You’ll be amazed once you get really organized how much more work you can do or how much more free time you can have and still do the same amount of work.
By Ron Sturgeon
To compete in today’s environment, you’re going to have to learn to do more with less. One of the most important skills you can learn is how to organize better. It’s a complex subject with 100 different opinions about how to do it best, but I will try to hit the hotspots. I encourage you to buy a book on the topic.
You’ll be amazed once you get really organized how much more work you can do or how much more free time you can have and still do the same amount of work you’re now doing. Let’s start with email.
• It’s important that you work email in a timely manner, of course, but it is equally important that your inbox is almost always empty, or darn close. Make sure you’ve created folders for topics you need to categorize. It’s not unusual to find people with thousands of emails in their inbox. Just take all of them and move them to a new folder marked old emails. Starting with the very next emails you receive; you should make sure you handle them.
Do whatever is required – move them to a folder, or delete them because they’re not important or because you’re finished with them. Try to keep your inbox below 10 emails at any given time.
• Let’s talk about folders next. You should save all your documents in folders. In those folders, names should resemble the list of folders you have for emails. When you need to save a document, you save it in the documents. You don’t leave it in an email.
• Finally, let’s discus lists. It’s important that you make lots of lists. I keep them on Post-It notes. Yes, it can be a bit messy, but successful people make lots of notes. Don’t feel bad because you’ve got lots of notes. However, make certain you have a system for how you manage the notes, how you prioritize them, and when you complete them. You can also keep a mini- or full-sized journal, number the pages, and stick the Post-It notes in it, and move them forward if not handled. It’s great to have a journal to take to meetings, never go without one.
• Part of being better organized is learning to delegate. I know. I know. You can do it more quickly yourself than someone else can do it. That’s probably right, so I can’t fault that idea. But the reality is if it takes them twice as long as it would take you, you still have free time to go do something more important by delegating. It’s important that you delegate things that you can’t do, shouldn’t do, or won’t do. Obviously, at different points in our lives, the list of what you will delegate will change. I’m old, so I want to delegate everything, even though this really isn’t feasible. Regardless of what makes your list of items to delegate, make sure you get organized so that you can do more with less and make more money.
By the way, I do practice what I preach. I dictated this article into my iPhone into a memo, copied and pasted the memo into a Word document, and sent it to my editor who polished it for you. I have spent less than five minutes in it. That’s efficient, and great delegation.
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, speaker and author, regularly shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, growing market share, and more, providing his field-proven and high-profit best practices. Reach him at 817-834-3625, ext. 232 or email RonS@MrMissionPossible.com.