This is podcast episode number 27 with some thoughts about organizing and productivity for the small business owner. These just might have a big impact on your profitability for the upcoming year.
When you are organized, it can’t help but affect your corporate bottom line. The money, time, and energy you are going to save by having some structure around your time and space is going to make a world of difference to how you operate.
We all seem to start the new year with the best of intentions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the office supply store or the container store and come home with a bunch of supplies that I hope will magically transform my desk, office, my purse, my car and life into neatly organized environments. And maybe for the first week or two, I do great with keeping it all neat and tidy but then something happens and I revert back to my old habits. As humans, it’s natural to get frustrated and give up at this point, thinking that you are genetically doomed to live a life of chaos.
But don’t give up! Keep at it. I am thoroughly convinced that we revert to our old habits because most of us don’t understand how to go about the process of organizing and this is where my friend, colleague, and productivity expert, Barbara Bergeron comes in.
According to Barbara, who has had tremendous success in working with Fortune 500 companies, clutter is nothing more than indecision. Our piles of paper and stuff exist because we are not sure what to do with them.
In a recent conversation I had with Barbara, she suggested that anyone who wants to be more organized and productive should begin with the end in mind and we can do this by asking ourselves the question, “What should the space I am trying to organize look like when I am done?”
Another tip that she offers to the business professionals who hire her is to keep the space you operate in logically arranged. Barbara suggests that the key here is to establish boundaries for the space, allowing only those things to exist that really belong there.
Consider the example of a professional’s desktop. Some of the things that might belong there are a laptop, phone, pad for quick note taking, a pen, one or two personal items, maybe the files of your current projects. So when you leave for the day, the desktop should only have those items on it for you to feel organized when you sit down at the desk the next morning. Everything else should be filed, acted upon, or thrown out. Barbara teaches her clients the FAT method of organizing. File. Act. Trash.
She should know. As the president of SOS Organizational Services, she has been organizing corporate spaces for 20 years.
Getting organized should be viewed as a process and one that takes time. Some projects can take up to a year so don’t get frustrated.
In order not to get overwhelmed, start by organizing a small space then expand to larger spaces with the skills and confidence you gain.
When you have more time and energy because you are organized, you can spend more of those resources on what matters most to your bottom line. Here I want you to think business development, customer service, employee relations, and strategic planning – those areas of business that require you to work on your business not in it. The bonus of being more organized in your professional life will give you more time and energy for your personal life-something I know a lot of small business owners want and cherish.