The Six Steps for Decluttering Your Business
If you haven’t been living under a rock, I am sure you have checked out Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. This show is all about getting rid of the clutter and nonessentials in your home to create a space that brings you joy. Thanks to my girl Marie, those low-rise high school jeans and graphic tees are finally gone from the back of my closet. #ByeBye
While decluttering your space has been trending, I am here to challenge you to declutter your business too.
When you own a business, you don't get to choose whether or not you run it, but you do get to choose how you run it and how much joy it brings you. Decluttering and streamlining your business can lead to more growth, revenue, and joy-filled opportunities without working around the clock. What’s not to love about that? Let's talk about how to do it.
1. Dump your purse
You know how your purse fills with random things and you're like HOW DID THAT GET THERE? Same happens with you business. Get clear about all the things you're actually doing or paying to have done in your business. I call it the purse-dump, but just putt everything you have to do task-wise on the table. And when I say everything, I mean everything - finances, operations, content creation, client work, networking, etc. Grab some paper, jot it on a whiteboard, or open up a document on your laptop and track all of these tasks or functions in your business.
2. Sort your tasks
First, sort all of your tasks into essential or not. Think bookkeeping or client work. Do you need to do this for your business to exist? If not, scratch it out and get rid of it. Next, sort the remaining tasks into revenue generating or not. Does it actually contribute to your bottom line in some way? If not, you guess it. It’s gone pecan. After you take time to get rid of nonessential tasks, divide the remaining tasks into pain points (things you hate doing), neutral points (things you feel indifferent about), and pleasure points (the things you LOVE doing in your business). How do you feel about the task? Get it on paper. Make sure to categorize each task into one of the three titles.
3. Optimize your task time
If it's a pain or neutral task, find a way to automate, outsource, or batch these tasks (keep reading to check out more about batching). If the task is identified as a pleasure task, figure out a way to make more room for it in your reschedule. HINT: this is probably why you actually start your business in the first place. It’s time to get back to that!
4. Batch your tasks
Schedule time to focus on certain tasks during specific days of the week. If you structure your schedule like this, you won’t be constantly thinking about each task every day. You have dedicated time for each line item, so no need to waste time thinking about it daily or letting it linger in the back of your mind. Even email can be batched if you set expectations! Let people know you will only be checking email once a day at 4PM. Totally reasonable and makes you WAY more productive. Remember: Time Ferriss says, "Email is just everyone else's agenda for your time."
5. Be a strict gatekeeper
Now that you have your tasks optimized and scheduled, be savvy about saying 'no' and 'yes' to the right things so you keep prioritizing revenue generating activities. I know it’s tough at first, but you will eventually feel empowered by taking control and owning your day with tasks that bring you joy. Probably sooner than you think.
6. Make it a habit
Businesses evolve over time, it is inevitable. Schedule time (quarterly or annually) to check the pulse of your business and make sure you're still focusing on the right things for you and your company.
Schedule a date and time to complete these steps! It may take 30 minutes to an hour to create your task list and categorize those items, but once you do, you will save yourself so much time in the long run. If you have any questions about this post or how exactly to automate or outsource tasks, be sure to shoot me a DM on Instagram. I’d love to help you out!