Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 028
This is episode 28 of the Greater Than Business Podcast. And today we are going to be talking all about how to get yourself organized. And I know that a lot of you have been waiting anxiously for this episode because it is such a sexy topic because everybody loves to get organized, right? So basically what we're going to be talking about today is quick things that you can use in your day to day life that will help to get you more organized because right now is the perfect time of the year to get organized. And a lot of people always want to start fresh at the beginning of a new year. And this is one of those moments where I have to agree and I always feel like it is so satisfying to go into a new year with a clean slate. So I know that this episode is coming out a little bit late cause pretty much the new year is tomorrow.
If you are listening to this, the day that it drops, but if you are not listening to this, you are on the day that we release this podcast. I want you to know that everything that I'm saying in this episode is still relevant. It is still things that you can do at any point during the year. But I know specifically a lot of people around the new year like to get organized. So I'm going to tell you a couple of things in no particular order. Basically just things that I find help with getting organized and staying organized and things that will boost your overall productivity in your business. So first things, first you have to get control of your digital files and also your paper files. If you're still using paper and you're like me, I have a huge, huge love of paper. It is so bad but I have to have everything printed out and when I print it out I will organize it.
I actually have a binding system that I use where I actually have a full out like old school binder where I can, and sorry, I don't mean like a binder, like a three-ring binder. I mean like it punches holes and will bind it into a book for me. So anytime I print something, I'm basically creating a little pamphlet and booklet. And inside my office, I have shelves that are all organized based on topics. So I've got one for like list building. If you come across articles that are important for list building, I will print those off. I will go through, I will read, I will highlight, I'll take notes and I basically store them all on this shelf labeled list building so that I know that if I am looking for tips on list building or new strategies that maybe I haven't implemented yet, I will go to that shelf and I will be able to pull out anything that I want.
And I know that everything there I've already gone through for the most part. And I know that it's basically kind of an endless resource for me. But I also know that sometimes things get outdated. Sometimes things need to be purged and sometimes things are no longer relevant. So this is the time of year where I will sit down, go through all my files and you'll be surprised that you may find something in your files that you forgot about, that you could make a piece of content around or other things like that. So it also provides you a little bit of inspiration heading into the new year as well. Cause I know a lot of you are probably going to be planning content for the year and all of that other fun stuff. So if you can go through and purge your paper files and your digital files, get rid of things on your computer that is no longer serving you.
So if you've got old programs, applications, those kinds of things that you have not touched. Another thing that I did not have on my note that I just thought of is going through your subscription services too and make sure that you're not subscribed, things that you're not using. So that's more of a financial topic that that kind of falls enters. But I want to make sure that you go through and really get yourself organized. And if I'm being completely honest, also being organized in your money and finances is another big, huge topic. But obviously that's not what we're talking about today. But if you go through and look at all of your subscriptions, see what's still relevant, see what you still want to be receiving, and if there are things in there that you think you can purge as well, then probably now would be a good time to look after that as well.
So on your computer, you probably have thousands of digital files that once you download something, you just kind of forget about them. They get lost in the abyss of your computer until you start getting those crazy notifications that you're nearing the limit. And doomsday is approaching because you will not have space on your computer here shortly. So by making sure that you're going through and deleting all of the files that you don't need, things that aren't relevant anymore, purging your downloads and all of that stuff that is essential for this time of year. And if you can get yourself in the habit of doing it monthly, then it won't be such a daunting task. And it's a good routine to develop if you can, but obviously other things will prioritize that. So if you have the ability, I would highly suggest it, but if not, no worries. You can always just do it once a year or whenever you find is best for your schedule.
So speaking of schedules, that is the next topic that I want to touch on. So have a schedule that is a huge, huge thing that people need to do when they are getting themselves organized in their business and their life is you have to have a schedule. And what I mean by schedule is not like using a calendar. I mean have a day to day schedule. So you know that during certain times of the day you are doing certain tasks. So back a couple of episodes ago, I believe it was episode 26 yes, episode 26 I was talking all about turning off the day to day clutter. And I mentioned there that if you have a productive time during your day that you can basically set up to do all of the main tasks that you want to do. And that's usually where I would do my big three tasks.
