If you are better organized, you have a better chance of managing your time effectively. When I talk about getting organized people generally think I’m referring to a spick-and-span office with not a paper out of place. But my experience has taught me that a neat office is not necessarily a very organized office. If you throw away every single piece of paper that comes to your office, certainly your office will be neat, but it will not be organized. Being “organized” is all a matter of convenience and developing a system that works for YOU.
An Organized Office
In an organized office there will be a place for every thing and everything will be in its place. That means you should be able to lay your hands on the object, or files for the project you are working on, the moment you need it. And a little bit of clutter is okay – as long as it’s organized clutter so you have a pretty good idea of what’s sitting in every pile.
Also, it is not enough that YOU know where everything is; somebody else must be able to find everything, too. In case you are not able to come in person to get something, somebody else should be able to do the job for you. It is here that labels and tags can prove to be vital. Every single file should have a nametag and everything should be filed properly.
I have an amazing team that helps me send out hundreds of mailings each year. Every mailing includes at least a dozen different documents. Doing the math, I deal with over 2,400 DIFFERENT documents each year – in varying stages of development. That’s a lot to keep track of!
I’ve developed a system that is extremely efficient for keeping track of everything, and one of the keys is making sure we have a consistent labeling and filing system. My team also uses Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) so all of us can access files from anywhere.
I think one of the best ways to improve your organization is to find out where the problems are, where you usually end up in a mess, and then use that knowledge to develop a better system for next time.
Top 5 Organization Problems
- Forgetting appointments
- Missing deadlines
- Being late for meetings
- Losing telephone numbers or e-mail addresses
- Misplacing files, documents, etc.
Each one of these can disrupt the flow of your business, and ALL of them can be prevented!
Tips to Organizational Success
Accept the fact that we cannot rely too much on our memories. That’s why we should write it down!
You are exposed to a hurricane of information every day. As a result, your mind cannot process everything you see and hear and most of the details are not retained in your memory. So instead of depending on our memory, why not depend on a piece of paper?
I ALWAYS have a note pad and a pen with me. The moment I schedule an appointment, I quickly write it down on my note pad OR immediately enter into my calendar. No matter what I’m doing, I make a note of it right away rather then try to “remember” to schedule it later.
Prepare a to-do list everyday.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of to-do lists in getting yourself organized. It is probably the most sensible thing that a busy person can do. I live by my list!
Plan what you have to do well in advance.
It is always a good idea to have daily, weekly, and monthly plans. No, I’m not talking about expanding your business or a strategy plan that involves takeovers and mergers. I’m referring to having plans about the daily, weekly, and monthly activities of your business, and even your personal business like planning time to exercise or take a vacation. SCHEDULE time in advance to work on specific projects. Don’t just assume you’ll be able to get to them. Reserve time in advance, a time that cannot be interrupted, when you will focus on that project.
Have a fixed timetable. It may seem kind of mechanical but having a fixed time for everything, and sticking to it, will help make sure you have time for everything!