January 27, 2016

Declutter: 6 ways to tidy up your business


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I bet you have heard of Mari Kondo and her #1 New York Times Bestselling Guide The Life-changing Magic of Tidyng-up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The amazing success this book has shows how much we are in need to declutter our lives these days.


I have been on a clutter clearing journey for almost all my life. Already as a young girl, I would declutter on a regular basis. My room was fairly small, the bed, closet and desk basically filled it already, so I learned to be organized and decluttered.


Later, every time I moved I decluttered my things when I moved from Switzerland to Canada I had to declutter and downsize even more. Here in Canada, I moved another 8 times in short 5 years, two of the moves were long-distance across the country (you can read more about it here)


Clutter Clearing holds a special power

Organizing and decluttering go much deeper than just tossing unwanted physical things and making room for new things. Clutter Clearing holds a special power, one of change and renewal.


I learned and experienced, that just as Karen Kingston wrote in her book Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui, decluttering frees you not just from physical, but also mental, emotional and spiritual clutter.  When decluttering physical things, an internal process takes place which has an impact on your thoughts, your environment, the energy surrounding you, your connections and the people around you. It has a positive ripple effect in your own life and often also in the life of your loved ones around you.


If you declutter your physical belongings, you automatically find yourself dealing with mental, emotional and spiritual decluttering as well. Vice versa, if you start with decluttering your mind you might find yourself all of a sudden in your garage or attic tidying up.


Already the Ancient Greek Hermes Trismegistus, the author of the Hermetic Corpus, wrote as one of the seven principles of the universe:

Declutter your business in 6 easy steps, you will feel joy and a sense of freedom when you are up to date with your stuff. ConnyGraf.com #grafetized

As above meaning as in heaven or as in your mind, so below meaning so on Earth or as in your body and environment. As within meaning what we think within ourselves, so without  meaning it will be expressed or reflected in the world we live in.


Or very short in my words: Chaos inside equals chaos outside and my mission is, to help you move from chaos to peace,


6 ways to tidy up (declutter) your business

Just as much as we are in need to declutter our lives, we are in need of decluttering our businesses.

☞ Do you cringe every time you approach your desk?

☞ Is your computer drive a complete mess and you don’t find a file once it’s saved?

☞ Is chaos getting in the way of your business growth and your creativity?

☞ Is your Inbox overflowing with unread or even spam emails?

☞ Is at the end of your money still a lot of month left?

☞ Do you treat certain customers like an unwanted step-child?


You can fix that in six simple (but not necessarily easy) steps:

Step 1: Take some time to do the job

If you can’t see the surface of your desk, take some time to clean it up. You waste a lot of time and energy trying to find stuff, energy you could use much better serving your clients or developing new products.

Clean up your desk, recycle and/or shred unneeded documents and file your business papers. Keeping records is really not that hard, check out my blog post here for two very simple systems anyone can implement.

If you want to spend 5-15 minutes a day for several days or tackle it all in one day that is up to you,

Just do it, you will feel so much better afterwards. 


Step 2: Give your digital files a proper home

Do you sometimes wonder where that document went that you just saved earlier? Do you waste precious time every day searching for files you know you have? Create a file structure on your hard drive that corresponds with your physical filing system.


What I mean by that is, if you file your paperwork by date then file your digital files with the date in the file name. If you file your paperwork by category, create a folder on your hard drive for each category and save the files in the appropriate folder. If you file your paperwork by bank account and/or credit card, create a folder on your hard drive for each bank account and credit card you have and save your files in the bank or credit card folder it belongs to. Refer to my blog post here for details.


Step 3: Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero is a goal I set myself for 2016 as well. I used to use my MS Outlook as a task management tool and so I always had emails in my inbox. Each email represents a to-do and right now, at the time I am writing this, I have exactly 135 emails in my inbox. This is not a good idea and although I learned that other people have thousands of emails in their inbox (I can’t imagine!!) I am committed to reaching Inbox Zero by the middle of February (I keep you posted).

If you don’t want to delete the emails in your inbox, you can archive or save them and you will find them again through the search option. So why are we holding on to these emails? They create an anxiety and stress that is unnecessary. For me, it was as I said that I used MS Outlook as my Task Management system. I have switched now to Nozbe for my projects and task and will have my inbox cleared very soon.


Step 4: Unsubscribe

Hand in hand with the inbox Zero project goes the Unsubscribe project. How many Newsletter subscriptions do you have, how many Newsletters come into your inbox on a weekly basis that you never open or read?


I started to rigorously purge my subscriptions. If I don’t remember when I read a Newsletter the last time I will unsubscribe. If you are worried that you miss out (FOMO) you could always ‘subscribe’ to their blog in Feedly.


Step 5: Screen your expenses

Let’s tackle your expenses. Do you have the overview? Do you have automatic withdrawals from your bank account and credit card you forgot about?  As part of the decluttering project, you want to take a closer look at your expenses. Do you have a subscription to a magazine that you have no time to read? Do you pay for subscriptions you forgot you even had? Or a subscription to an application that you don’t use anymore? Identify these expenses and cancel the service.


Step 6: Screen your clients

Last but not least, we want to declutter our clients. This is a hard one I know but it could have a big positive effect. Do you enjoy working with all of your clients or is there one (or some) that you don’t particularly enjoy and therefore, procrastinate to do the work? If you have such clients, come up with a strategy on how to replace them with clients that fit you better.


What may sound harsh is actually in your and their best interest. Since you don’t particularly enjoy working for them you will never do your very best, it will always take way longer as you tend to procrastinate and most of the time these clients are also not paying what we are worth. So find a kind way to get rid of them and make room for clients that are more aligned with what you have to offer.


Learn to part with your clutter

If you learn to part with the weight of your clutter, big rewards are waiting for you on the other side. As a result, you will feel deliberated, freed from the heaviness of the stagnant energy that clung to your space.


There is joy and a sense of freedom that you can feel when you are up to date with your stuff.


Once unburdened from the chaos and backlog, you can move through your day with ease and grace and focus on much more meaningful actions. We can attend to our real live’s work. Nothing distracts us, nothing pulls us down.


Start now, move from Chaos to Peace and let me know in the comments below what you did, how you did it and how you feel now.


#grafetized www.connygraf.com From Chaos to Peace

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