I have always been a “piles” kind of person. My papers rarely ï¬nd themselves alone, but rather stacked together with other papers that may or may not have any obvious connection to one another…except to me. Albeit strange, I can typically remember where and why things are stacked together, and if I am looking for something in particular, I can usually remember where it is. Usually.
You can see how this method can quickly become problematic in a business…especially in a business that you operate with someone else…acutely so, when that someone else is your wife. Suddenly my piles of receipts, orders, sales plans, and everything else aren’t nearly as effective piled together on my desk. So I am working on getting organized…in a standard sense. Expense Reports are completed monthly, current projects are properly labeled with Clients’ names, and then ï¬led alphabetically. Someone else could actually go through my ï¬le cabinets and it would be obvious why something is where it is.
(warning: they use the f word once.)
In going through this process though, I realized it was not just with papers that I was piling things up, but that I also kept mental inventory this way. Tasks, conversation, and memories all get piled up into their “appropriate” group and mentally stored. Suddenly, looking at the papers strewn across my desk I became fearful of the ideas strewn across my mind. I had been mentally ï¬ling much of my thoughts and action points for our business rather than writing them down. Rather than creating a task or check list to see what needs to be done and in what order, I operated off advice and conversation and what information could be recalled when prompted. Although the goal of officially launching was never hard to pull up, I had a lot of sub-folders.
Anxious about what was lurking around in my head, Kendi and I sat down together with a pen and paper. Together we talked through the ideas that had not yet been verbalized or put into our plan of action. We both emptied out what we knew, what we hoped for, and how we were going to make it a reality. And then we started a list. In order of priority, we listed all the things that we knew needed to be taken care of in order to launch. And when it was done, I was actually surprised that it was much shorter than I had anticipated. Now ideas that might be walking around in my head or accidentally get placed into the wrong mental folder were written in order in front of me. All I had to do was start on number one.
Since then, I also discovered www.teuxdeux.com which has been a lifesaver for mental notes to be keyed in immediately. While I never think I will lose the process and tendency of piling my thoughts and papers, I have found a new satisfaction of crossing off completed steps, one at a time.