Dear Professor Bruce: My New Year’s resolution (once again) is to finally get my small business organized. I spend so much time dealing with mail and email and paperwork that
I don’t have enough time to work on the business. How can I get my workplace organized
so that I have it under control and can feel some sense of relief?
Relief is exactly what you should be striving for! According to Wendy Ellin, author of Enough Is Enough, Get Control of Your Stuff – One Woman’s Insight Into an Organized Life, “the most important thing to remember is that we never get it all done”. She suggests prioritizing in the following way:
1. De-clutter your office! That means get rid of everything that you don’t need or use. Clutter is nothing more than an enormous distraction that if you don’t get a handle on, it will take over your life.
2. Once you are left withwhat you want/have to keep, set up a system where you are going to start making decisions with everything thing that comes your way – regardless of how it
comes to you (mail, email, voicemail, etc.).
3. Once you have a place for the “further action” items, which are the most important, you
will begin to see the relief you are looking for. You will have a handle on
everything that comes in, all that you have to follow up on, and what you want
to save for future reference.
4. Get realistic about how much you choose to commit to in a 24 hour period. Over-committing yourself is a sure way to set yourself (and your clients) up for failure and potentially create a reputation you don’t want.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. New habits take time. Your office didn’t get this way over night and it certainly isn’t going to go away over night either. Just make a commitment
to overhauling your business environment as soon as possible so that you can
start reaping the benefits.
For further information, please visit www.wendyellin.com