I am an enormous fan of simplicity.
So much of the anxiety and stress we experience throughout our lives comes about because our world has become a busy, cluttered and complicated place.
As human beings we have created a world where options are boundless, where travel is easy and where we are always connected. It is amazing in so many glorious ways.
But it also means that life has become full.
We do more, we work more, we own more, we are bombarded with information left, right and centre and we strive for the next goal without considering how the journey is really going to make us feel.
And as introverts, all these options, ‘to-do’ lists and mountains of clutter that scream for our attention can be completely exhausting.
Our minds simply can’t cope with so many distractions, pressures, or expectations. And so we can become over-stimulated, overwhelmed, tired and fed up.
I believe that simplifying and decluttering your business is hugely important in ensuring you find the space you need to reflect and re-energise.
It’s about carefully managing and simplifying those activities that take up your time, taking action to ensure your mind isn’t distracted by clutter, and being able to sit back, reflect on the world around you and feel calm, energised and at ease.
There are tons of ways that you can simplify your business and create more space in your schedule and below I have listed 7 of my favourite tips to help you do just that.
1. Declutter your work space
When you look around your place of work do you see beauty, simplicity and tools to help you do what you love? Or do you see clutter, meaningless objects, mountains of paperwork and tools that have seen better days?
When it comes to creating space in your business the physical space you inhabit can be the perfect place to start. Working in an overly cluttered space is unlikely to nurture your creativity, so ditch the unnecessary clutter and instead create a space that feels clean, calm and inspiring.
2. Switch off notifications
If your phone beeps every time someone sends you a Facebook message then my guess is that you are also someone who keeps their emails open all day. For me, this is a huge no-no. With enormous amounts of information crying out for our attention, one of the biggest changes you can make to how you spend your time is to take control of how that information reaches you. Yes, emails are important. But by having them open all the time they can easily take over.
Try switching off all notifications from your devices and only logging in once or twice a day when it’s the right time for you. Just this one change alone can have an enormous impact on how you spend your time.
3. Get automating
These days you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself. Thanks to the wonders of the internet (and a bunch of very clever techy wizzes!) there are some incredibly useful tools out there that will automatically do some of the work for you thus clearing it from your own ‘to do’ list.
A few that I love include E-junkie which automatically delivers E-books and online courses to your buyers, Freshbooks which can help with your invoicing, and WordPress Backup to Dropbox which automatically backs up your WordPress website files.
4. Provide information upfront
Whatever service or products you sell there will inevitably be queries that crop up again and again. To minimise the amount of emails you end up responding to, supplying the important information upfront on your website can alleviate the amount of mail you receive and will also save your potential buyers from having to contact you in the first place.
A simple FAQ section on your website can do the trick. Be as transparent as possible and you’ll save many of those back and forth conversations which can soon drain your energy.
5. Bundle tasks together
Having ittybitty admin tasks that crop up here, there and everywhere can soon sponge up your precious hours and leave you short on time to focus on the core of your business.
A great way to stop these little odd jobs taking over is to bundle tasks together. I personally have an end of month task list which I work through on the last 2 or 3 of days of every month. During this time I update my accounts, schedule social media posts for the following month, file things away and deal with any odd admin jobs that need my attention. By creating a scheduled time for doing this type of work it leaves the rest of the month free for the main core of my work (and also gives me time and space to breathe, reflect and get creative).
6. Get some help
Just because it’s your business doesn’t mean you have to do it all. Outsourcing tasks to other people can be a wonderful way to get rid of some of the jobs which aren’t necessarily the best use of your time.
There are lots of amazing Virtual Assistants out there who can help you with anything and everything. From managing your accounts to marketing your business to answering your phone calls. Whatever you need a hand with, there will always be someone out there who can help.
7. Simplify the rest of your life
Running a business takes time and effort. Even with the best resources and tools in place, there will be times when your work seeps into other areas of your life. To minimise the amount you have to think about at any one time it can be really beneficial to create daily and weekly habits to build simplicity into the rest of your life.
For example, from Monday to Friday I cook the same dinners each week. It means that come the end of the day when I’m feeling tired, I don’t have to think too much about what to cook. By minimising the options, I’m giving my brain a rest and allowing myself some time to just be. If ever you feel overwhelmed, take some time to consider how you can simplify things down and minimise the options – your mind will be thankful!
OVER TO YOU…
What do you think of this post? Do you have any other tips for how you can simplify your business and create space in your schedule? If so, leave a comment below!
PS: Want to learn how to build and run your business while honouring your introversion? Check out The Quiet Way.