If you’re always running ragged and falling behind in your work, you know this situation creates clutter and chaos throughout your life. It might seem tempting to put off tasks when you’re busy with something else, but over time, this makes your to-do list spiral out of control—both in the personal realm and the business sphere. Your house gets messy while you’re thinking about work, then the business clutter piles up while you’re thinking about home. It’s a vicious cycle. That’s why we’re digging into clutter today at MompreneurHQ. Learn some easy tips to control the clutter, control your productivity, and easily grow your virtual home-based business.
Hire An Assistant
Our first tip for managing your clutter and taking control of your productivity is to hire an assistant. This might sound like a big step, and maybe one that’s out of reach for you. Hiring an employee is a big commitment, especially if this person would be your first employee. Many of our mompreneur clients feel that they’re not making enough money to justify an assistant. However, bringing on extra help is the fastest, most efficient way to manage your clutter.
Part of running your own business is learning when to delegate tasks. You’re smart and capable enough to do almost everything your brand needs, yet that doesn’t mean that you’re the best person for all of these responsibilities.
Think about how much your time is worth. If your target hourly rate is $100, consider all the minor tasks you’re spending $100 to do yourself. For example, you can lose $100 worth of your time shredding papers for an hour, or you can pass this responsibility off to your assistant for $25 an hour. The $25 salary you’re investing in your assistant is actually saving you $75. Reclaim your time and use that hour for something more valuable.
Hire A Professional Organizer
Many women struggle with clutter because they don’t have the proper systems and processes established. Look around your home and office, paying special attention to your most cluttered areas. Whether you’re struggling with your pantry, laundry room, bookshelves, closets, or a corner of your desk covered in unopened mail, you probably don’t have a working organization system for these zones.
Professional organizers help you create systems and processes to manage your clutter. Your organizer will learn about your trouble spots, brainstorm expert strategies to reduce clutter, and help you put these processes into action. You’ll be able to control the clutter once you have a robust system in place.
Many modern organizers also offer fully digital services. If you don’t want someone to come into your home, or your favorite Instagram organizer lives on the other side of the country, you can often book a virtual consultation. You’ll have video meetings with your organizer, show them your target areas over the phone, and then benefit from the same brainstorming process as a local pro would provide. Save even more time by having your new assistant handle the video tour!
Learn To Say No
If your clutter and disarray come from taking on too many tasks, it’s time to work on saying no to people. A filled calendar is a good goal for many entrepreneurs, yet it can also be overwhelming. Be strategic about what you add to your calendar. Many moms struggle with overcommitting themselves. It can be hard to say pass on soccer practice, networking events, school parties, volunteer opportunities, girl’s night outs, or new client consultations that come your way. However, you need to prioritize your time or you’ll burn out.
Before you agree to something new, make sure to consider everything this commitment will require. You can’t give your clients the service they deserve when you schedule calls back to back to back, giving yourself zero prep time. Likewise, you won’t be a helpful volunteer or mindfully present at family events if you’re worried about the next thing on your calendar.
Start being thoughtful about what you add to your schedule. Add prospective clients to a waiting list when you’re busy, support your favorite causes financially instead of with your time, and set clear hours when you’re available for calls. These boundaries will help you at work and home.
Use The Time Blocking Method
Keep projects from spiraling out of control by blocking time on your calendar. Time blocking is a useful organizational technique that helps you plan and manage your schedule. Take your calendar and break up your time into color-coded blocks. Choose colors for all of your regular, recurring tasks. Schedule blocks of time when you’ll accomplish these tasks. Then once the time is over, move on to your next tasks.
Time blocking helps you stay focused on your current project, then move to your next task when it’s time. Many people find it easier to focus when they have a clear deadline. If your time block runs out before the task is done, challenge yourself to move on to the next activity anyway. You can add a new block to your calendar to finish the work later.
Paper causes a huge amount of clutter in professional and personal settings. If it seems like you’re drowning under envelopes, statements, catalogs, sticky notes, and other pieces of paper, you can take control of this clutter by going digital. Look at where your piles of paper come from. Then contact these organizations to either unsubscribe or to move to digital notifications instead. This transition process can take extra time, but it’s worth it in the long run. It’s also a great task for an assistant to manage.
MompreneurHQ can help you perfect a filing system for these new digital notices. Our Digital Business Filing System For Mompreneurs is an amazing resource to help you track branding, client testimonials, expenses, workflows, business links, graphics, statements, courses, passwords, and more. This system will help you organize your business and cut out the clutter to be more productive. Even better, it’s designed to be effective in just ten minutes a day.