As we quickly head towards a brand new year, it’s time for forward-thinking business owners to get a head start on the competition by getting organized. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), a non-profit network of organizing consultants, conducted a study that found that “82 percent of office workers said they feel being organized improves their performance, yet 32 percent admitted to keeping a disorganized workspace and 42 percent said they clean up clutter only once a month or less.”
If you want to hit the ground running in 2013, here are some helpful tips that will enable you to get a leg up on the competition when it comes to organization:
Cleaning your workspace
Clean and organize your desk by reviewing all documents laying on it and in your drawers. Throw away those you don’t (and will never) need. Those you do need should go into an appropriate folder for that year. You do not want to mix documents from different years together, or it’ll be very painful if you get audited!
Once your desk and office area are organized, move on to storage areas, common areas, meeting rooms, etc. Once you get everything straightened up, set aside some time to regularly maintain your newly organized workspace throughout the year.
Most businesses conduct an extensive year-end review to go over all the financial aspects of the business and get ready for tax season. Depending on how big your business is, there are many things you may want to go over. For instance:
- Evaluate how last year’s tactics worked for you—Did you reach your goals? Why? Why not? Take some time to reflect on what worked during the year and what didn’t.
- Set your goals and commit them to paper—Did you ever hear the Lewis Carroll quote “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”? Well, it’s definitely true. If, however, you do know where you want to go, you can develop a roadmap to show you the most direct route to your destination. That way, you won’t lose track of where you’re going during stressful times. Set up various milestones to reach during the year.
The right tools and the right state of mind
- Consider creating your own custom calendars and planners using digital printing—Not only will these calendars and planners help you stay organized, but they are also useful as gifts for your clients and make great promotional tools!
- Commit to staying organized—Establish a system or plan for developing content, using social media, growing revenues, or whatever other tasks are critical to your business. Don’t reinvent the wheel day after day. Just stick to your plan based on what worked or didn’t work in the years before.
- Back up critical data—We all know how important it is to back up our data, yet many of us put off the task for some later date. Well, survey data indicates that that mistake can be costly—to the tune of an average cost of two to five percent of total company revenues. Take a few minutes to back up your data and avoid this expensive pitfall in the New Year.
- Organize your computer—Have you ever spent entirely too much time searching for an email or document that you know you have but just can’t put your hands on? Well, that’s just wasted time that decreases your productivity. Invest some time into organizing your computer, moving documents into appropriate folders and deleting files you no longer need.
Getting organized can seem like a daunting task, but set some time to do it before the New Year starts. It will save you loads of time and money in the long run!
What challenges do you face when it comes to getting organized? Do you have any great tips to add? Share them below!