Have you ever sat and wondered ‘how can I get organized?’ Tell me, what does the top of your desk look like? Is your physical space a hot mess? How easy do you think it will be to open a successful at-home business with so much clutter taking up valuable space?
The answer is that until you start following best practices for getting organized the chances of starting a successful career are pretty slim!
But don’t worry I’m here to give a few pointers on ways to get organized. All of the methods here are based on tested best practices that I used when launching my freelancing Copywriting career**.
First thing’s first, throw the baby out with the bathwater
Quick. Look at your desktop. Take a mental note of everything you see sitting on top of it. Now close your eyes and recall as many items as you can. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
When you open your eyes again look at the desktop once more. Notice anything? Was there anything you forgot? How important is that item in your daily existence? Now imagine if all the items on your desktop related to client work.
If the forgotten thing was a deadline it would hit your bottom line in the short term (not getting paid for an assignment) and potentially the long term as well (getting a reputation as a business owner who doesn’t deliver).
Taking control of the clutter
What I did when I first started my business was to clear each and every last item off my desk top. And by everything I mean everything. Then I gave the desk a good scrubbing.
Once the desk was dry and ready to receive my stuff again I picked up each and every item, contemplated its relevance and determined if it was important enough to share such proximate space with me.
Anything that didn’t fit the following criteria was moved to a new home, filed or completed:
- Necessary to do my job (keyboard, mouse, monitor, stapler, etc.)
- Inspirational (my collection of favorite Chinese food cookie quotes taped to my monitor made the cut, week’s old unread articles didn’t)
- Actionable items (bills to pay that day/week/month, the journal & pen I always keep by my side when writing, etc.)
- Daily use items (coasters, a box of tissues, my day planner, etc.)
- Technologically relevant (iPod, phone, modem, etc.)
I was able to clear countless papers and little pieces of junk from my line of sight. That immediately relieved some of my mental clutter and I liked that I had a streamlined, clean space where I could work more efficiently.
When looking at the best practices for how you can get organized, clear away the physical and mental clutter. With a clean space comes a clean mind and that can make worlds of difference in the clarity of your work.
**Though these approaches helped me to increase my submission numbers as well as conversion to paying clients your mileage may vary.
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Published in multiple print and online sources, Author, Blogger and Freelance Writer Jenn Flynn-Shon has been writing for publication since 2001. Follow her antics on twitter @jennshon