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5 Steps To Keeping Your Business Clutter Free

Are you a digital hoarder?

Do you constantly sign up to every email list that promises to transform your business and show you the "hidden secret" that you'll not find anywhere else?

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You've probably also lost count of how many you're actually signed up for and if you're completely honest, you've probably not even opened, yet alone read any of these e-books and articles, or watched the many training videos and courses you've downloaded.

Am I right? If you answered no, you're on of two things: the first thing is, you're just super organized and have found a way to create more order in your business, and if that's the case, then you don't really need to be reading this, because you already know what needs to be done.

But, if it's the second one, then do you know what you are?

A LIAR! That's right, I said it you're a liar.

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE.

Do you know how I know that? Because I was that liar, too.

Now don't get me wrong: I signed up for all that crap with the best intentions honestly I did.

I love learning and I can't get enough of new knowledge and when I'm not learning I seriously feel like I'm missing out on something, and I'm just in complete awe at the sheer power the Internet provides us by allowing us to access pretty much anything we want, whenever we want by just clicking a little button. Let's be honest that's some seriously cool shit right there.

But do you know what the problem is? No matter what, we all only have 24 hours in one given day, and how we spend those 24 hours gifted to us are seriously important.

We have families, we have school runs, we have playdates, we have appointments, and we have a business to run the list just goes on.

So when are we supposed to fit in the time needed to absorb all of this extra information we're bringing into our lives?

The truth is, it's simply not possible. Well, okay it might be possible if that's ALL we did; if we gave up on running a business, on our kids, partners, etc but obviously that defeats the whole purpose, because yes, learning new things is great, and we need to be keeping up to date so that we can implement certain things to improve our businesses and our lives, as well as the lives of our families, but if all we do is learn, and don't implement it, then we're just wasting time.

So, the trick is getting really clear on what information we actually need at this precise moment, setting time to absorb it and then quickly implement it.

But to do that, we need to get over the BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.) Now here's how you're going to do just that in a way that feels right for you.

STEP 1: Cut the clutter.

Letting go is definitely hard especially when you don't really know what to let go of, but it's something that needs to be done from time to time.

And, believe me, I'm not perfect in this area either. It's taken me a long time to get serious about decluttering and really actually finding a way that works for me.

You have to try different things and see what suits you better don't just take my word as golden because it might not be the best solution for you.

Whether you prefer the old school methods of pen & paper, or you just can't get enough of productivity apps like Evernote, there's definitely a tool out there that's right for you and will keep you organized and not buried under a mountain of files and images.

A perfect program for getting your email inbox emptied quickly and efficiently is Unroll.me, this is totally free to use and allows you to unsubscribe to any newsletters you're not reading in one click.

So instead of going through each one individually to unsubscribe, you just highlight the ones you don't like and Unroll.me will take care of the rest.

This tool is great even if you just want to keep the newsletters out of your inbox but you don't want to unsubscribe totally; Unroll.me will store everything you've chosen to keep in special folder so you can access it whenever you want.

STEP 2: Categorize everything.

Now that you've done some serious decluttering, it's time to make sure the stuff that's left is organized into an easy-to-find space.

There are loads of online tools and even apps for iOS and Android devices that can help you achieve this easily. Here are a few of my favorites that I use each day.

Evernote;

Dropbox;

Google Drive.

Though if you prefer, there's nothing wrong with keeping some folders on your desktop containing Word and Excel files.

It really depends on how you work and there is no right or wrong answer; it took me years to figure out a good organization/filing system that keeps me on track.

STEP 3: Get automated.

Automating your business activities is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself even if you have an assistant, there's still things that need to be running when you're not there; for example, when you go on vacation and don't want to worry about what will happen if someone signs up to your email list.

It's not possible for you to be sitting watching your email for sign-up notifications all day long even when you're not away, so you need to have systems in place that ensure these things are taken care of on your behalf so you can focus on actually creating really cool stuff for your customers.

The first step to creating automation is by setting up an autoresponder series, depending on who your email marketing provider is, and how big your email list is this will cost you anywhere between $10-$100 and maybe even more if you use a provider such as InfusionSoft.

Autoresponders work by triggering a pre-written email that's sent out to people after they sign up to your list; it's used to deliver any free gift you might have offered as an incentive to get them onto your list in the first place, and then you should have a follow-on series of about 5 emails to keep those people engaged and deliver value before you consider approaching them with any paid offers you might have.

Another great use for autoresponders is for delivering course content; if you're delivering a free or paid video series, for example, add these emails to your autoresponder series ahead of time, and then set them however many days apart you want them to be sent to people, and they will will be sent whenever someone signs up for that particular list.

If I can give you one piece of advice it would be to always use an autoresponder and not wait.

When I first started out with email marketing, I had a really small list and I was using the free plan of MailChimp, which is really great but the free plan doesn't include autoresponders, so for the longest time I was manually checking my list activity each day and when someone would sign up I would send a pre-written email I had stored in a Google Drive folder.

Madness, right?

That's obviously a bad idea, and no matter how small your list is, it's not sustainable. I was wasting so much time doing those really small tasks that I could've so easily had done for me for $10 per month.

Really, the best $10 I've ever spent.

It's actually quite liberating to have all that stuff just taken care of.

To ensure your automation works well, you have to be able to plan ahead; this includes writing all of your emails and autoresponders for a certain timeframe at the beginning of each month though the time you write them isn't as important, as long as you find something that works for you and you stick to it.

Use a calendar and content scheduling tool to make sure you assign a date and time for each post to get sent out and then you'll free up your time to focus on other things.

As with everything, there are loads of tools to help you do this, such as Buffer and HootSuite that are used for scheduling Facebook and Twitter posts; both of these offer a paid and free version, so it really depends on your usage and what you need it for.

The one I personally use and recommend is CoSchedule, which is a WordPress plugin and is a content calendar and scheduling tool in one.

It let's you post blog and social media content so you don't have to worry about doing two separate things. They offer a free trial and then after that it's $10 per month, but so worth it.

STEP 5: Build good habits.

As with anything, organizing your business this way takes time and practice especially if you're not really used to doing things this way.

You need to get into the habit of taking small steps each day to ensure that you stay on track and don't end up back under the chaos mountain in another few weeks.

And, yes it is hard. It might be harder for some than it is for others, but with consistent action it's certainly do-able and believe me, if I can manage to get my business organized and automated AND stick to it, then anyone can.

Plus, you'll feel so much better about everything.

You'll have more energy once all that clutter is away and you'll be 10 times more productive, so it really is worth it. Set yourself a goal to get organized and take small steps each day to achieve it.

 

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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 07/15/2019


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