Know that everything has its place.
It’s almost impossible to keep your brain calm and focused if the space around you is in chaos. Everything should have a place, from paperwork and office supplies, to bits and pieces on your desk, to the files on your computer desktop. Take the time to organise your physical space, designating a home for everything in your office so it’s all easy to find and easy to put back every time. Clean up or minimise unnecessary cables, make the most of the space you have with shelves and vertical storage and get rid of any office supplies you don’t use. If you’re working from home, as is far more common these days, make sure you have a designated workspace with everything you need to succeed.
When it comes to your digital space, it’s crucial to have a document filing system. We recommend emptying your downloads, desktop and trash at the end of every day. For your inbox, start and finish your day by checking your emails, replying to what you can, scheduling and delegating other tasks, filing anything you’ve actioned and deleting the stuff that’s not important.
Write it down.
We can’t be expected to remember everything. Figuring out your ideal system for keeping track of what needs to be done is crucial. Start with outlining your business strategy, procedures and plans and creating checklists or templates for repetitive tasks. Keep your daily to-do list in one place. Whether you use an app like Wrike or Todoist, a digital or hardcopy planner, sticky notes, or the classic pen and paper is up to you, but it’s best to stick to one system. At the start or end of your day (probably after you check your emails) write out your to-do list, breaking up big projects into smaller tasks.
Keep time on your side.
There are only so many hours in a day; the least we can do is make the most of them. That doesn’t mean working overtime and cramming in everything you possibly can. It’s about working smarter, not harder. Be aware of how much time is wasted throughout your day and do your best to minimise this. Planning out your day and getting rid of interruptions can make a big difference. When you check and reply to an email or notification that just came in, you’re taking time away from the task at hand and your productivity will suffer for it. Schedule time between tasks for checking emails and notes and turn off pop up notifications. Take microbreaks to keep your mind focused — step away from your desk and enjoy some snacks, sun and fresh air.
In a company, establishing routines and using a shared calendar and scheduling system can minimise unnecessary interruptions and help everything run smoothly. Anything that can be automated or scheduled should be. For example, planning out your social media posts in advance is crucial and will save you time in the long run.
Make the most of tech tools.
Thanks to modern technology, there are plenty of tools that can help you be more productive and organised. If you can, go completely paperless and introduce a cloud filing system to cut back on office clutter. Next, online accounting software like Xero is helpful for tracking expenses and taking care of all your bookkeeping. You can even take responsibility for your mental wellbeing and ensure you’re in the right frame of mind by downloading mindfulness apps like Calm or Headspace. Finally, we wouldn’t have made it through working from home this year without project management and communication apps.
There are productivity tools for so many aspects of business, including contact management, meetings and communication, customer support, accounting, travel and expense tracking, social media, email management, project management and password storage. Find which programs are right for your business and take advantage of them. It’s also a good idea to take stock of what apps and tools you’re using once a year, to see if they are still working for you, or to add new ones to your arsenal.
Remember your team.
Getting everyone involved in being more organised will make sure things stay organised. There’s no point spending the time to reorganise your office or files if no one sticks to the system. Prioritising business planning like goal setting and growth, and including staff in the process, helps keep people focused.
It’s important to have an onboarding and training system in place for new staff so everyone learns the organisational systems from the get-go. Define responsibilities for ongoing business organisation — someone needs to be in charge of purchasing supplies and throwing out useless clutter, and someone needs to be in charge of keeping productivity apps up to date and assigning passwords when required.
Above all, remember to prioritise your mental wellbeing; without a calm and organised mind, none of this will be optimised. Being more organised isn’t a one-off task, it’s an ongoing process that will keep your business healthy and strong.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to be organised, or need help with social media scheduling, website organisation or training strategies, get in touch.