September 29, 2015 ~ Bonnie Joy Dewkett
We all know less is more, right? So why do we continue buying, keeping, storing, and adding things to our lives?
Not only do we have more stuff than ever before, we also have more space to store it. Our homes are larger than they ever have been in history, and we fill them with our excessive purchases.
But, when it comes to business, staying organized by decluttering can mean greater success for your business. And it can also mean greater profits.
So, get to decluttering by getting rid of things. Here are some things you can get rid of today, which will free up space and allow you achieve your goals.
1. Excess paper. Paper is everywhere. We’re supposed to be a paperless society, but that’s clearly not the case. When sorting a pile of paper, flip it over and start from the bottom. The items at the bottom are the oldest and most likely easiest to get rid of. Scan anything you need to keep and store it digitally, which will allow you to use your computer’s search feature to retrieve the documents quickly and easily. Oftentimes, cleaning the physical spaces in your office can make a positive difference in your productivity and stress levels.
2. Tasks you don’t NEED to do yourself. What can you delegate to someone else? What can you stop doing entirely? Figure it out and find a way to get help. For example, if you’re doing your own scanning or managing your own social media, you may easily and inexpensively be able to outsource, which will free up some of your time.
3. Extra office stuff. While you want to make your office a personalized space, it can really slow down your progress. Make sure the only things you keep on your desk are the things you need and use every single day. Keep other items a short distance away, but out of your workspace.
4. Expectations. While it’s important to have a to do list and priorities set for every day, don’t beat yourself up because you’re getting behind schedule. Simply revaluate and keep moving.
5. Books. I have a few reference books I use over and again. However, I do find myself putting books on the shelf after I’ve read them without giving it a second thought. Instead of storing books, donate them to your local library or give them to another small business owner. If the book didn’t change your life or your business, get rid of it.
6. ALL of your to do lists. Now, I know you still have to tackle the items on those lists; however, make sure your lists are streamlined. Get one notebook and write everything down in one spot. Doing so will keep the paper clutter at bay and make sure nothing falls between the cracks. It’s also a great way to give yourself an opportunity to determine if those tasks REALLY need to get done.
7. Old technology. You probably paid a lot for that phone you bought six years ago, and you MIGHT still have photos on it. But, it’s taking up space and it’s virtually useless. Cleaning the clutter means you will have more space to do what serves you now. So in that case, old technology, such cell phones, need to go. Consider donating them to charities that can put them to good use.
When exploring and clearing the excess, start by walking around with a trash bag. Toss things you can recycle, donate, or throw away – and you will immediately start to feel lighter. Not only does this process get the ball rolling, it really allows you to get a quick start and make a big difference. For added motivation, set a timer and see how much you can accomplish in 10 minutes.