I admit it, I am guilty. I am a very organized person when it comes to anything work-related. But …. my personal filing, bookkeeping, and organization leave a lot to be desired. It’s been like this for years, and my husband keeps on asking what’s wrong and why can I not apply the same principles to my personal affairs that I apply to my business.
I think I finally got it figured out. See, I am a member at e-Spot, a local networking place with a twist. E-Spot offers not only networking, but an office away from home for anyone who needs to work in peace. Free WiFi, tables to spread papers out on, comfy chairs, ready-made coffee invite us to come on out. Or, if the lone business owner working from home is wanting contact, e-Spot is the place to go for a chat, a laugh, or to attend one of the many wokshops and groups offered.
I joined one of these groups a few weeks back, the ‘Accountability Group For Business.’ There were about eight of us, and founder/owner of e-Spot, Grace Attard. Everyone in the group talked about a challenge he or she is facing, and when it came to be my turn, I brought up my business/personal organization mismatch. Lots of advice poured from the members of the group, but what really had an impact was the advice to ‘become your own client.’ I realized then that it’s a matter of my mindset.
As small business owners we do not look at our personal/private to do list as being important. Anything to do with business is much more important as that’s what brings in the money. Consequently, bank statements pile up without being reconciled, mail that arrives gets opened but not dealt with etc. What happens is that our offices get cluttered, and at some point we start feeling totally overwhelmed by the pile of papers that needs to be dealt with. That’s exactly what happened to me.
I followed the group’s advice and have started adding ‘client Beatrice’ to my agenda. Looking at myself as a client generated a shift in my thinking and makes me look at the necessity of organizing my ‘stuff’ as important as work for my clients. This new mindset helps me plan my day in a more productive way. So far I have cleaned out and re-organized my closet, threw out one full garbage bag of ‘stuff’ that is not needed, and next items on the list are (1) filing of all papers that do not need any action followed by (2) updating my personal bookkeeping with reconciliations and filing of statements. It doesn’t sound much, but believe you me, it’s quite a bit.
I have committed to having this done by the end of the year and I cannot wait. I feel so much better already. The actions I have finished already made space for new things to come into my life. I wonder what’ll happen once I am done with updating and have cleaned and cleared out.
How do you keep track of your personal to do list, do you assign time slots, or are you like I was and put everything at the end of the list?