There’s something about people who are creative go getters: they usually have a messy life in more ways than one when you start looking closely at it. Those who know how to tame this disorganization flaw of theirs can find success, while the ones who keep living in chaos flounder. Focus and organization matter.
When you’re a creative entrepreneur, you often have so many ideas floating around in your head at once that it becomes unmanageable. You may find that your physical surroundings match your mindset, too.
It’s not that you’re living in filth, but that you have plans for things lying around – or you’ll address them later, when there’s a better time. In your mind, you hoard ideas in the same manner, always planning to focus on things when the time is right.
If you’re the kind of person who finds yourself attracted to new strategies and plans, then you have to take a pause in your pursuit of online success and build a system that allows you to sift through the noise and focus on the task at hand in a strategic manner.
Micro organization is where you learn how to use bite-sized systems to keep clutter at bay – both mental and physical, so that you’re free to forge ahead and implement your best concepts without any type of hindrance.
Three Kinds of Clutter That Impede Your Productivity
There are three kinds of clutter that you might be dealing with that will have a direct impact on whether or not you get things done in your online business. You can probably instantly feel some sort of emotion arise when you think of your life being disheveled.
If you wake up to a messy house, it makes you uncomfortable and overwhelmed before your day even gets started. This kind of physical clutter can haunt you. It calls your name as you sit trying to work, surrounded by a lengthy to-do list that never seems to end.
Physical clutter is easy to micro manage. But left untamed, it will impact your ability to concentrate. This is even more true if you have a family you’re living with and you work from home while others are away at their office and school for the day.
As an online entrepreneur, there’s unfortunately some sort of misconception that because you’re home, it means you have all the time in the world to do all of the housework, the errands, and your workload, too.
Some people have more help than others, with chores equally split among the household. But if you don’t, or if you take on the lion’s share of the chores, it may be overwhelming.
Physical clutter also causes you to stumble with your decision making process. When your attention is split between work and household, it doesn’t allow you to fully concentrate on what’s in your best interest.
You might even fail to pursue the best option in work for you based on the sheer overwhelm you’re feeling about the physical clutter surrounding you, which has nothing to do with the business, but it’s just too much to handle.
And of course, having to deal with too much physical clutter also ruins your time management and productivity. When you’re consumed by household tasks, it makes it hard to put in a full or even part time work load because you have dishes to do, laundry to take care of, sweeping or mopping, and more.
Even if it’s just your desk that’s consumed by clutter, it can have a negative impact on your time management and productivity until it’s handled. You have to eliminate physical clutter so that you can complete your daily tasks with ease.
Mental clutter is another impediment to your success. This is the chaos mulling around in your head that focuses on how stressed you feel, how nervous you are, etc. It’s what causes you to put off tasks out of fear of failure, or worry that you’re making the wrong decisions.
When mental clutter is allowed to percolate in your head, it diminishes your creativity. You’re your worst critic. You make safe decisions because you don’t believe in yourself enough to take calculated risks.
Then there’s emotional clutter. This is similar to mental clutter, but instead of a feeling (like feeling stressed), you put a label on yourself. You’re embarrassed, ashamed, feel guilt and other emotional triggers that can impact your ability to succeed.
Sometimes, this is rooted in your personal relationships and it spills over into your work life. You may have been raised by (and are still dealing with) a toxic parent who put you down, or you could be married to (or in a relationship with) someone who isn’t supportive of your efforts.
This type of emotional burden can cause you to be too cautious, in a way that inhibits your ability to fully thrive as an online niche leader. These individuals have to project confidence and assuredness to their audience if they want them to feel comfortable buying products from them.
Develop a Daily Micro Decluttering Habit
It only takes a little bit of effort each day to allow you to feel accomplished and productive with your business goals. You don’t have to make plans to spend hours each day cleaning your physical and mental space. Focus and organization can become a habit that enhances your life experience.
What’s more important is consistency. Developing a micro daily habit, where you’re clearing out the negativity and decluttering your space gives you on-going, incremental progress that feels good and changes things for the better.