And if you block that off during your day, that is your productive hours. Those are your basically non-negotiable hours where you sit down and you work. And around that time you can also build out other aspects of your day into your schedule. So what I do is I have a morning routine and then I have a Workday startup routine and then I have my productive hours and then I have my Workday shutdown routine and then I have my end of day routine. So each of my days goes like that without a doubt. I will actually, provide a link to this in the show notes where you can actually see what my calendar looks like. I'm probably just going to post a picture of what my schedule is on a day to day basis. So you guys can really get a look at how I structure my days. But having a schedule for each day is detrimental to your business and that is a, one of the main things that you can do to get and keep yourself organized.
And remember that just because you have a schedule doesn't mean that life won't get in the way. There's going to be times where you have your schedule and you try to stick to it as best you can but maybe the doctor calls and you have to run to an appointment in the middle of the day. And that's usually when you would be shutting down your workday or whatever it is. Things like that are going to happen, which is why you also need to use a calendar. So what I have is this system where I have a calendar set up and in my calendar, I have my schedule posted. So I go by the hour and I know what I'm supposed to be doing for each slot of time, but also on my calendar. I know and see where I'm going to have those hiccups in my schedule. So if I have like parent-teacher interviews or something like that where it is going to pop up and not really ruin my day, but basically affect my schedule, then I know that it is on my calendar.
So my calendar is different than my schedule, although my schedule is on my calendar, my calendar is where I keep track of all of those ins and outs and different things that come up on a random basis. Whereas my schedule is the ideal schedule that I will stick to on normal days. So that is how I kind of differentiate between the two. There are calendar and schedule, but by having both of those, that allows me to be super organized and I have them both on paper and on my computer. So I have a digital calendar, which is where most of my appointments go. But I also use a planner. So that's the third element and brought into this little, point here. So my planner is where I plan out goals and where I list out my big three. So my schedule is where I know that my productive hours are going to be between the hours of 11 to two.
And then I know that my planner is where I'm going to be able to see what I'm supposed to be doing during those times. So my planner is strictly paper, but it also has a calendar in it. So if I have an appointment that's going to come up, I write it in my planner, but I also record it in my digital calendar so that I'm on top of everything and I make sure that I know that like let's say we do have parent-teacher interviews at 11 o'clock in the morning on a Monday, and I know that usually on Mondays my schedule says that I should be doing my big three at 11 o'clock and if I look at my planner, I will see that my big three tasks that day are huge, daunting tasks that I definitely need to get done, but they are going to take a lot of time.
So what I will do is then just kind of move my schedule around a little bit in my planner and on my computer so that I make sure that everything lines up and that it does still make sense for me. And usually, when I do this, I do it on a Sunday night and kind of look at my calendar, look at my schedule, look at my goals for the week and align everything as needed. And I do that on Sundays because Sundays are the day where I don't have anything else going on. And then I know that I can start my Monday off on the right page and be super organized and super clear and I'm less likely to forget things because I've refreshed everything in my mind. So using a calendar with a schedule and a planner and the planner, as I said, is mostly for goals and tasks that are driving my business forward.
That is what I use my planner for. But using all three of those together will keep you super, super organized. Now you don't have to have a paper version and a digital version. I just, as I said before, I am a huge fan of paper and nothing motivates me more like writing down goals and tasks and all of that other stuff. So I'm a huge advocate of paper planners. I love them. They are phenomenal. And I also guess I should add to this as well my task management system that I use as well. So I use a program called ClickUp. If you are not familiar with it, I will link it in the show notes but ClickUp, it allows me to just basically make sure that in my planner, I'm looking after all of them, the little steps that I need to do.
