Feeling overwhelmed? Got Post-It Notes all over your computer? Missing meetings? Is all the clutter driving you crazy? Ready for a change? Or do you want to keep pulling your hair out? And if your desk is super messy, does it say something about you?
We hope that in all the craziness of your work day that you can take a few minutes to be able to keep the mountain of information under control. Also know that you will always have something in your in-box. Doesn't matter the season, the month or the day of the week. The trick is to manage it and not let it manage you. So how do you do it? In the end there are many ways to make it all work. You will know by how your shoulders feel at the end of the day - uptight and in your ears or nicely relaxed helping you take that deep, cleansing breath.
So here are your four simple (and we mean simple) methods for being committed to being more organized in your day, in your thoughts and in your business.
- Keep a calendar - There are many ways to keep a calendar from a simple paper format (you can even print them from an online source) to the bulky day planners of old to applications on smartphones. Don't get caught up in what could be better or feeling like you are missing out on some great technology. Keep it simple and use something that works for you in your daily activities. Use the calendar to also keep track of what you are doing when. It's kind of like someone on a diet logging everything they eat. You'd probably be surprised to look back at your day and see where you are spending most of your time.
- Keep a to-do list - Most of us have short-term activities and long-term projects. And you can easily get overwhelmed by the big project with all that needs to get done. Break up the big projects into smaller bites, so that at the end of the day you can look back at that to-do list and see what you have accomplished. This sense of achievement will go a long way to keeping you motivated over the long haul.
- Set a time everyday to make phone calls, answer emails and post on social media - It is easy to get caught up in responding to every email, phone call, text or social media post. Triage is the key word here. Not every contact requires an immediate response. It has been said that the mind cannot truly multi-task. Try to schedule time every day to respond to all the calls for your attention - some time in the morning and some in the afternoon and some at the end of the day so that you can get back to those that need attention during that particular day. Keep the list of correspondence close to your to-do list and calendar so that you can include this in reviewing your daily accomplishments.
- Learn to say no - This is probably a big one for most people. As a small business owner, you are hungry for customers and revenue. Remember your business plan? Remember your target markets? Distractions from your plan may result in time spent that may cause you to stray from your goals. What can you learn from saying no? Remember Kris Kringle in the movie "Miracle on 34th Street?". If Macy's didn't carry a toy, he sent them to Gimble's. His focus was on the customer, not the business. And that loyalty that was engendered with the customer was worth more than the immediate sale. Learn from saying no and keep your eye on the brass ring.