve noticed that “wheel of death” (for Mac users) or the timer that just won’t go away (for PC lovers), it’s probably time to do some digital cleanup. However, when looking at your thousands of files, it can be overwhelming to try and sort through them all. So, this year, make it your resolve to clearly label all of your files. For instance, if you have client image files, name them all something consistent, like “[Client Name] — [Images] — [Image Name].” When you have to delete old files, it will be so much easier to do so!
I hope these simple tips help you to get ready for an amazing new year with lots of growth, and of course, an incredibly organized business!