If you’re like most entrepreneurs or business professionals, you probably have a million things going on. Whether you’re balancing multiple gigs or multiple positions within the same job, it can be difficult to stay organized.
When I launched my first company, me and my co-founders were as fresh as they come. That said, we had to wear just about every hat all while learning on the job. Needless to say, things got hectic very quickly. In order to keep things in line, we realized we had to develop better habits around organization.
Trying to take on more than you can handle.
As an entrepreneur, it’s common to take on more than you can handle. That’s because we like to have responsibility, and most of all control. However, this can often backfire on us. Sometimes we get a bit trigger happy and take on more than we can handle. What happens then? Things don’t get done.
First and foremost, you need to be working at full capacity. So don’t use this tip as an excuse to take on less. Once you know how much you can produce, only take on jobs that you know you can deliver on. If you constantly make promises and fail to deliver, people will lose confidence in you. Not only that, how are you expected to stay organized when you can’t even finish all your work? Remember, it’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver than the latter.
Relying on your memory.
There’s a reason why we write things down. Not only does it leave a paper trail, but it also helps us formulate thoughts and retain our knowledge. Even if you think you have a photographic memory, it’s still best to jot things down.
When I’m sitting in a business meeting, I always have my notebook with me. If I hear something I like, or think of something interesting I’ll write it down on the spot. At the end of the day, I’ll take my notes and transfer them to my computer to keep everything organized. Some people take notes on their phone or computer in a meeting, but there’s too many distractions with technology. If you want to get the most out of the meeting, you should use a physical notebook instead.
Multitasking is a big misconception. It makes us think we’re being productive by accomplishing multiple things at once. In reality, we’re actually taking longer to accomplish our jobs. If you have multiple things on your plate, you need to focus on finishing them one at a time.
Sure if something pressing comes up you can switch gears, but you need to completely switch gears. One strategy I like to use is time blocking on my calendar. What that means is you schedule blocks on time for accomplishing certain tasks. This will keep you organized, and only working on a single task at a time.
Remember, changes won’t happen overnight, but if you want to stay organized make sure you drop the three habits listed above.