These need to be small tasks that you can easily manage in a couple of minutes. For example, instead of saying you’re going to clean your entire work area, make a plan to clear one pile of papers, one drawer, one area of your desk, etc.
You can set an alarm for 5 minutes and see how much decluttering you can do in your space – whether it’s your office, the kitchen, living room, or bedroom. In those five minutes, you can get more done than you would if you just sat there feeling overwhelmed, planning to someday do a deep clean.
You can do the same for your headspace, too. Your mind needs a good decluttering throughout the day. You can take 5-10 minutes to sit back, close your eyes, breathe deep and wash away the uncertainty, the insecurities you have, the overwhelm, and more.
Replace the negative thoughts with empowering ones, with peaceful assurance and faith that you have what it takes. By doing this routinely throughout the day, you’ll begin to notice big changes in how you automatically think throughout the day.
If you leave negative clutter in your mind, it will thrive like a petri dish full of bacteria – and you don’t want to allow that to take over. You have to cleanse and refresh your mental palate.
Envision success. You might spend 5 minutes working on your vision board or planning goals for your business and personal life. Out with the old, in with the new! Picture yourself successful, not overwhelmed and unsure of what’s to come.
Your daily micro habits should be sprinkled throughout your day. You might have things like:
- 5 minutes to declutter your bedroom so that later on, you can drift off to sleep in a clean room
- 5 minutes to deep breathe and calm your mind for the day ahead
- 5 minutes to declutter your work space (digital or physical) so you feel organized
- 5 minutes to declutter the kitchen where many families make the most mess
- 5 minutes to stop and work on your goals, vision board and future plans
- 5 minutes to gather and start some laundry or hang and fold what’s in the dryer
- 5 minutes to work through some emotional clutter and focus on a resolution
- 5 minutes to tidy up the living room or other rooms that need your attention
- 5 minutes to get your Fitbit tracker or other exercise program steps: This alone has changed my life by improving my health!
This is 5 minutes out of every hour for a full, 8-hour workday. And you can get a lot done in that amount of time. Plus, it’s good for you to get up out of your work chair and walk around being active, too.
Micro Organization Habits Get You Unstuck in Many Ways
You might think that these decluttering habits will only help with work productivity, but this type of lifestyle helps in so many other ways. You’ll notice your entire mood begins to shift.
Instead of walking around with the burden of stress and overwhelm, you’ll being to feel lighter and more capable. Your focus will sharpen whenever you are working on things, or spending time with your loved ones.
This is because you’ve lightened the load of stress you feel, you’ve proven that you can get things done and you won’t be distracted by all of that weight anymore. So when you spend time with your kids, you’ll be able to laugh and listen to their needs rather than appearing irritable and worried.
When you work, you won’t be drained thinking about how, after your tasks, you still have to clean the house or maybe even get in an argument with your loved ones about the state of your home.
Clutter leads to cognitive overload – and that’s both mental and physical clutter. Your brain just can’t handle it, so it begins to try to find solace by avoiding things, which is never a good state to be in as an online entrepreneur.
You’re going to feel super motivated and the speed with which you get things done will improve. Your energy level will be boosted and that will propel you forward with your tasks.
Once you start implementing a daily micro habit of organizing your life, you’ll notice you inherently feel a greater sense of self esteem and that you notice your accomplishments rather than your failures.
Being free from the chains of mental and physical clutter will allow you to unleash your creativity and you’ll be able to find the answers to problems or struggles you’ve been stuck with in the past.
Your Work Space Should Be a Priority with Your Micro Focus and Organization
It should always be a priority to keep your work space organized. It doesn’t matter if you have an entire home office or, if you’re like many people who only have a corner of a room to work in, or even work on a laptop from your favorite chair in the living room!
Being orderly and tidy in that room so that your eyes aren’t diverted to a mess is important so that you can focus on your work tasks. This not only helps you focus, but it makes you more efficient and creative, too.
