One of the most underrated qualities in business is the ability to stay organized. Without being able to organize yourself, it’s impossible to get anything done and to stay on top of your day to day work. Being organized ensures that you are reliable, which is one of the most important qualities that a client looks for in the people they work with. Here are some top tips to help you stay organized…
Organize Your Office
If you work at home, it’s easy to get your home items mixed up with your work ones. Make sure you separate out your kids’ school forms from your work papers and keep them in separate filing cabinets. It might feel painful to use up one of your precious weekend days on organizing your office, but it will be worth it in the end. Invest in more storage solutions and throw away everything you don’t need. Ancient dusty floppy disks can be recycled along with any other unwanted electronics. Make sure you only keep what you’ve used in the last year – everything else can go. Sort your wires out so they’re all neatly hidden behind your desk and make sure that you have a clear defined physical inbox in front of you – preferably one with shelves so it’s easier for you to prioritize tasks throughout the day.
One of the great banes of our lives is paperwork. Not only is it time consuming and often dull to complete, it also takes up a great deal of space when it’s done – and it’s also easy to keep more of it than you need. Go through your paperwork and trash what you no longer need. If you’re worried you might need the originals one day, either scan them or snap photos of them so you have digital copies before throwing the originals away. Make sure that you shred any paperwork with personal information on so your identity can’t be stolen.
Use Online Solutions
Internet banking is so much easier than having to deal with paper account statements every month. Set up direct debits, use a simpler payroll system, and use online payment systems for your invoices such as this tool which helps your accounts receivable become more manageable. Use Google Drive, Dropbox and the Cloud for storage – these will help you stop wasting time having to email documents back and forth between clients and colleagues, and will enable you to become more collaborative with the people you are working with.
It’s always important to educate yourself on new software that will transform your business. You may want to try the easy-to-use Contract Hound, an excellent contract management tool for beginner or very small-scale entrepreneurs.
Sort Out Your Email Inbox
We’ve all looked at our inboxes and felt our hearts sink when we see a figure like ‘Inbox: 27892’. It’s important to stay on top of your inbox but that’s a hard task when you’re receiving a lot of messages every day and you’re trying to prioritize them to reply on time to each one. File away everything you no longer need to respond to and set up folders to drop each new email in as they arrive. This will help you respond to the urgent messages more quickly and keep the others in check.