get organised, declutter, wahmWould you like a New Year’s resolution for the new financial year? Then 30 June is the ideal time to get organised and stress less. How can you do this? Here is an overview of the system I use to get you started.

Declutter

Clutter can keep you disorganised. It can also stop you from locating what really needs to be done (or you can use it as an excuse not to do things)... like paying that bill! Go through your clutter and sort it out.

If you are like me and love keeping memorabilia, just in case/or for the memories – perhaps it’s time to go through your clutter and rationalise. Perhaps culling down to just one item for each event you want to remember (do you really need every RSVP from your wedding?)

The same goes for emails... if an email is older than three months – ask yourself if it is still relevant and requiring action? Or could it be placed in a folder or deleted? Then just do it!

You may just find that tasks you have put off were delayed for a reason, perhaps they were too hard, or too time consuming, or required money you didn’t have at the time. Now is the time to make a decision on what to do with them.

Have a system

Once you have decluttered it’s time to set up a system to keep you organised.  This will help you prioritise tasks in your life and organise things so they are sorted on time, every time and prevents a build up of clutter in future. Your system will likely include some habits, lists, and a schedule.

Habits

Every time I purchase fuel now, I take a photo of the receipt with my Phone camera and Dropbox it – and then I add the details to my FuelLog application. Then I throw the receipt away... this prevents me having piles of receipts laying around or in files, I would rather keep my records electronically* than have tons of files.

Alternatively some business people (especially if they are registered for GST) choose to use a Corporate Credit Card*  to pay for their business expenses to reduce the need to collect tax invoices.

Lists

I love having lists for everything. They can be written on a piece of paper, a whiteboard, or on a smart phone app (like Remember the Milk but there are plenty of others available). You can list bills to pay, what to buy, contacts to respond to, marketing ideas to action, and so on.

I use a Smartphone app specifically for my shopping list, and use Remember the Milk for other lists.

Schedule

If you are not sure what you should be scheduling, perhaps this is a good time to read this post from Motivating Mum’s Sarah Sadler on Managing your time effectively and set some goals!

If you already know what needs to be done it’s time to schedule. Tasks which have a deadline or recur should be in your schedule or calendar. Again this can be done on a piece of paper, a diary or using an online calendar like Google calendar. If you are using a paper diary it pays to check your diary the evening before each day so you can prepare for the following days appointments. I personally love Google calendar as I have it set up to send me a daily list of my appointments to my Gmail, as well as an SMS 10 minutes before each appointment (and it’s free).

I schedule everything from recycle bin day, bill due dates, to time to Tweet or update my Facebook status, as well as project milestones and deadlines. Every time I make an appointment with a client it goes straight into my calendar. I find if I delay entering into the calendar I just plain forget.. so for me, it has to be done immediately (a good habit to get into!) Of course don’t forget to schedule in some time each day with your family too!

Hopefully these tips have given you a few ideas to streamline your life and be organised. If you decide that even with organisation you have too much to do – you can always hire a virtual assistant!

Please note that the views or opinions expressed in this article may not suit your particular business – so please talk to your accountant or financial planner to see if these options suit you first.

As a virtual Mary Poppins, I am a tech savvy, administrative support person with over 10 years experience. I specialise in bringing my skills to your office virtually, providing tailor made, value for money solutions to your everyday challenges (office and personal). I can help you to get organised and take on the small stuff like presentations, Internet research and proofreading, freeing up your time so you can grow your business.

www.virtualMaryPoppins.com.au

Photo: Take Ya Pick Photography