You’ll be able to get into a workflow that leads to better productivity. If you’re surrounded by clutter, your mind will get distracted periodically, pulling you out of a creative mode. You may want to organize things like your research books, notepads, laptop area and more.
It’s not enough to just declutter, either. You want to take time to create a peaceful area for you to work in, or one that inspires you to be creative and motivated while working. Focus and organization make a difference. First and foremost, your space needs to be clean, which we’ve addressed.
But then spiff it up a bit and incorporate things that boost your creativity, too. Make sure the lighting is just right – not too bright and not too dark – so that you feel a sense of calm and comfort in the space.
You should surround yourself with inspiring or motivating décor, whether it’s a vision board you created, artwork by your children or positive affirmation posters that contribute to your success mindset.
Everything should be comfortable, too. You don’t want to work in a chair or seat that causes strain on your body. Look for ergonomic chairs that will help your body be less strained.
Organize Your Digital Workspace, Too… It Deserves Focus and Organization
It’s not just the physical surrounding that can impede or help with your productivity and success, either. It’s what you do with your digital files, too. There are many areas for online entrepreneurs that can overwhelm you online.
The first thing you’ll want to keep up with in a micro-management way is your email inbox. Don’t let this get out of control. Gmail allows you to segment your incoming emails, so you can prioritize them and handle them in a way where you won’t be overwhelmed.
Second, have focus and organization with your files. Whether you’re working from a laptop or PC, you don’t want to have your files spread all over the place. Whenever you download a product or file online, have a designated place for it.
For example, you might have a specific folder for the products that you buy, one for the private label rights (PLR) content that you purchase, one for templates you want to use, and so on.
You might even have subfolders, such as a file for products you buy that teach traffic generation, another folder for files about course creation, and so on. This way, you’re not scrambling trying to find what you need and wasting time.
Make sure the file names are easy to recognize and understand. And enlist the help of a continual back-up system like Carbonite so that your files are always being saved in case of a disaster with your computer system.
Being cluttered with your online items, including things like bookmarks to your profiles for social media, your blogs, forums and so on, can lead to further chaos and confusion. You need to have your links organized so that you can quickly navigate to where you need to go immediately.
In addition to having the online space organized, set up a routine for micro managing everything. For example, you can quickly check in on email three times per day – morning, afternoon, and evening before work ends.
You can have a similar system for managing your social media accounts. The key is to get in and get out quickly. Respond to private messages, engage with your followers, share new content, and exit.
Don’t stick around scrolling and wasting time when you’re supposed to be working. That will only lead to more stress when you fail to get items crossed off of your to do list, because you were too busy engaging in worthless content on Facebook or elsewhere.
Maintain a Micro Organization and Focus Habit to Positively Impact Your Life
Implementing this kind of strategy is very helpful, and many people are capable of initiating it. But some let their system fall to the wayside in terms of focus and organization once they activate it and follow it for a few days.
Keeping up with this system is going to strengthen your productivity, alleviate your stress and possibly even improve your relationship with loved ones. It offers only positive benefits to your mindset and business success.
With stress levels diminished significantly, you’ll project an air of confidence that will appeal to both customers and prospective colleagues online who want to promote strong leaders in their niche.
Find a system for focus and organization that works best for you – and use tools that can help, such as password tools like RoboForm to help you log in quickly to places you frequent online, backup tools that free you from the stress of a possible computer malfunction, and so on.
Develop a good time system for yourself. You may not want to do 5 minutes every hour but 10 minutes instead, or three, 30-minute sessions. Whatever works best for you is what you should adopt into your work and home life.
Learn how to manage your time and divide it between administrative work, creative endeavors, project completion, networking and so on. You have to have systems in place to guide you through the day so that you’re not scattered everywhere, which can lead to missed steps and increased overwhelm.
By embracing a system of micro organization habits, you’ll find that these tiny changes deliver quite an impact to your business ad personal life. You’ll empower yourself in many ways with focus and organization, and ultimately, be a better leader for those who are turning to you for advice.
I’m bestselling Wall Street Journal and USA Today author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular and ongoing Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.