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Business Times Column

by Marcus

Are You Positioned for Happiness And Success in 2013?

Did you know that 68% of the population lacks effective organizational skills? How about you?

Is your desk a mess? Can you find your way through your office? Does your filing system need reorganization? Are important projects, tasks and customer follow-ups falling through the cracks? Do you simply avoid all the clutter because you don’t know where to start given the enormity of the undertaking? Are you beginning to feel the weight of your disorganization?

Stop. Breathe. Relax. There is a solution, and it will position you to enjoy greater levels of happiness and success in 2013 and beyond!

First, it’s important to recognize that your external reality is typically a reflection of your internal reality. A cluttered and disorganized work space can often stem from a cluttered and disorganized mind. As you begin to bring order to your work, your mind will become clear and open, which will position you to operate more effectively in all areas of your business.

Second, being organized not only feels great, it also opens the door to more efficient and effective business operations. When you are relaxed and in control, you will easily accomplish all of the tasks vital to the continued growth and development of your company. If, however, your disorganization is keeping you from staying on top of things the quality of your operations, your success will be greatly diminished.

Finally, bringing organization and efficiency to your work space provides a powerful example for your team to follow. Maintaining an organized work space requires self-control, personal accountability and consistent action. When you model these behaviors first, you will instill the same traits in your team members which, in turn, will dramatically improve the quality of your business operations. Your leadership will grow stronger in their eyes.

Once you become keenly aware of your own current clutter and disorganization, the next step is taking immediate action to change. You might be asking, “Where do I start?”

  • Clear Out: Begin with your desk or the place where most of your work is done. Set aside dedicated time to go through everything and immediately throw away everything that is not needed.
  • Categorize: With the important things that remain, create one pile for what is “not in progress” and a second pile for what is currently “in progress”.
  • File: Next, file away everything in the first “not in progress” pile. They do not need to be in front of you for top-of-mind awareness. Get them away from your work space, but in a place where they are still easy to access.
  • Organize: With the “in progress” pile, create individually labeled files or folders for each item and place them in a highly visible location. As you create a system for these particular files, it will allow for easy access and will help you to stay on top of important tasks.
  • Stay the Course: The last step is to daily stay on top of keeping your work space neat and orderly so that it never gets on top of you ever again.

Once you have successfully accomplished the process of cleaning up your desk, you can begin the task of organizing the rest of your office. Follow the same process outlined above for each of your file cabinets, shelves, drawers and closets. As you begin to make headway, your burden will be lightened and you’ll feel the rewards of your intentional work to clean up your clutter and disorganization. This, in return, will further inspire you to keep your new habit going strong.

In nearly a decade of coaching individuals and business owners, not a single one has ever regretted bringing greater organization to their own workspace. Repeatedly, in fact, they recount how organization has improved their personal and professional lives: how much better they feel, how they don’t avoid their office anymore, how projects and tasks are completed in a timely manner, how much more control they feel and how efficient and effective they are on a daily basis.

As you move into 2013, position yourself for new levels of happiness and success by bringing organization to your office and making it a place you enjoy. It is an empowering experience to take control of your workspace, and the more empowered you are as a business owner, the stronger and smoother your operations will be. Happy New Year!

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.