Why is organisation important?
Being organised is a key part of being successful at work. It doesn’t mean you can’t be very successful without being highly organised, but it does make it hugely less likely and way more difficult to sustain your level success if you are not. Being organised is like giving yourself a head start over all the others in your market.
It’s easy to pretend that it doesn’t matter because it won’t stop you making money day to day. But it will stop you growing meaning you are stuck in a rut. And it will make taking on new, exciting additional responsibilities almost impossible if you’re not highly organised. Do you know anyone who couldn’t do the job after they got promoted into management? That’s usually because they couldn’t find enough hours in the day to add their new management responsibilities to their existing need to produce for the business.
It’s really easy to learn better organisation but it’s something that we don’t see very often. Any business and anybody can get more organised. It’s already in each and every one of us to be able to do it.
What does ‘better organised’ actually mean?
Being BEST organised means you always know what you are doing, when you are doing it and why. It means you have greater certainty about what you want to get done today. It also means, crucially, that you are sufficiently organised to delegate the job to someone else quickly and easily. This is one way the most successful managers get everything done in time.
It gives you the opportunity to be the best that you can be, each day. It gives you the opportunity to grow and take on new challenges, to become more valuable at what you are doing.
There is however, usually some natural resistance to better organisation.
Who wouldn’t want to be better organised?
Put simply, lots of people! Often people resent getting more organised at work (but they’ll never tell you this!). You can see it on their faces if you look for it; it’s the look that tells you “Why are you trying to get me to do even more work!!! Can’t you see I’m already working flat out?!!!”
I’ve been in that situation myself. For a while I resented getting highly organised at work, even though I always loved being organised in my life away from work. For me, as for many people, it was because I was in the wrong job. [Good news if this is you – I can help you find a job you love!]. And with a recent Gallup poll suggesting only 45% of people are happy in their job (and that figure strikes me as a little high), this is often the underlying reason for workplace apathy.
Map out what you need to get done
So how do I get better organsied?
It’s easy. Write down everything you need to get done. It’s important you put everything down at this stage. Preferably not in a list because that denotes priority. Just write it all down on a blank piece of paper in whatever way it comes out.
Next, work out the categories under which everything you’ve written sits. I find there are usually only 5 categories; 1) Marketing, 2) Sales, 3) Product, 4) Winning Repeat Business, 5) Business Strategy.
Work out how much time you need to dedicate to each category as a percentage, e.g. 35% of time is spent on Marketing, etc., and then divide up your working week accordingly.
Make a plan
Then plug your categories into a weekly plan and check the plan makes sense (sales calls have to be made when the clients are around to take the call). A weekly plan (I do mine on a simple spread sheet) should swiftly tell you what you need to do, each day of the week, the time to start it and the time to finish. And an effective weekly plan means no more wasted time, so you’ll get more done in less time.
Aim to be working in the same categories (if possible and practical) at the same time of the day each week because if something is a habit it will be easier for to do it and it will take less of your time.
You can now translate your weekly plan into a daily planner and you can start mapping your longer term goals into your weekly planner too. And you’ll notice your productivity rise as soon as you start using your plan. Your boss and your clients will too!