Planning ahead? Declutter first

The period between Christmas and New Year is a time when many SMEs plan ahead for the next year.

Something that is often forgotten, however, is that it is difficult to see clearly through a pile of unfinished business that has been put to the bottom of the list because it was not urgent.

Is your book keeping up to date? Have you done your expenses? Does filing need attention? Is it time to cull some of those contacts who might have been useful but with whom you have had no interaction?

Planning ahead is not only about setting new goals and targets but also about becoming more organised so that progress can be monitored and reviewed at regular intervals, and your plans adjusted accordingly.

Preparing for next year is not easy if the information on the past year’s performance is not up to date.

Equally it is hard to think clearly, let alone plan when surrounded by clutter or outstanding actions.

If this is a situation you recognise, perhaps the decluttering process will encourage you to consider how to make life easier next year. There are a number of ways to reduce the build up of clutter, they are however boring since they involve discipline which is something most entrepreneurs lack.

The logical solution is to set aside a specific slot in the diary, every day, week or month to ensure that the low priority but essential jobs such as record keeping and admin get done. It also makes sense to ask why you are doing tasks, indeed your time is valuable so stop doing non essential tasks if they aren’t necessary, or consider outsourcing regular activities such as accounts or filing.

Loud music can help you declutter – I recommend Queen.

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