According to Harris Interactive, more than 20% of adults pay their bills late and incur fees simply because they are unable to find them. Show of hands if this has ever happened to you (don’t be embarrassed).
I have a hard time getting things done when I am surrounded by clutter in my personal and professional life. If my desk is unorganized or if I have too many unopened emails in my inbox, I feel as though I can’t fully concentrate on what needs to get done. I want to dedicate today’s blog post on a few ways to easily eliminate the clutter—both in our personal space and online. And since we’ve finally made it to spring (complete with April showers), I figured now was as good a time as any to help us all stay on track.
A few months ago, my boyfriend and I finally made use of the filing cabinet in our bedroom and we sat on the floor surrounded by receipts, old bills, and bank statements. We created folders and filed away items pertaining to utilities, cable, our lease agreement, our dog (yes, Buster gets a folder), and warranties. We shredded statements that were older than seven years or anything that we could easily access online.
Since I work from home, I created a separate folder for business expenses and went through my wallet and various paper piles throughout the apartment; I sorted invoices and threw out receipts for items I had purchased that I wasn’t planning on returning and deposit/withdrawal receipts. If you happen to live among paper pile-ups (guilty), create a folder with magazines you haven’t yet had a chance to look through or miscellaneous items you’d like to hold on to for safekeeping. I promise: you don’t need it in your face to know that it’s there.
Spend an hour or two and develop a system that works for you. Organization is a pain but you’ll feel lighter in the end.
Now that we’ve taken care of some of the tangible clutter, let’s examine the virtual crap.
Organize your desktop. When you open your desktop, what are you looking at? Can you see the background image that you took on vacation or that adorable picture of your kids when they weren’t fighting for five minutes? Or are you instead looking at 20 documents and countless unorganized folders? Take some time to go through your Word docs and find relevant places to store them. This should take no more than 10 minutes and your head will be clear when you start the day. That feeling along = priceless.
Emails: Create folders and sort. Don’t keep everything in your inbox as it’ll get lost in the shuffle. I have found that creating folders and subfolders helps me easily track an email I need to follow up with. Have you heard of Boomerang? This nifty app lets you schedule an email to be sent at a later date and you can also set reminders, follow up with sales leads, communicate with people in different time zones, and much more.
Tidy up your follower list: Check out apps like Crowdfire, which allow you to find inactive Twitter/Instagram followers so you can easily unfollow them. You’ll have to upgrade to advanced features but the free version is fine if you just need to clean out your list a little each day. Go through your friends list on Facebook and remove anyone you haven’t interacted with in more than a year (or let’s face it, people you weren’t really that fond of in high school anyway).
Now it’s your turn—what are some apps and organization techniques that have helped your business? Share them in the comments below!