So I have a digital, and this is strictly digital, but it's a digital task management system so that I know that each part of a project is getting looked after. Even if I don't write down every little step in my planner, I will keep it all on my ClickUp app. So hopefully that didn't overwhelm you too much. You will find a system that will work for you. If you have any questions as always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to run through the method to my madness as I always say. But I, I have found what works good for me, what keeps me organized and I'm hoping that you can find, whatever works for you and be able to use that to keep yourself organized heading into the new year. So the next thing that I want to talk about is cleaning your workspace.
So if you have a home office, I know for me, usually after the holidays, and actually usually after every weekend, my office kind of becomes the dumping zone of, we don't want it in the main living space, so we just will throw it in my office to deal with it later. So currently right now I have boxes of clothing sitting in my office, which has to be dispersed to my son's baseball team. But right now we don't want them in our main landing place in our house, which is our front foyer and we don't want them in our living room. So where do they end up – in my office. And that is just something that happens in our life where we just, my, my office kind of becomes the drop zone where we want things to go away and we don't want to deal with them right now, but we'll go with them later.
But for now they just kind of get thrown in my office. And because of that, my office can start to get a little bit cluttered and disorganized. And if I walk into my office and it's cluttered and disorganized, guess what type of day I'm going to have. It is going to be cluttered and disorganized. So I have to encourage you to make sure that you clean your workspace on a daily basis, or at least do a deep clean as much as you possibly can, where you can make sure that things all have a place in your office and only things that belong in your office have space in your office. So for me, I know that these boxes of clothes are just temporary. They're sitting in the middle of my floor right now. They're not really impeding anything other than I have to look at them.
But it's something like that where I know that it's temporary so it doesn't bother me. But yet if there was, I don't know, toys in here that my kids left from the other day when they were playing, that would drive me bonkers. So things like that, I have made sure that everything in my office has this space. Everything in my office belongs in my office, other than the things that are sitting on my floor that are temporary and everything that is in my office gives me a good feeling, I guess it is the best way to put it. So I've made sure that I've surrounded myself with things that keep my spirits high, keep me relaxed, keep me warm is another big thing. Cause I hate to be cold when I'm working. Basically design your workspace so that it allows you to work at your maximum capacity and allows your productivity level to be super, super high.
And the best way that I can tell you to do that is to keep your workspace clean, keep it tidy, but also keep it cozy. Keep yourself surrounded with things that make you feel good and that will definitely help you keep yourself organized. And then also make sure that everything in your office has a place. I know I said that a couple of minutes ago, but make sure that if you get, like something in the mail, you know exactly where it would go the moment that you get it. So you can put it away when you get it and you don't have this little pile of random stuff that can start accumulating that doesn't have a home. So you want to make sure that you're always making your office as clean and cozy as possible so that you can actually get your stuff done. Okay. Now the next thing that I want to talk about in order to get yourself organized is decluttering your devices.
So I know I talked about this a little bit earlier with the purging your digital files, but what I mean by decluttering your devices is go through all of the apps on your phone and make sure that they're still relevant. Make sure they're still things that you use. And if you don't use them, just delete them. You can always get them back. I know for myself, I work off of I or Apple products, so if I decide that I want an app back, I can easily just go get it back. It's saved in this little cloud thingy and all my information will still be there. But I just, if I don't want it on my phone at that moment, then I delete it. And I also work off of a couple of different, iPads as well. So I have an iPad strictly for personal use where I don't have any work programs on it.
And that's the purpose of it. It's the device that I if I want to take it somewhere with the kids and not be bothered with Slack notifications or emails, I take that device with me so that I don't have to worry about dealing with and seeing all of those notifications. And then I also have another iPad, which is specifically for work cause. So I can access my email, I can see Slack conversations, I've got access to all the programs that I need, all the services that I pay for. I've got websites bookmarked on it that takes me to courses that I purchased. All of those, those things are all on my work iPad. So I've made a very conscious decision to have two devices. But I know the purpose for each device and I also keep them decluttered and purposeful all the time. So that allows me to be organized not only in my working because on my work iPad I also don't have games and other things like that that can distract me when I'm working.
