A Businessman’s Guide to Being More Organized

Cluttered Desk with Papers and Pens
A Clean Desk can do more than providing space

Running a company and being a good leader goes beyond having impeccable skills in your line of work and being business-minded. Just like anything else, going back to the basics of being organized is essential to be successful in your job.

For some, organizing is something that can sound draining to tackle. However, this concept is not new to us. Whether you’re good or bad at it, there are still a few organizing skills that you have up your sleeves which you can improve on. Here’s an example: In school, we used to juggle subjects and courses, clean up our study tables to make room for more books and reading materials, and plot out our calendars to make sure we have time to relax and breathe. As a result, we have clearer and refreshed minds that are ready to take on more lessons.

When running a business, aside from a decluttered mind, you’ll also see increased productivity and efficiency as a result. Additionally, you’ll have better communication between you, your clients, your investors, and your team.

Consider these simple tips that you can adapt to be a more organized leader.

Start with Your Office Space

The concept of having a neat environment equates to a neat mindset should not be a stranger to any adult. When cleaning your space, break it down into three parts: your office, your desk, and your home “office”.

The first one is very important as it affects not only yourself but everyone who works in the same room as you. No one wants to work in a room with 5-year-old cobwebs or knowing that there are molds in the restrooms, right? A dirty environment where roaches crawl every other minute can drive your best people away. Make sure you invest in an in-house utility person or, for a cheaper option, on commercial cleaning services that you can call in once every few weeks to keep your office squeaky clean.

Nowadays, office spaces can extend to wherever you are, whether you’re in a building, at home, or even at coffee shops. Take time to declutter your desk every now and then. There might be papers that are starting to pile up or trinkets that do not really make you happy when you look at them. Mindlessly hoarding documents and little tchotchkes is easy to do and you can end up not noticing you only have very little space left on your table. When working on coworking spaces, only bring items that you know you’ll use and are essential to keep you productive. Make sure also that you constantly clean up plates and wrappers after having your little snack breaks.

Utilize Management Softwares

In connection to keeping your space clean, thankfully, we now have access to different tools in phones and laptops. Going paperless can help you keep track of documents and folders easily, ensure you’ll always have access to them at any time and any place, and reduce physical clutter.

Some tools are overlooked by some people. Don’t sleep on the functions of your calendar to make sure you oversee everything – from your schedule, your team’s schedule, and your upcoming meetings. You can also use human resource management apps that have functions of time-keeping, payroll solutions, and other management tasks that can save you from piles of manila folders off your shelf. Many other tools are available for small businesses, most of them are not free, but they sure are worth it.

Takedown Notes

Whether you’re more comfortable doing it on pen and paper or through an app, this is still one of the best ways to stay organized. Taking down notes has been proven to have a lasting impression and have information stored on the notetaker’s memory. Plus, physically having your ideas in a paper/app and seeing them for yourself makes it easier to group them and prioritize. This way, you can see the big problem and cut them into small resolvable chunks. You can also have a to-do list so you can oversee what you have to work on during the day.

Master the Art of Time Management

Study shows that multitasking reduces productivity, and yet, there are still a lot of people who do it in hopes of getting everything done immediately. Unintentional task-switching eats up a lot of time than most people think. To avoid interruptions, one must imply time management tricks and be able to adapt it in their everyday lives.

There are many techniques on the internet that help a person be productive and effective in the least amount of time possible. One of those is the Pomodoro where it is encouraged to focus on one task and take short breaks every 20 minutes. The idea is to avoid yourself from being drained to finish one activity.

As a business owner, it is important and critical to have everything done brilliantly without going beyond deadlines. Having a head start on even the most minute task is already a big help to make sure you’re in control of your time. For example, writing down tasks for the rest of the week and starting to work on the easiest one the day before you intend them can get you ahead of your schedule.

Another trick is by reducing meetings. You’ve heard of the tip that says you don’t have to book a conference when you can just send an email. This way, you can save your teammate’s time and already have the important notes on your drafts which you can go back to when you need a reference. If a meeting is absolutely necessary, be sure to consider your staff’s time as well by checking on their Google calendar. If possible, tell them ahead of time what the meeting is about so they, too, can prepare their insights or questions. List down your agenda and the things you want to discuss to avoid beating around the bushes.

Delegate Wisely

Ultimately, no matter how organized you are, you cannot do everything by yourself. This is why you have a team that you entrust on helping you propel the business forward. Delegating is one of the toughest jobs young (and seasoned) business owners struggle with, but you have to keep in mind that your employees are here to improve their skills by gaining more experience. Ask yourself, “who’s the best person for this job?” or “what skill does this person have to improve on?” to help you decide who to give the task to.

Once you get the grip on handing over tasks, you now have to make sure that you are managing your people effectively. Do they have a lot on their plate already? Are there problems that need your attention? Or are there people that need more recognition? You can only manage your staff if you know what’s happening on their own teams. If it seems like too much, allow yourself to focus on one business area per week. For example, you’ll set a meeting with finance for the first week, then human resources in the following week, and so on. Make sure you take note of their wins, roadblocks, and suggestions. You can also break quarterly tasks and set quarterly goals per team. This way, they can feel your presence and let them know that you care about your team while troubleshooting issues. 

You should also consider outsourcing some tasks when the workload is simply something your employees cannot handle.

Keep in mind that your business will grow inevitably over time. The more clients, resources, and people you handle, the more organized you should be. No one wants to work around a business where ideas and documents are all over the place. It is smart to start decluttering and having things in order while your business is still small. In the long run, it will not just help you build systems efficiently, but also create a happy workplace for all. You don’t want to tackle a mess if the pile becomes too big for you to handle, right?