Freeing yourself from the burden of clutter

            Sixty eight percent of the population does not have effective organizational skills. How about you? Is your desk and office a mess? Could your filing system use a solid reorganization? Are important projects, tasks, and follow-ups with customers and suppliers falling through the cracks? Do you feel the weight of your disorganization, and do you avoid the clutter because you don’t know where to start given the size of the undertaking?

            Being organized not only feels better, it also allows you to be more efficient and effective in the running of your business. You have tasks and goals that are vital to the continued growth and development of your company, and if you are not able to stay on top of things the quality of your operations definitely leaves something to be desired.

            In addition, your external reality is typically a reflection of your internal reality – a cluttered and disorganized work space can often be due to a cluttered and disorganized mind. As you bring order to your work, your mind will become clear and organized, which will position you to operate more effectively in all areas of your business.

            Another reason to bring organization and efficiency to your work space is to provide a powerful example for your team to follow. You see, maintaining an organized work space requires self-accountability and consistent action, and modeling this will help to instill this same trait in your team members which will absolutely improve the quality of your operations. Your leadership will grow stronger in their eyes.

            Now that you’re more keenly aware of your current clutter and disorganization, you might be asking, “Where do I start?”

 Clear out  I suggest you begin with your desk, the place where most of your work is done. Set aside dedicated time to simply go through everything on your desk. Immediately throw

away all that is not needed.

  • Categorize 

With the important things that remain, create one pile for what is “not in progress” and a second pile for what is currently “in progress.”

  • File 

The next step is to file away those things in the first pile, that are not in progress, and that do not need to be in front of you for top of mind awareness. This gets them off of your desk and

in a place where they are easy to access.

  • Organize 

With the second pile, create files or folders for all that is still in progress and place these in front of you for top of mind awareness, preferably in a standing file holder on your desk.

It is wise to create a system for these particular files that allows for ease of access and visibility, and that helps you to stay on top of them.

  • Stay the course 

The last step is to stay on top of your desk space daily so that it does not get on top of you ever again.

             Once you have successfully accomplished the process of cleaning up and organizing your desk, you are now ready to take on the rest of your office. Follow the same process outlined above for all of your file cabinets, shelves, drawers and closets. Each time you make more headway with your clutter and disorganization your burden is lightened. This feels great and it works, which further inspires you to keep the new habit going.

            In over seven years of coaching business owners, not a single one has ever regretted bringing greater organization to their own workspace. They repeatedly recount to me how much better they feel, that they don’t avoid their office anymore, how projects and tasks are completed in a timely manner and how they feel on top of things as they have become more efficient and effective on a daily basis.

            As you move into 2012, position yourself for greater happiness and success by bringing organization to your office and making it a place you enjoy. It is an empowering experience to take control of your own space, and the more empowered you are as a business owner, the stronger and smoother your operations will be.

Marcus Straub owns Life is Great! Inc. in Grand Junction. His personalized coaching and consulting services help individuals, business owners, executives and companies build teams, organizations and lives that are filled with happiness and success. He is the winner of the 2011 International Coach of the Year Award, and is also the author of “Is It Fun Being You?.” He is available for free consultations regarding coaching, speaking and trainings. Reach Straub by phone at 208-3150, by e-mail at marcus@lifeisgreatcoaching.com or on the website at www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.
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