Our businesses are like our homes, every now and again they need a really good ‘spring clean’. However, the clutter in our businesses isn’t about our messy desks or our filing system. It is much deeper than that and it can be one of the biggest barriers to being able to really enjoy your business and your life.
And if you want to be able to ‘slow down’ in your business to have more time to enjoy your life or to deal with something challenging, a good spring clean is essential.
In this week’s blog, I look at what might be cluttering up your business and explain the three big steps you need to take to declutter for good.
This blog is part of my Slow Challenge series and is a summary of a related podcast episode.
Before you take the three big steps to spring clean your business, there are three core principles you need to understand.
The clutter is in your thoughts, not your desk
When I talk about the clutter in your business, I don’t mean whether your desk is tidy or your filing is up to date. More often than not, the clutter in your business is within you. It is the thoughts and attitudes you might hold about some part o your business. For example, if you continue to tell yourself that social media is difficult and annoying, it will always be a drain on your energy.
Clutter also exists in overthinking every single decision and action in your business, leading you to complicate things that might actually be quite simple if you could shift your mindset. It is also those tasks that you have convinced yourself that you really don’t enjoy or that you keep doing, even though they no longer serve you or your business.
All of this clutter takes up so much of your mental bandwidth, leaving you feeling tired, frustrated and less enthusiastic about your business. In fact, clutter steals your joy! This is why it is so important to pay attention to and be mindful of your own thoughts and attitudes. When you understand your mindset, you can start to simplify your thoughts and find more ease in your business.
The clutter stops you from being able to slow down successfully
If you have clutter at the back end of your business you will not be able to slow down without hurting your business. You cannot have clarity on your priorities, your goals and your plans to reach them if you are bogged down in mess! If you want to be able to slow down and still make progress in your business, you’ve got to figure out what that mess is and where it is coming from.
The only way to slow down is to have clarity about your top priorities and eliminate anything that doesn’t serve them
There are probably things in your business that take a lot of your time and energy and are not taking you anywhere. You need to sit down and think about what is not working in your business and why not. There’s a good chance that the things that aren’t working and that are exhausting you are not connected to what really matters the most in your business.
I have prepared a free workbook to help clear out the clutter. The workbook will give you a series of questions and tools to help you work through the steps you need to take to truly clean up your business.
The three big steps you need to take to declutter your business
Here are the three big steps you need to do to deal with your clutter and be able to ‘go slow’ in your business when you want or need to without stopping completely! My free workbook breaks these steps down into smaller questions and actions to help you declutter effectively and build a business that allows you to go slow when you want or need to.
Step 1: Clarify your goals and your priorities
If you want to create a business that allows you to have slower periods during the year and/or you want to have a successful business that allows you to also do the things that matter most to you, you need to be totally clear on your priorities and goals.
The reason that so many entrepreneurs get overwhelmed is that their business is not aligned with their lifestyle. It is important that you address this – otherwise you will end up feeling like your business is running your life!
Step 2: Reflect and identify where there is clutter
The best place to start is to figure out what is working. The simplest way to create a business that allows you to slow down is to capitalize on what is already working. Once you know what is working, then you can focus on what is not working. In the workbook, I guide you through how you can process that in more detail.
Step 3: Prioritize and sort out the clutter
Have you heard of Marie Kondo, who believes we should eliminate anything from our lives that does not spark joy? This is very much the approach that you are going to take to sort through your business clutter. You need to ask yourself what needs to stay, what needs to change and what needs to go for you to be able to create the business you want – a business that is aligned with your lifestyle while allowing you to grow your revenue and attract more clients.
I go into this step in much more detail in the workbook introducing a tool called the Eisenhower Box to help you work out what is urgent in your business and what is not. This is a great way to prioritize, organize and schedule your tasks and actions as well as to help you eliminate the things that don’t matter.
This is how you simplify your business while still helping it to grow. Once you know what is urgent and important, you can better organize your time and what you focus your mind on, aligning everything with your goals and priorities.
This alignment is the key to building a successful portable business. It is all about making sure that your business is aligned with your lifestyle and your needs, allowing you to grow your revenue and client base while still being mindful of your own mental and physical health.
To learn more about how to ‘spring clean’ your business and how it can help you find more joy and ease, make sure to download the free workbook that supports this blog. You can find it here.