Zen Focus

How to get totally Zen organised

When speaking with clients, one of the most common complaints I hear is a lack of time when attempting to run their business.

And I totally understand, having built and run businesses now and in the past. Getting through all the work is far from easy.

But it’s not just the day to day work that your customer sees. It all the stuff going on in the background as well. From the set up of products, the social media interaction, the payment and filing of taxes, the marketing of services, the website fixing… the list goes on and on.

So, some time ago I decided to plan how to do all of this much more effectively.

And one killer way to achieve it is to get organised. And by that, I mean REALLY organised.

Here are some ideas of how I did it – perhaps if you did the same you’ll also suddenly find tons more time to spend on all the ‘important’ stuff.

1. Plan your week in advance

Get a diary. A real one with paper.

Think about all the things that need to get done for the upcoming week. You may even be able to plan two or three weeks ahead.

Then write them down in your diary. I find that writing things down, somehow, makes you more accountable to yourself.

I used to use my phone for this but found this to be totally inferior – tasks would get lost or I couldn’t see my to-do’s at a glance and completed tasks would disappear should I need to refer back to them.

Physically writing them down helps immensely. It clears my mind of all the things that I know I need to do and acts as a fluid reference should something slip my memory.

2. Don’t try to do everything all at once

Basically, this means you need to prioritise.

Yes, you need to get 100 things done this week, but you also need to get real.

It is NOT going to happen.

Start choosing what you’re not going to do as well as what you will do.

And don’t pick more than you know you can handle. Too many and you’ll end up rushing, your 'done' tasks will be half-baked and you probably won’t complete your list anyway.

So, just select a few things that really must get done each day. It may even just be ONE thing. The thing that really MUST get done.

Once you have filled your week with all the big stuff, then if you have time left over, use it for the smaller tasks.

3. Group tasks

For me, once I get into the groove of doing something I can go on for absolutely ages.

Often, I stop for lunch, look at my watch at it’s 3.30pm.

If you’re like that, then grouping similar tasks together often can result in getting much more done than if you attempt to accomplish different tasks in the same period.

For instance, if I plan to write 4 blog posts in a given week, doing them all in one go during one afternoon could end up saving much more time than if I spread them out during the week.  

Or if I get into the groove when writing a 6-stage email funnel for a client, writing as much as possible in one go could save a lot of time on prep work than attempting to craft one per day.

Another example is that I always plan my social media campaigns in advance.

Grouping tasks in this way will avoid wasted time stopping one type job and starting another and significantly ease disorganisation.

Note, though, that batching tasks in this way isn’t always for everyone. Sitting down and writing a week’s worth of mind-blowing social media posts can be difficult if you’re just not ‘feeling it’ at that time.

So don’t stress too much.

If grouping tasks in this way just isn’t your thing, separate them, but at least plan them out in advance so they don’t creep up on you when you least expect it!

4. Delegate

In the corporate world, the art of delegation is crucial for success. But the higher you rise up the corporate ladder, the less you’ll probably want to delegate and thus the harder it is.

For an entrepreneur, delegating is even more important. So, why aren’t you doing it already?

The Harvard Business Review highlights why and how you can turn into a master delegator:

  1. Watch for warning signs.
  2. Understand why you’re not delegating.
  3. Measure how you’re doing.
  4. Choose the right people.
  5. Integrate delegation into what you already do.
  6. Ask others to hold you accountable.
  7. Really let go.
  8. Learn from experience.

You need to start to understand what you’re good at and importantly what you’re not good at or what you don’t enjoy doing. Get a hold on what’s stopping you moving forward in your business and what’s simply too time consuming.

You should consider delegating or outsourcing these tasks, which will free up your time to really focus on how to move your business forward.

5. Keep your current customers happy

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re always looking for the next customer or client.

But in doing so, it is easy to forget about your current or past ones too.

Your loyal customers are key for repeat business and form the spine of your client network. Keeping them happy with the services you provide is also crucial.

But this also takes up A LOT of time and resources, so the temptation is to automate the process.

But this is not a good idea.

To keep them on board and to ensure you don’t slack in the service you provide, you could consider using software that enables you to manage your customer base more effectively.

One such program is Groove, which allows your employees to build relationships with your customers without automating the process; maintaining a strong customer service ethic will mean your clients don’t move to a competitor when they need you again.

Groove example

6. Organise your workspace

Getting more organised and productive needs to start with where you work and the environment you work in.

There are a number of methods that have proven it increases productivity. Here are some tips:

  • Add some plants around your office (yes, really!)
  • Clean up your desk with less clutter and paper. You could even consider going paperless.
  • Use a standing desk and less cables.
  • Keep your diary to hand and look at it several times a day.
  • Use wall space to your advantage with shelving or storage.

Implement these six methods and you’ll find an immediate boost to your effectiveness and as a result, a reduction in you daily stress.

And the best bit - they are all very do-able and don’t take much effort.

So, go on. Get Zen organised and let me know how you get on!

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