Don’t worry if you’re a disorganized lady trying to make it as a girl boss — there are so many things you can do to overcome the disorganization habit and build the business of your dreams.
It isn’t always easy to get over disorganization, laziness, and procrastination — three things that often go hand in hand — but it is necessary if you want to give your business it’s the best shot of not only surviving but actually thriving.
Okay, so what can you do to overcome chronic disorganization and rock it like you know you can rock it?
Get to the bottom of your disorganization
Before you do anything else, you really need to get to the bottom of what it is that causes you to be so disorganized so much of the time. You want to build a business and be a success, so why do you so often sabotage yourself by being in complete chaos? That’s the question that you need to ask yourself.
Sit yourself down with a notepad and pen and start thinking about your business and how it’s gone in the last few years. Note down any feedback from clients, colleagues, or employees that stands out to you as possibly being related to your disorganization problem and make a list of any strengths and weaknesses you can determine from their comments.
Next, make a list of all the things you have achieved with your business in the past few years. When you’re done with that, list all of the failures you can think of. This might be hard, but it will help you to gain the insight you need into your problem.
Once you’ve gotten all of this information down, you can start scrutinizing it looking for clues and patterns of behavior that will help you to understand your chronic disorganization. For example, upon looking at your successes and failures you might come to realize that your disorganization kicks in when you have to make an important decision alone, which could indicate that it is fear that’s behind the problem. Alternatively, you may notice that when a task seems simple you fail to organize and prepare properly for it, in which case it might be that overconfidence that stuff will get done is your issue. Analyze the evidence until you gain insight.
Once you know what your triggers for disorganization are, you can start to fight against them.
If you have been disorganized for a really long time, it might be the case that you cannot crawl out of the chaos unaided. There is no shame in getting outside assistance with your problem, and if you want your business life to be a successful one, you may have to bite the bullet, swallow your pride and talk to someone.
If you’ve identified a deep-seated personal issue that is causing the problem, speaking to a therapist could be a good idea. They can help you untangle the mess you’ve gotten into and provide you with new ways of dealing with your issues that don’t cause you to be disorganized.
If, however, your problem is not one that runs too deep, it may just be that you’ve been so disorganized for so long that you don’t know where to start when it comes to getting organized. This could lead to you feeling too overwhelmed to even make a start. Don’t let that happen by getting help.
Speak to an employee, family member, or close friend, or even a business systems strategist, and tell them of your intentions to finally get organized once and for all. Enlist them to help you with this task and make yourself accountable to them. You’ll feel less alone, and the problem will be less overwhelming when you do this, but more importantly, you will have set your intention and your helper will be there to hold you accountable and push you on.
Make use of technology
If you’re disorganized in the 21st century, you’re incredibly lucky. Yes, you heard me — you’re in a really great position right now even if you don’t see it that way. Why? Because you are living in a technological age where there is a piece of software or an app for any solution, and many of them are automated. Whether its project management software to keep your latest business venture on track, accounting software like AutoEntry, which automates your accounting system so that you barely even have to think about it at all, or social media post scheduling software that ensures you publish new content on time, it has never been easier to get and stay organized than it is now!
Of course, in order for the technology to be able to help you, you first have to find and set it up. That’s why you should sit down and make a list of all the tasks you perform in your business. You can then go through them one by one researching the software possibilities. When you find a good piece of software that will help your business to thrive and cure your automation problem, download it, set it up and start using it then and there. It really is that simple.
A lot of disorganized businesswomen are disorganized because they simply have too many things to do. They have given themselves more work than is strictly necessary and they struggle to keep up which pushes them into procrastination and eventually disorganization.
One thing you can do to change this if it sounds like something you’re experiencing is to simplify the way that your business is run. You can do this by reassessing your priorities. If you expect yourself to do everything for everyone every day, you are going to fail. Not only that, but you are never going to be fully organized because you’re never going to have enough hours in the day to fit it all in. What you need to do is identify the MOST important task for each day/week, then the second most important and the third and so on. Then, concentrate your efforts on achieving the top 20% of your list in your given time frame. If you can achieve the most important tasks each day or week, you will be going pretty well and you’ll probably find that the rest takes care of itself. The 80/20 principle is real — use it. What about the rest?
Delegate it. If you can afford to outsource the business tasks that are less important — whether you hand them off to your employees or a competent freelancer — it will take a load off your mind and enable you to concentrate on the stuff that truly matters. The key is to identify which 20% of your business brings in the most value and which 20% YOU are the best person to oversee, then the rest will fall into place.
So you know why you aren’t organized, and you know how to get help from both other people and the vast potential of software options available at your fingertips — now’s the time to get organized!
How do you get organized? Start with a productivity planner. This can be an online calendar or an offline journal — it doesn’t really matter as long as you use it to note down every single business task that you need to work on each day/week. Just being able to see, at a glance, what needs to be done can be enough to focus your mind and keep you on track.
Then, go about using Google Calendar — or whatever calendar app you use on your phone — to set regular daily schedule reminders. For instance, if you want to organize your files at 9 am, make sure your calendar app alerts you five minutes before, and if you have a meeting at lunch, schedule a reminder for an hour before that. If you always know what’s coming up next, it’ll be easier to stay organized and get it done.
Next, use a notetaking app like Evernote to collect and organize all of those ideas that pop into your head, but that you don’t have time to act on immediately. That way, when you do have the time to come back to them, you’ll be able to find them within seconds.
If you have a lot of physical files, you might want to think about color-coding them, so that you can see at a glance where to find them.
If you want to avoid slipping back into disorganization, it makes sense to regularly review your progress and make tweaks and changes to anything that isn’t working. If you try to battle on regardless of how well you’re doing, you’ll eventually slip back to old habits, when a few simple changes could be all you would have needed to keep momentum.
Getting out of the chaos of disorganization isn’t easy, especially when you have a business to run, but it is far from impossible, and the tips and tricks above will help. Good luck!