Are you positioned for happiness and success in 2013?

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

Did you know that 68 percent of the population lacks effective organizational skills? How about you?

Is your desk a mess? Can you find your way through your office? Does your filing system need reorganization? Are important projects, tasks and customer followups falling through the cracks? Do you simply avoid all the clutter because you don’t know where to start given the enormity of the undertaking? Are you beginning to feel the weight of your disorganization?

Stop. Breathe. Relax. There is a solution, and it will position you to enjoy greater levels of happiness and success in 2013 and beyond.

First, it’s important to recognize your external reality is typically a reflection of your internal reality. A cluttered and disorganized work space often stems from a cluttered and disorganized mind. As you begin to bring order to your work, your mind will become clear and open, which will position you to operate more effectively in all areas of your business.

Second, being organized not only feels great, it also opens the door to more efficient and effective business operations. When you’re relaxed and in control, you’ll easily accomplish all of the tasks vital to the continued growth and development of your company. If, however, your disorganization keeps you from staying on top of things, the quality of your operations and your success will be greatly diminished.

Finally, bringing organization and efficiency to your workspace provides a powerful example for your team to follow. Maintaining an organized workspace requires

self-control, personal accountability and consistent action. When you model these behaviors first, you instill the same traits in your team members — which, in turn, dramatically improves the quality of your business operations. Your leadership will grow stronger in their eyes.

Once you become keenly aware of your own clutter and disorganization, the next step is taking immediate action to change. Here’s how to get started:

Clear out: Begin with your desk or the place where most of your work is done. Set aside time to go through everything and immediately throw away everything that’s not needed.

Categorize: With the important things that remain, create one pile for what’s “not in progress” and a second pile for what’s “in progress.”

File: Next, file away everything in the “not in progress” pile. They don’t need to be in front of you for top-of-mind awareness. Get them away from your workspace, but in a place where they’re still easy to access.

Organize: With the “in progress” pile, create individually labeled files or folders for each item and place them in a highly visible location. As you create a system for these files, it will allow for easy access and help you to stay on top of important tasks.

Stay the course: The last step is to make time each day to stay on top of keeping your work space neat and orderly so it never gets on top of you again.

Once you’ve successfully accomplished the process of cleaning up your desk, you can begin the task of organizing the rest of your office. Follow the same process I’ve outlined for each of your file cabinets, shelves, drawers and closets. As you begin to make headway, your burden will lighten and you’ll feel the rewards of your intentional work to clean up your clutter and disorganization. This, in return, will further inspire you to keep your new habit going strong.

In nearly a decade of coaching individuals and business owners, not a single one has ever regretted bringing greater organization to their workspaces. In fact, they repeatedly recount how organization has improved their personal and professional lives: how much better they feel, how they don’t avoid their office anymore, how projects and tasks are completed in a timely manner, how much more control they feel and how efficient and effective they are on a daily basis.

As you move into 2013, position yourself for new levels of happiness and success by bringing organization to your office and making it a place you enjoy. It’s an empowering experience to take control of your workspace. And the more empowered you are as a business owner, the stronger and smoother your operations will be Happy New Year!