Today is one of those days that I’m feeling a need to clean up. I look around and notice a lot of paperwork that needs filing and notes I need to act on… don’t worry, my desk looks nothing like the one on the picture though!
Organization sounds like the right skill to have, one to take advantage of to eliminate time and effort in finding things and in effect, getting things done quicker and efficiently. This is called eliminating waste. This term is more than “cleaning up”; it means to eliminate activities that result in wasteful resources, time, money and outcomes. There are a lot of books and information out there about how to successfully eliminate waste, but here is a good starting point:
1. Start by setting aside 15-30 minutes every day to organize your workspace. Maybe it’s putting your tools in a place where they are accessible and organized. Maybe it’s creating folders for client information and placing in a filing cabinet. Investing this time every day allows for a discipline to be developed for organization. You will save 2-3 times the time and energy it will take to find what you need.
2. During your workday, take some time to stop and watch your activities. Does it make sense for you to run to your car every time you need a tool to continue your construction job? Does it make sense for you to walk over to another room every time you need a file? The customer doesn't pay for time spent looking for things… they pay for the final product or service. It’s important that you develop an eye for continuous improvement — identifying ways to make your work smarter and “leaner”.
3. Schedule “Organization Day” once or twice a year where you take 1 full day and go through all of your tools, files, information, etc., and organize in a way that will work for the upcoming 6 months to 1 year. You will find that over time, you may only need 1/2 a day once per year to do a deep clean up, which will show you the effects of continuous organization.
Organization is not just a “nice thing to do” — it improves your bottom line. You cannot bill your customer for “searching for my tool kit for 1 hour per day” or “1 day walking around looking for file folders”. Unfortunately, you are eating these costs daily and losing time you can be serving another paying customer because of your unorganized work place. Stop the waste and get organized today!
Stefany is the Founder and Consultant of SE Global Business Group, LLC, a small business consulting firm specializing in providing you with everyday solutions to your current business issues. Learn more about Stefany at http://about.me/stefany.pina and about her business at www.seglobalbiz.com.