Today the topic is keeping YOU organized. Your time, your business, your life, your office.
Take a look around. Are you surrounded by a mountain of papers, books, folders, and other things you’re trying to keep track of? Are you always digging through piles of debris to find something you've lost? Do you feel like you’re desperately trying to remember your to-do list in your head because none of your systems are working for you?
If so, it’s time to take charge of that situation. If papers and things to do are slipping through the cracks, you’re holding yourself back. Your clients aren’t going to be impressed if you’re always getting in touch to apologize for missing or late paperwork.
Organize your office
First things first: Get your environment organized. If you’re really struggling with papers, consider getting a scanner and trying for a paperless office. Be careful though. If you just transfer the disorder to your computer instead of taking the opportunity to get it organized, you’re simply transferring the chaos, and not doing yourself any favors.
Organize your tasks
Do you have a great system for keeping track of the things you’re trying to get done? If not, it’s time to figure it out. Some people love low-tech systems like a stack of index cards or a notebook. Some people love high-tech systems – there are to-do apps with scheduling and alerts that sync between your phone, your tablet, and your computers. Check out some different options, but remember that if you’re trying to keep track of all of that in your head, you’re wasting space in your brain and you won’t be working productively.
Organize your calendar
This can, and should, be integrated with your to-do list somehow. This is another case where just trying to remember things will lead you to tears. Google Calendar, calendar apps, paper calendars, smart phone calendars, just find something that works for you and stick to it. Pay attention to your usage. If you find that you’re struggling to remember to use your calendar you might not have the right solution for your needs. Don’t be afraid to keep trying different things until something seems natural for you.
Organize your life
Now that you’re keeping track of your paperwork, your to-do list, and your calendar reliably, you’ll have an easier time examining how you’re doing. You can keep track of where your time is going, where you’re having successes and failures, and what approaches have worked well with different clients. The most important thing is that you can’t rely exclusively on your memory. Keep notes, track your time, record your outcomes in client files, and find what works for YOU. Experiment with these ideas; you’ll going to learn and improve from your mistakes and experiences.