Well, it’s a New Year, Bay of Quinte Young Entrepreneurs! As I’m sure we’re all aware, with the striking of the clock at 12:00AM January 1st, most people will make a resolution to do something different this upcoming year. If you haven’t made one, then you’ve quite likely heard a parent or family member talking about them. This ranges from losing some weight to donating to/volunteering more with a charitable organization. Sadly, the majority of people (approx 57%) will either give up on the resolution or not fulfill it as planned, and this is for so many different reasons that I could devote an entirely separate blog to discussing them.
Entrepreneurs are not immune from making resolutions of their own, but more rides on them to see them through. For most of us, January 1st means the beginning of a new business year. This means the launch of new sales targets, advertising initiatives, understanding new regulations that come into effect for your industry, etc, etc. It brings about goals that you want to achieve with your business over the next 12 months (i.e. increasing readership, reinvigorating your website, getting more noticed, etc.).
I can almost guarantee you that we all have at least one common goal: to be more organized! When you’re the sole employee, you were so many hats it’s ridiculous. You’re every position from janitor to CEO. It takes a strain, but it can be done if you have a system down to a science. Throw in being young and in school (or older with a family for those of my readers who are either helping out their teens or are using these articles to help out your own business), and it can get downright chaotic! I’m guessing that you don’t want either to falter (school/life or your business), let’s take a look at some different ways to get more organized in both aspects!
10 D’s to Get Your Life and Business More Organized.
- Develop multiple ways to prioritize.
- Prioritize assignments and commitments using different spectrums
- Organize tasks by due date and by the commitment level needed to complete them, including level of difficulty and how long it will take.
- Divide and conquer.
- Break projects (at home and school) into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Use a step-based system or a checklist to make sure that you’re hitting all of the key parts, but not all at once (i.e. for cleaning your room or studying for a test).
- Designate a study/work space.
- Have a desk or table that is just devoted to either working on assignments, studying for tests, or working on your business.
- Have everything you need there to get to work without distraction (i.e. pencils, pens, erasers, technology, lighting, etc).
- Do use a planner/whiteboard.
- Write everything down that needs to be done in the upcoming days and weeks (including appointments and family commitments).
- Use a whiteboard to map out an assignment, create to-do checklists, and to write down anything that comes to mind while you are working.
- Discuss your plan of attack with someone.
- Talk with a parent, teacher or loved one about how you plan to accomplish a task.
- By verbalizing the plan, it will make it seem more real and concrete than when it is kept to yourself. Plus, your loved one will be able to give you feedback and assistance more easily when you ask for assistance if they know your thought process.
- Do up a schedule.
- This goes hand-in-hand with using a planner, and with prioritizing. This will also help you to remember what you need to get done.
- Scheduling will also give you a time limit in which to work on or accomplish certain things before you need to move on. Don’t forget to put in a start/end time, personal time and breaks!
- Determine and set goals.
- Create a list of things you want to accomplish in a given timeframe (weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly work best), and then create an action plan on how you will get them done, when (a schedule within a schedule) and who will help you.
- Check this list frequently to make sure that you (and your team if you have one) are on track
- Do something for yourself.
- Take time to do something that is just for you and that can help you to recharge.
- It can be anything that you enjoy doing, from watching a movie/tv show, to going for a run with your dog, to cooking dinner for your family. The frequency is up to you, but I recommend doing something for yourself at least once a week.
- Drown out background noises.
- Get into a zone when you are working so that you can zero in on tasks with as minimal distraction as possible.
- You can do this by determining how you work best. If you need total silence to focus, work in a room that is relatively sound proof or wear noise-cancelling headphones. If you need noise or music to help you focus, put on your favourite music or try listening to music scores from video games (which are designed to help the player stay focused). Don’t forget your headphones!
- Determine who and what can help you (every available resource).
- Make a list of who is on your team (including employees and mentors), your family/friends, and whoever has offered to help you out, and layout their skills and expertise, as well as the cost (if any). If you don’t have anyone in your circle that can help you out with a particular task, take a look in your local community, or ask your connections who they would recommend.
- When you need assistance with getting something done, don’t be afraid to reach out, because it will be worth it. This is how you grow, both in knowledge and connections!
I hope this helps you with getting more organized in life and business! In order to be successful in both, you need to have both organized! One more thing to add, try not to stress about getting more organized (which can lead to procrastination a big no-no for maintaining organization). It’s a process and a change to your lifestyle, so it won’t happen magically overnight. If you need assistance, ask!
On a special note, this post is dedicated to my Nana, Janet Elizabeth Zaharko (nee Aston), who left us on December 28th, 2005. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and wish I could talk to her to get some inspiration or advice.