Among many things, 2019 will be remembered as the year of tidying up. At least, it will for the millions of people across the country who adopted the KonMari method after watching Marie Kondo’s popular Netflix series focused on getting organized, releasing the objects that no longer have use, and keeping the objects that “spark joy.”
However, entrepreneurs can run into a mental barrier when it comes to getting organized. That’s because the act of organizing is less about the things piling up around you, and more about the clutter living inside your head.
Backed by a lifelong passion for organization and years of professional experience, Mika Perry is a podcaster and blogger creating content focused on organization principles, wellness practices and time management strategies that create a calm home and a thriving business. On May 24, Perry will speak at PICKLECON, a conference for creative entrepreneurs, where she will share her expertise on how to balance business and home life.
Here is some advice from Perry, co-creator of the “Good to be Home” podcast and professional organization expert:
Get rid of your limiting belief
Since organization is a mental exercise, the first step is to tackle your limiting beliefs. Too often, people tell themselves, “I’m just not an organized person.” This mindset puts you at a disadvantage before you even get started. You accept defeat and settle for a life of clutter.
So, the first thing to throw away in the waste bin is your limiting belief. Adopt the mindset that you’ve already won, and watch as you become more open to change and to new routines. Be diligent about maintaining this mindset with daily reminders. Tell yourself that you are an organized person, and with practice, you will be.
Do a regular clean-out
Just like a pantry in your home, schedule routine clean-outs, or audits, within your business to assess systems and routines that no longer serve to benefit your bottom line. Is every piece of your marketing strategy complementing each other? Does your team still benefit from the weekly Monday status meeting? Does it spark constructive conversations, or has it fallen victim to a stale routine? Determine what no longer serves your business and keep only what is useful or necessary.
Systems, systems, systems
After identifying the clutter from a successful clean-out, it’s time to put new systems in place to prevent the mess from building up again. Organization is simply a collection of systems that maintain order.
These can be small, like a daily to-do list, or large, like a new process for shipment orders. Good systems are designed to save you time and your sanity by making it easy to find what you need, when you need it.
Create a solid night routine
Mornings can be hectic. We wake up with minds racing, trying to make order of the day’s to-dos. Plus, think of all the tasks we check off before even leaving for work: walk the dog, work out, shower, make breakfast for the family, check emails, and so on.
The key to avoiding overwhelming mornings is to prepare the night before. While plenty of entrepreneurs share tips on how a rock-solid morning routine leads to success, the night routine will be your secret weapon to win back your time, space and clarity. Prepare everything; from your gym clothes and briefcase, to your kids’ backpacks and lunches.
Prepare smartly over the weekend
While weekends should be reserved for downtime and connecting with family, it’s also the perfect time to prepare for the following week.
Procrastination breeds chaos. By letting things slide, daily tasks build up and become overwhelming. To get ahead of the bottleneck, create a list of the simple weekly tasks that you can instead check off over the weekend. Great examples include meal prepping, washing the car, cleaning out your wallet and bags, deleting old photos on your phone, clearing your inbox (both on your desk and in your email),writing thank you cards, buying gifts for upcoming birthdays or anniversaries, and responding to comments and messages.
A great side effect to creating a pre-made list of these weekly tasks is the reduction of decision fatigue. The more decisions a person makes, the more likely he or she is to make a poor decision over time. Follow these steps each weekend to start the next week clear, prepared and energized.
Create rituals to access your flow state
Successful thought leaders, philosophers, writers and high-performing athletes have rituals to help them access their flow state. Entering flow state quiets the world around us and focuses the mind on optimal decision making. The purpose of creating rituals is to decrease the friction of stepping into that state of clear thinking.
Rituals that tap into the five senses cue the mind and body to click into creation mode. Light a specific candle, turn on a certain musician, arrange your desk in a meditative way, diffuse wakeful essential oils, take five deep breaths, recite a mantra, or sit in a specific spot in your home. Practice simple routines like these to ease into a deep, focused state that will increase productivity and creativity.
Organization is a mindset that takes practice, but by doing so, will bring balance and growth to your life and your business.