Not just another 'organization' lecture
Today I want to have a discussion about staying organized--please don't run screaming from the room. I don't want to give you yet another list of how to stay organized. Let's just have a nice chat about what you can gain from adding a little order to your life.
First, let's frame our discussion around three aspects of your work life:
1. Your calendar
Whether on paper or digitally, controlling your calendar allows you to control your schedule. Knowing when and where you are going to be allows you to take advantage of opportunities and to save time by coordinating on the spot, rather than creating that endless back-and-forth of scheduling emails. Additionally, knowing your calendar allows you to make people feel a priority. Don't be the one to have to reschedule a meeting because you forgot about that luncheon across town.
2. Your contacts
Knowing people and faces is an impressive skill. Some people have it, others (like me) have to fake it. If your contact list is organized, it's a quick feat to pull up some relevant information about the person or business you are about to meet with. A great way to make people feel special.
3. Your self
Look around your desk. Do you like what you see? Can you even see anything? Keeping your space organized (your desktop, your car, etc.) puts you in the drivers seat in regards to knowing your business.
Now that we've framed the discussion a tad, let's dive into why you should consider upping your organization game:
The organized person is more likely to feel confident and appear confident. Knowing where you are going, who is going to be there and what you are going to do is a great way to stay calm, cool and collected. In opposition is the business professional sifting through piles on their desk for that one receipt...taking cell phone calls while in a face-to-face meeting because they forgot a vendor was calling them...and constantly rescheduling that appointment because they forgot they were going to be out of town that week. Would you want to do business with that person?
It's difficult to know where you are going if you don't know where you are. A proper basis in organization places you in control of where your business is headed. A lack of organization leaves you in reactive mode; which is no way to run a successful business.
Allows you to say "no"
It is tough to say no. It makes you feel guilty, like you are letting someone down. However, if you are confident and know the direction you are going there are going to be times when you must say no. You say no to meetings, you say no to "opportunities", you say no to the good choices so that you can focus on the best choices.
Organization is a behavior, and it is also a state of mind. The practice of organizing your business life is going to look different for everyone. The key, as in many cases, is in the effort that goes into it. Take control of your business life by taking control of yourself. You will love the results.