If you are a business owner, the chances are good that a year doesn’t go by when you don’t make a note to get better organized.
And why not?
It’s on everyone else’s list. You probably start with the best of intentions. You make sure that all your bases are covered. You leave no stone unturned. Then, something snaps. You’re busy.
Soon, everything is back in the same state of disorder it was in, to begin with. There are many tools out there to help you, including a notepad online, but how to use them? That’s what this article is all about.
Declutter as Much as Possible
A recent study conducted by Office Depot found 83 percent of business owners thought that having an organized office was vital to success. Naturally, the less “stuff” in an office, the easier it is to organize what is left. After a first decluttering has been done, how does the business look? Cluttered? Distracted?
A great way to declutter is to classify everything by an assigned price. Let’s say your desk has a budget of $100. Maybe your computer is worth $50 of that. Then decide what other items are worth. Remove everything that totals more than the allotted amount. Pretty soon, you will have a clean desk. Now, do the same thing for everything on your tables, in file cabinets, etc.
Tame the Paper Tiger
Did you know that paper is the third-largest pollutant of air, water, and land in the U.S. and Canada? By going “paperless,” an office can improve the environment and the office by cutting pollution. Not only that, but the average office worker loses four weeks of time per year looking for documents that have been lost, mislabeled, or misfiled.
Going digital not only eliminates this problem but solves the pollution problem too. Programs like Evernote make it easy to scan and organize documents, making them easier to deal with. Another solution, if sharing documents with employees is an issue, is to use a cloud-based system.
Use a To-Do List
Public relations icon Ivy Lee was once asked how he got so much done each day. He pulled out a piece of paper and jotted down six things he needed to get done that day. Thus was born the to-do list. This time-proven method for getting things done has been restated and reshaped over the years, but it remains the best way ever found to stay organized and get things done.
When you get to the end of a day and look at the list of everything accomplished, it’s a feeling like no other. Want to increase the productivity of everyone in the office? Encourage everyone to use a to-do list.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
Anyone who finds themselves overwhelmed with mundane things that need to be done should hire a virtual assistant—an independent person who works remotely to help you stay organized by performing chores that would otherwise eat up your time.
After some of the little things you need to do have been accomplished, there will be time remaining to focus on more pressing matters, leaving the office more organized and effective.
Zap Emails Immediately
Take a quick look at your inbox right now. How many emails are there? If you are like most people, there are probably many more emails than are possible to deal with. Making matters worse, they will stay in your email for much longer than they should.
Having a perpetually full inbox is an easy way to feel overwhelmed. This can be solved by getting into the habit of acting on email as soon as it is received. If it’s spam, delete it.
Getting a business organized and keeping it that way is a great productivity boost for any business. For this reason, it’s essential to use whatever tools might help in this mission and keep working toward the goal of better organization. The road to an organization is not hampered by clutter.