Business owners face more and more demands each day. Developing the right organizational skills will help you be more productive, create less stressful work days, and make your days more fulfilling. Sure, we’ve learned about these skills our entire lives, but they need to be updated to go along with today’s technology, market, and constant motion.
Set of Organizational Skills
According to a Wall Street Journal Report, Office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday. Not because they aren’t smart, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands.
That equates to over four weeks a year looking for stuff! Spending your time looking for things is obviously not an efficient use of your day. Organizing habits can help streamline the daily operations of your business by helping you develop systems to handle ongoing business related matters.
There are countless ways to use your organizational skills for optimal efficiency in meetings, communications, and paperwork. Recognizing how you spend your time on each of those activities will highlight how you actually spend your time. Assessing time in each of these areas will help, even if you are already proficient in organization or just need a more clear understanding.
Setting up the system (templates/strategies) takes a majority of the time, but once these systems are in place, they make your job much easier. If you are already proficient, this exercise should offer you another look and identify areas in which you can improve or how to update existing templates. If you are working twice as hard as your co-workers to finish the same amount of work, this exercise should help you identify the areas where you need improvement.
Create a checklist of items essential for handling your clients. This should include email templates, meeting templates, presentation templates, and schedule templates. The checklist allows for customization but encourages you to think through all the essentials. Essentials offer you a menu of what you could take to meetings. Depending on the client, the checklist helps you determine what you should take. Today, email management and communication could be a full-time job. You can take those consistent activities and make email templates to new prospects and/or existing clients to save time.
Identify the (Lack of) Organizational Skills
You notice you keep redoing proposals. You spend time searching for an email that you sent. You send the same email over and over again and keep retyping it each time. You sift through countless revisions of proposals to find the latest. You keep recreating the wheel for each proposal.
You decide to invest a day to optimize your time and organizational skills to eliminate the most popular duplication items. You spend time getting rid of old papers, write a list of all activities you spend time on and identify them into activity buckets (communication, prospecting, presentations, paperwork). You create new files in your email, on your desktop and in your desk drawers.
Take an inventory of the many different things that you do each day. Assemble those activities into the following categories:
- Communication (phone calls, email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
- Paperwork (presentations, pending, projections)
- Prospecting and presentations (both internal and external meetings)
Focus on one area at a time. For communication, you must be able to easily find emails so you can create folders like Clients, Prospects, Business Articles, Internal Information, and Templates. Create a folder for Clients, Prospects, Articles to Read, Traffic, Proposals, Follow Ups, Hear Back From, etc. When you categorize your email into consistent activities, you begin to see ongoing emails that you have been recreating. You have already done the work creating the original email, spend a little more time assigning the most common emails into templates.
If you are still having trouble with your organizational skills and would like to learn more about how you can free up additional time in your day, I invite you to sign up for a 30 minute Time Creation Session at no cost to you.
I encourage you to enjoy life daily.