Did you know that being well organised is a critical and often overlooked step in making your work from home business a true success? We can in fact increase our workload and the time it takes to do things by not being organised. You know the old saying “Most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”. Think about being organised as a road map that will take you efficiently to your destination. There are so many benefits for being organised, so it’s time to take action, change some habits and get going on the fast-track to success.
7 Tips to Getting Organised
1. Get the right mindset
This is the first tip because, I believe, that establishing the right mindset is the way to make any long-term changes. The key to getting and staying organised is appreciating the benefits of being organised. When you see the value of this discipline, then you can establish a mindset that will get you there and keep you on track.
2. Write everything down
The Sydney Morning Herald recently ran a survey with small business owners and discovered that “more than 90 per cent of business owners don’t keep a record of the day-to-day running of their business or use a diary system to track appointments or tasks they want to achieve”. Committing things to memory not only is inefficient but it is not good for our health!
What happens is our brains are on ‘mental alert’ trying to remind us of all of the things we need to do for our work from home business and add to that all of the management tasks and appointments you have for your family, your brain can get overloaded very quickly. I have three kids and I am always managing appointments for doctors, dentists, orthodontists,school, music lessons, sports activities, dance etc, so it is impossible for me to remember all those as well as what I need to remember for my home business. Some people can handle remembering more but everyone has a limit! If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, exhausted, if you think life is hard and you find yourself avoiding doing even the simplest task – then it is probably because you are trying to keep everything in your conscious memory, and your brain has gone into ‘freeze mode’.
3. Have a Schedule
Having set working hours is important, but having a detailed schedule, will provide you with the structure you need for your work from home business to thrive.
Begin by working out what your work hours will be. Consider non-negotiable time that you spend with the family, personal time (this is very important to have a work/life balance), and time spent doing household tasks (grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking etc).
Once you have established what your work hours will be, then allocate a time slot for important tasks that you do for your business. These can include: checking and organsing emails, social media activities (Facebook posts, twitter posts etc), marketing, writing posts, training and education, making calls, following up leads and customers, connecting with your team or associates, sorting your files etc. This way you have a clear routine of how you will spend your day and you won’t get to the end of the week and realise you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to for the week. It also will prevent you from just doing the things you prefer to do or like doing because we can waste a lot of time on these task but they will not necessarily build your business! If you struggle with keeping to the allocated times, consider using a timer.
Pick the time of day that you are at your best mentally to do tasks that require more concentration and brain power like writing posts and articles. Don’t forget though, to include some contingency time for those unexpected tasks that always arise!
This is just a list that you can do, at the end of each day for the next day or at the beginning of the day, that breaks up your schedule into small achievable goals. Creating to-do lists helps you to organise needed items, tasks, and steps. It is about being more specific about a task that is in your schedule.For example, for training and education, what exactly will you read, listen to or watch.
The thing I love about “to do” lists is ticking them off and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with that!
5. Clear the clutter!
Have a place for everything and everything in it’s place. That’s right, there is no point having a place
for ‘everything’, if ‘everything’ is piling up on your desk!! Clearing away the clutter not only saves you time but working in a tidy environment is better for your morale.
Valuable time can be wasted looking for your resources and files. Take some time to build the filing system you will need for your work from home business. I have a filing cabinet, that I can easily place all my documents and folders that I use to store important papers, this way you can access what you need quickly and work more efficiently. When you finish with something, put it back where it goes…I have been trying to teach this to my kids and husband with little success for years .
When I first started working from home, I found that there were so many things to distract me! From getting caught up in surfing the web, to household chores and even calls from friends and family. When it’s time to work, then work. That is why a schedule and “to do” list is so important to help you keep focused.
At the end of the week evaluate how your planning went for the week. Were you able to complete your goals? Do you need to allocate more time for certain tasks? What tasks or jobs will be your priority for the next week?
Your idealised schedule might not be practical or work in reality, don’t beat yourself up about it, just evaluate, think of new solutions and give it another go!
Stay focused, be organised, keep your goals on hand, make sure to set targets for yourself and your work from home business each and every day! Get help from other family members or even outsource certain tasks if need be. There will always be those mundane jobs that you don’t really like, but the best thing to do is to place meaning on them. Think about them as the necessary jobs that you need to do in order to accomplish your greater purpose and goals. That way even filing can be fun, well at least endurable!
Don’t be a slave to the schedule though and remember to have fun too…after all that’s why we are working at home!
I would love to hear from you. What strategies do you find helpful for staying organised in your work from home business?