Your clients probably never lay eyes on your work-space. (Oh, thank God, right?)
So why would tidying up even matter? I mean, some days you don’t even shower. (Oh come on. Admit it.)
Well, in the words of Marie Kondo, best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:
“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”
Well, the same goes for the space in which you work.
In other words, the things you see each and every day impact your business success because they impact your personal energy.
So let’s do some tidying up. Here are my 6 favorite places to start…
1) Clear piles
The reason you have piles is not because you are a sloth. It’s because these random items do not have a place to go. Once you take the time to create a home – a file folder, a virtual file folder, a tag in Evernote – then you can sort your piles much faster.
The tedious part is determining where each item will go and creating the homes and the system.
If you accumulate piles, I recommend that consider going paperless. I’ve trained myself to take photos or scan the document (Turbo Scan is best) – and file it right to Evernote, my top recommendation of all productivity apps.
Best resources for pile-clearing:
- Organizing from the Inside Out Still my favorite organizing book of all time. Especially for creative minds who think they suck at organizing. This book will teach you how to think.
- A Label MakerThis is a critical tool for that time when you are creating the homes for your papers to go to.
- Evernote There’s a learning curve with Evernote. But it is, hands-down, my most used app. Especially good for going paper free. You have to train yourself to use it regularly.
- TurboScan Great app for scanning important documents in your paper free office.
2) Clean up your computer desktop
As things get frantic each week, you save everything to your desktop, don’t you? Photo from your mom? Into the desktop! Saving your latest blog post? “Save to desktop!”
Over time, this practice will slow down your computer and drain your battery. (Not to mention your energy.)
Rather than shame yourself for not being more organized – try this…
Pick one day of the week, and make a non-negotiable checklist of little clean up items that keep your business tidy. Mine is on Friday afternoons, and my checklist lives in Evernote:
3) Close browser tabs
She who opens lots of browser tabs needs to train herself to organize.
Here’s how I do it:
One window in my browser contains ONLY the tabs of current Google Docs I’m working on with my team.
Another whole window contains the learning programs I’m currently taking part in.
The third window contains my daily tabs: gmail, calendar, etc.
I use different desktops to keep those windows so I’m not seeing them all at once.
Get the idea? Don’t crowd it all into one window and feel overwhelmed.
Another habit that helps my brain stay focused: Whenever I find a new bright shiny object or a website I want to visit later… I do NOT leave that tab open indefinitely. Instead, I click on the Evernote icon and send that link right to Evernote. (Tag it with “TO-DO” or “RESEARCH” or the tag you use to not lose track of something.) Then I close the tab and I’m done with it.
The more tabs you have open, the more stress you will feel.
4) Reduce electrical cord chaos
You know the deal: You go to unplug your phone charger only to find yourself in a wrestling match with the laptop charger, the speaker charger and about 4 other mystery cords and plugs. Not something that drains you all the time – but is enough of a pain in the ass that it’s worth dealing with.
Here’s a great product to help:
E-BOX – Power Cable Box
5) Have a zero-tolerance policy for crappy pens
How many of your pens are either out of ink, don’t work, or are from a conference from three years ago (How did I get five pharmaceutical pens?)
The tools you use daily impact your energy daily. Never underestimate the power of a pen that makes you want to write!
Having a zero-tolerance policy is not just for crappy pens. It’s for crappy anything: Desk chair, rug, lighting. Your business is your income source, right? Surround yourself with equipment and accessories that uplevel you!
6) Tidy up the stuff your customer sees.
There are things online we don’t always pay attention to or think about, but they represent you as a business. Prospects or clients might see these on a daily basis. My team checks and updates these things regularly to see if they need any fine-tuning or repairs.
Here’s your Virtual Tidying Up Checklist:
1 – Regularly make sure links on your site/blog don’t end up in a dead zone or error message.
2 – Check your email signature to make sure it’s up to date and has a clear message.
3 – Check your About page on social media platforms. Revise for clarity.
4 – Do a Google search on your name and business. Make sure the results are correct.
5 – Check your out-going voicemail message that clients hear. Re-record it if needed.
When you tidy up your business, you giving it the attention it needs. In turn, you’re making space for your personal energy to move more effortlessly. Then, get back to doing the amazing work you do!