For the entrepreneur who struggles with disorganization, it can cost both time and money. Those who suffer from it bring their symptoms to the workplace and often annoy co-workers and can even create conflict. If you are an entrepreneur and you are disorganized, the problem is magnified because you now affect your own ability to make money. You may be late for important appointments, unable to juggle many things at a time and be so difficult to work for that hiring assistance is almost impossible.
Developing simple life strategies for managing disorganization can be the difference between success and failure and there are a few simple steps you can take.
- Be diligent about setting goals for yourself and your business. This will allow you stay on target with growth for your business. As you set these goals, create a realistic path to for completion. In the beginning, your goals may be short term, but as your business grows, if you have developed the habit of creating goals and achieving them, you will be able to look further into the future and create a sound growth plan for your business.
- Lists are your lifeline. Because entrepreneurs often have more than one job to do on any given day, it is important to keep track of all that needs to get done. Be sure that you keep your task list in a single place, like a notebook, day planner or an electronic device. Sticky notes placed all around a computer screen will not give you the control you seek.
- Develop a routine work schedule. If you are chronically disorganized or suffer from ADD, it will be important for you to create a schedule that includes time to complete your daily task list, return phone calls, work with clients etc. Since an entrepreneur’s life can be very unpredictable, creating a simple work schedule to allow you to get simple, but important work done, will keep you from spinning out of control.
- Create a space to put things you can’t handle immediately. Bills need to be paid, calls need to be made, invoices issued and so on, but it can’t realistically all be done at once. If you have a space to place all items that need attending, it will be easier to clear these projects and tasks off your list quickly.
- Group your phone calls and emails into single slots of time. If you have to be on your email frequently because people need information fast, set aside five or ten minutes every half-hour and do it all at once. When you stop what you are doing and check your email every couple of minutes or when you see a notification you waste a lot of time. Best to set aside small pockets of time to return emails and phone calls in blocks.
- Develop a good contact management system. People are the lifeline for any business, and being able to get in touch with them is vital, so having a good contact management system prevents you from wasting a lot of time looking for phone numbers and email addresses. It can be whatever is easiest for you. If you are fond of electronics, develop the habit of inputting contacts into your phone or computer. You may prefer to keep cards if that is the case file them into a binder so you can find them when you need them.
Although most of us hate to admit it, life can overwhelm us when we can least afford it. If we are able to draw on some simple strategies to make our work run more smoothly, we will enjoy success and the journey we are on to get there.