It’s that time of year again: spring cleaning time. While you are busy chasing the cobwebs out of the corners, clearing the clutter out the closets, and doing some serious deep cleaning after a long winter, take this time to get your business back in order too!
Chances are that just as your house got a little messy over the winter, your business got a little disorganized too. Maybe it’s your desk that suffered from those tight deadlines, leaving you with piles of paper and remnants of sticky note reminders. Perhaps it’s that holiday you took over winter break that left you with 1,000+ emails in your inbox.
Whatever your specific spring cleaning situation, your business needs a little tidying and now is the time to do it before summer holidays kick in and you get further behind. Because the purpose of this exercise isn’t to overwhelm and cause even more stress, tackle these tasks one at a time over the course of the month.
Spring Cleaning Checklist to Get Your Business Back in Order
#1: Clear the Paper Clutter — Start with your physical space and clear all that built-up clutter until you can see the surface of your desk once again. File all the important papers and expense receipts, toss out any old sticky notes, and rearrange your desk so the things you use daily are within reach or easily found.
#2: Get to Zero Inbox — Clear out all the email that is cluttering up your inbox (and try to keep it that way). Think of your inbox as a loading dock where it enters your communications hub to be directed to the right department. Use your folders to store emails for future action so your inbox remains clear. Read this post on how to quickly clear up your inbox.
#3: Sort Out Those Systems — Think about the tasks you handle on a regular basis and come up with ways to simplify or automate them. For example, one system I use to manage project flow is when I start a new project, I create a draft invoice with all the agreed upon billing details so I don’t have to go back through endless email threads to find them when it comes time to invoice the client.
#4: Master the Tech Tools — Take time this month to master whatever time-saving apps you are trying to integrate into your work flow. You know, the ones you downloaded on the recommendation of your colleague, but never use because you couldn’t figure out how to use it. Take a course or download a how-to guide, and figure out once and for all how to fit the features into your systems.
#5: Streamline Your Social Media — Get your social media management routine under control. As the number of platforms where we have to play increases, so does the workload required to maintain our social presence. Take this opportunity to streamline your activity by automating some of your social activity. Here are 3 social media tools you may not have heard of.
#6: Create a Work Ahead Strategy — Prepare for the coming summer holidays by getting ahead in your work. Tasks like email newsletters, blog posts, and social media shares lend themselves to work ahead strategies because there are so many tools that allow you to schedule these activities in advance. Aim to pre-write at least 5 blog posts, 2 newsletters, and their related social media shares.
#7: Tame Those Time Wasters — Take a look at your daily routine and evaluate if you’ve allowed the time-wasters you swore off of in January to creep back in. Are you being tempted with cat videos first thing in the morning? Maybe it’s time to make the first hour of your day a social blackout period. Are you dawdling on dreaded tasks? Check out these tips on how to tackle your most dreaded tasks.
Happy Spring Cleaning!