4 Tips Entrepreneurs Can Use to Stay Organized
As an entrepreneur, things can get hectic in a hurry. Your days are spent juggling different projects, multitasking, and wearing multiple hats. Then you get to the end of the day, sleep a few hours, and do it all over again. If you stand any chance of surviving this grind, you have to be extremely purposeful and organized. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs are lacking in this latter area.
The Importance of Organization
Good organization is vital to your success as an entrepreneur. It produces a number of benefits, including:
- Fewer errors and mistakes. When you’re organized, costly errors and mistakes are a lot less common. You’re able to make more educated choices and intentional decisions.
- Increased productivity. Think about all the time you waste on a regular basis searching for files or trying to locate where you put something. And then there’s the frustrating issue of having a disorganized calendar with double-booked meeting slots and missed appointments. Good organization helps you avoid all of these issues.
- Lower stress. Did you know that being organized actually lowers your cortisol levels in the body (which is your body’s primary stress hormone)? By prioritizing better organization in your business, you proactively reduce stress and increase focus.
- More value. At the end of the day, being more organized allows you to add more value to your customers. It leads to things like faster delivery times, better products, and a stronger customer experience.
4 Tips for Being Organized
If you struggle to be organized – or could simply use a little improvement in this area – you’re not alone. But here are several tips you can use to grow:
Create a Systematized To-Do List
It’s not enough to have a to-do list. You need a system behind your to-do list. This is the only way to keep you honest and active. You’ll have to figure out what your system looks like, but here are some different ideas to consider:
- Create a to-do list at the end of the day…for the following day. This allows you to plan ahead. It also gives you very clear directions. From the moment you wake up in the morning, you know precisely what needs to be done.
- Create three Most Important Tasks (MITs) for each day and start with them. Everything else on your to-do list must wait until these tasks are completed.
- If something doesn’t get tackled on your to-do list, immediately move it to the following day’s list. This prevents tasks from falling through the cracks.
Get Control Over Your Content
Your business has more data than you realize. This includes both structured content and unstructured content.
Structured content is content that’s easily organized and stored. (For example, customer shipping addresses in a spreadsheet.) Unstructured content is everything that doesn’t fit into a neat column or row. (This includes PDFs, random documents, audio files, videos, etc.)
If you’re serious about being organized, you need a content management system for organizing, storing, and accessing all of your content – both structured and unstructured. A platform like Box can help you put the right infrastructure in place.
Have a Plan for Email
Few things can send you into a spiral of distraction and confusion like email. It’s a dark digital abyss that can easily swallow up hours of your attention and focus each day. The challenge is to use email without letting it consume you and keep you from engaging in actual work.
You’ll have to decide how you want to tackle email. Some entrepreneurs use the Inbox Zero strategy where you keep a totally clean inbox. Others have systems for consolidating emails and flagging the ones that need responses. Here are some of the most effective email management strategies.
Put it on Your Calendar
Never assume that you’ll remember something. Everything – and that means absolutely everything – should go on your calendar. Whether you’re carving out time to write a blog post or you’re scheduling a sales call, it needs to go on one central calendar that you can access via your computer and phone.
Adding it All Up
When you read books on entrepreneurship, listen to podcasts, or attend conferences, you won’t hear much about organization. However, you can put it up there with marketing, sales, and customer service as one of the most integral elements of building and scaling a company. If you aren’t organized, you’ll never reach your full potential. Put the aforementioned tips into action and watch your results multiply.