Organisation is one of the key elements to making a business run smoothly and most people want to be more organised. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who says “do you know what? I think I need to be less organised.” So here are a few very quick and simple tips that I’m going to run through so that you can start organising like a ninja.
Tip 1 – the good old brain dump. We’ve all heard of it, but how many of us actually do it? If you don’t do it regularly (or have never done it) then your first brain dump could take you quite a while, but it is a worthwhile exercise. Find some time, get a brew and sit down with a blank sheet of paper in front of you, or your notes app (whatever works for you) and then literally write down everything that’s in your brain; all your to-do’s, appointments, admin tasks, hopes, dreams, everything! Don’t worry about organising your list, just write it down as you think it.
It might look like a long list. It might feel overwhelming, but now it’s out of your head, we can start organising. The first thing I like to do is get two different colour highlighters and colour each item either personal or business. This separation helps with the next bit.
Now that you’ve got your beautifully coloured list with all your items on it, start with either business or personal and go through each item. If it’s an appointment, make sure it’s in your diary with all the information you need. If it’s something that needs actioning then add it to your to-do list. Make sure that you prioritise your to-do list rather than just having a long list (I haven’t got time to go into this today, but there are loads of effective ways to organise your to-do list. There are some things that it is vital you get done, there’s no point having them on the third page of your to-do list). If it’s a hope, dream or goal then make sure you capture these somewhere; maybe a journal, a separate note in an app, or a word document – you might want to revisit these when you’re thinking about your business plan, your next holiday or your fitness goals – so jot them down.
The first time you do this exercise it may take some time, you’re likely to have loads of stuff in your head, but if you do it regularly (either weekly, but preferably daily) it shouldn’t really take you more than 10 minutes. 10 minutes a day to be an organised ninja is probably worth carving out the time for.
Tip 2 – time blocking. This is a technique I use all the time and it really has changed and streamlined the way I work. As busy business owners, there is so much for us to do, and sometimes it’s just us doing it. You have to do all the marketing, customer support, order processing, cleaning, accounting, emails, brew making, business strategy, staff management, product design etc. etc. as well as doing the actual thing we went into business for. It all takes time and sometimes we spend so much time going through our emails, or scrolling through social media that we run out of time to sort our accounts or work on the things that move our business forwards.
Time blocking is a great way to deal with this. If you know that you want to respond to emails twice a day, then block out two chunks of time to do that. Depending on the volume of emails you usually get, it might be an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon. Whatever it is, set aside that time, just you and your inbox. Dedicated time to get it done.
If you need time to do your invoices each week – block it out.
If you need time for your social media each week – block it out.
Whatever it is, put that time in your diary, block it out and then stick to it.
That way, you know that all aspects of your business are being dealt with. There’s a time and a place to get everything done – and you are bossing your organisation like a ninja.
Tip 3 – Self-care. You are your business so it’s really important that you look after yourself so that you can continue being there for your business and moving it forwards to achieve your goals.
Self care will look different for each of us. Some of us will need to walk everyday, others like a hard session at the gym. Some of us read for pleasure, while others want to sit for hours, binge watching the latest Netflix series. Some of us will want to meet with friends, others will want to retreat and be on our own. Think about what nourishes you and bring you energy. Is it catching up with with friends, going for a run, doing a craft, making sure you’ve got enough sleep? Whatever it is, make sure you prioritise these things.
If some of these self care things came up on your brain dump list, what have you done with them? Have you added them to your to-do list or as an appointment in your diary? You can even use you time blocking technique to protect time for your self-care everyday, so you make sure you do it with no interruptions. Whatever way you need to do it, just make sure that self care gets the prioritisation it needs – it really will help clear your thoughts so you can come back to work focussed, and keep your business on track and you can be an organised ninja.
So that’s it. 3 very quick ideas to help you get organised. If you want to know any more about ways you can organise yourself, or your business; do follow my social media channels as I often post quick tips.