To run a successful business, you must be organized. Easier said than done, right? It may seem like a daunting task to get your business in order, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, I’m sharing nine tips that help me stay organized, productive, and successful as a creative entrepreneur.
1 // Centralize Your Client Management
If you’re swimming in contracts, payments, and other client management documents, it may be time to enlist some help. I personally use Honeybook (click here to retrieve my 50% off membership deal) and it is a lifesaver! Honeybook allows users to store all their items together in one place, streamline client communication, and keep track of all projects.
2 // Religiously Use a Calendar
Start using a calendar and use it faithfully. If used correctly, your calendar will become your new best friend. Put everything in there, including all personal and professional events. (Tip: When entering an event into your calendar, input all pertinent info, like exact addresses and phone numbers, so you won’t have to dig through other places to find it when needed.) You can also color code your calendar, so it is visually organized and easy to read!
3 // Segment Alike Tasks
Us creative folks tend to get a little bit scattered, but for good reason! Not only are we trying to be artistic, but we are also trying to successfully run and grow a business. To capitalize on your time, start to segment your tasks. By aligning like tasks to occur around the same time, you are maximizing your focus. Take advantage of your prime times, like those when you know you are the most energized or have the least amount of distractions.
4 // Clear Your Workspace
Clear workspace, clear mind. If you are feeling disorganized and cluttered, clean out your workspace ASAP. Get rid of anything you don’t use and only have items on your desk that are constants in your work process. Also, get into the daily habit of tidying up your workspace before ending work for the day. This will allow for a fresh, clean start for work the following day!
Another great thing to do? Go digital with all of that annoying paperwork! Scan documents and contracts, then put them into files on your computer while also backing them up to a cloud storage solution (I highly recommend Backblaze!).
5 // Set Reminders
Are you regularly forgetting some of your responsibilities? Unfortunately, it happens to the best of us, but there is a solution – Reminders, reminders, reminders! Set reminders for every item that goes into your calendar and make sure these are always synced into your phone. Make sure to set them with enough time to prep and travel.
6 // Set Task Deadlines
We can easily fall into the trap of working from sunrise to sunset. However, this is not healthy and can lead to decreased production and even burnout. Set times to walk away from your work, even if it is a short 10-minute break to clear your mind. Setting end times on tasks allows you to rest, refocus, and come back with a sharp mind.
7 // Access Mobile Applications
Utilize that phone for all it’s worth! Look at any desktop applications that you are using for your business and download the corresponding app to your phone. You can most likely find an app for anything that you need, including email, client management, and bookkeeping. Sync the desktop and app versions so you can access all your information on the fly and adjust things as needed.
8 // Keep Your Contacts Updated
Searching through unorganized past communications just to find someone’s phone number or email address can be a major waste of time. Prevent this by entering your clients’ information into your phone or tablet for quick access. Don’t just stop at the phone number – Be sure to add their email and mailing addresses as well!
9 // Plan a Week Ahead
Every week, sit down either Sunday night or Monday morning to plan your week ahead. Consider all personal and professional responsibilities and take into account what you will need to complete those tasks, such as travel time, supplies needed, and others involved. By being proactive in this way, you will build a schedule that is both organized and supports maximum productivity.