But yet I know that my fun iPad for personal use has Netflix on it and Disney plus and all of those other fun things that I can just kind of veg out and not have to worry about work and getting into my decompression mode after I am done working. And I try and keep all of my devices as clean as possible. The only one that right now really needs to be decluttered is my computer. Cause I've got a couple of programs on there that I'm, I'm actually just looking at it right now and there's at least three that I can see that I have not opened in new a long long time. So we definitely are, I'm going to be decluttering my device as soon as I am off of this recording session. So declutter your devices, make sure that everything that you have is relevant and is useful to you.
And if you don't need it anymore, delete it. You will thank me later. Okay. So the next item that I want to talk about so that you can get yourself organized heading into the new year is tidying up outstanding projects. So make sure that if you have a couple of things that have been kind of things that you've been meaning to do that hasn't been done, or little things that you, I don't know, that are on your to-do list, Polish those off as quickly as you can, tidy up outstanding projects, make sure that things are basically you can start fresh. Really get yourself organized and make sure that you don't have any loose ends that are behind you, that you've just kind of like, Oh, I'll deal with that later. And then, I don't know, reality check later is here right now. So do it.
Just get, get rid of them. You will feel so much better once you've tie-dyed up all of those outstanding projects or emails or whatever it is that you need to tidy up, but basically anything that you've been procrastinating on or have just basically been anything that's half-finished, just get it finished so that you can really truly feel like you're starting fresh and that you can keep your head organized as well as your projects organized and your business organized. And by tidying up those outstanding projects, you're basically just finishing those up so that they're not bothering you anymore. And so that they are things that you don't have to worry about and things that you don't need to focus your time on anymore. So tidy those up, get them done, figure it all out, and then you can really, really start to get yourself organized when you don't have those looming projects that are still waiting to be completed sitting in your rearview mirror because it, it definitely will weigh on your productivity for sure.
And then that's the other that leads into, I guess the other topic, the final thing that I won't talk to you about with getting yourself organized is having a backburner list and what a back-burner list is, is basically everything where I guess I'll just, I'll use an example here. So if I sit down and I start working on a project and that sparks me to think of something else that would be absolutely amazing to have in my business. Or if I sit down and listen to a podcast and I hear someone talk about something and I get inspiration for something that I could build or something that I want to incorporate in my business. I have a back-burner list and the backburner list basically means things that I can't do right now because I'm busy doing other things that are pushing my business forward.
But the back burner list are things that will soon become projects that I'm going to work on. So where I have my backburner list is on ClickUp, which is the, as I mentioned, my task management system and I basically just have kind of a list of ideas and that's all what the back, that's all the back burner list is, is just basically ideas that have come to me at some point that I want to implement. But I know realistically I have to finish up what I'm doing first before I can implement those. And it's fun because if you get super, super motivated by something that you're putting on your back burner list, you will be surprised how fast you will be able to complete tasks that you're currently working on so that you can start tackling that new project. So it's, it's a really fun way to kind of motivate yourself.
But by having that back-burner list, you're not gonna forget those aha moments that you have throughout your business. But you have to also remember that when you do get those aha moments and those like a huge burst of inspiration, you can't stop working on what you're already working on. You have to complete those projects first. Or else, as I said in one of my recent episodes, you're going to have 500 uncompleted projects and nothing to show for it. So you definitely want to finish what you're doing. You want to get those tasks done, looked after, dealt with, and then tackle your back-burner list. So those are my quick tips so that you can get yourself organized this year. And honestly, there is no better time than right now to start getting yourself organized. And I hope that you have enjoyed this episode. As always, if you want to check out the show notes, you can go to GreaterThanBusiness.com/028 and everything that I've mentioned in this episode will be available for you there. And I can't wait to talk to you next week where we are going to be talking about planning for success. So that one's going to be fun and I can't wait to chat with you soon.
Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 028