It may be too simplistic to say that business leaders have to be organized to maximize success. As leaders juggle a number of balls and wear the many hats of the entrepreneur, it’s easy to get sidetracked or miss something. Many leaders are quick on their feet and highly creative. It might seem like a waste of time to stop and organize their processes, or to ensure that their organizational example is being followed. However, these facets can be crucial elements to harnessing overall success in any industry.
The “Why” Of Organizational Leadership
When leaders are organized, they are much more productive and able to react to anything that comes up. Being organized doesn’t mean you need to lose agility or flexibility. In fact, being truly organized makes it easier to be agile without dropping balls—if something comes up, you know what shifting your schedule really means across the board. Rather than missing something by mistake, being organized allows you to make the most informed decisions, prioritizing your schedule as needed.
A leader should have certain qualities that set the tone for the business. Some of these qualities and practices include:
- Arriving early for everything
- Responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner
- Flexibility in focus
- Awareness of daily schedule
- Remaining involved with finances
You need to know where you stand. The only way to truly be an effective leader is if you are plugged in. People are looking to you for the answers and trusting you to be thoughtful in your methods. Some entrepreneurs find the ideation part of business thrilling, while they find sorting the details mundane. However, the details are where you will really set yourself apart as a business leader.
If you fail to pursue organizational skills as a leader, you can really hurt your professional success. Your partners and stakeholders will view your lack of organization as a threat to your company. All it takes is one mistake due to a careless approach or lack of organization, and your partners or investors will lose confidence. Mistakes and missteps happen, but they should never happen because you refused to prepare.
Choose One Focus
Multi-tasking is a myth for many leaders. To be effective, you need to focus on one thing at a time. A huge benefit of being organized is that you can see which priorities are most important and time-sensitive. You can fully focus on one task at a time, giving it your full attention until it is completed.
Pick one focus per active consideration. If you accomplish that one goal, then you can start another one. By only choosing one focus, you completely put that priority above all others. It doesn’t mean you won’t get anything else done, but it does mean you can mitigate potential mistakes resulting from distraction that will require additional attention in the long-run.
Practice Self-Reflection and Mindfulness
Sometimes, we brush aside important moments of quiet because we feel too rushed and pressured to be productive. This can be a monumental mistake. The quiet times of reflection can spark our best ideas. They can also be times when we find ourselves refueled on a mental level. Leaders, busy entrepreneurs, and stressed employees are highly encouraged to pause for an hour every day to think in a quiet space.
If possible, turn off your phone, emails, internet, social media, TV, news and music. Complete silence. It can be a little uncomfortable at first, but it’s worth it. You don’t need to follow a guided meditation. Just focus on your successes, failures and professional goals. An hour can be a very long time at first, so you might start with 20 minutes each day and work your way up to an hour within the month.
Choose a Helpful Organizational Software
There are many tools to help with staying organized in your business and personal life. Asana is a particularly useful organizational tool that can help you stay connected with your team, track tasks, and accomplish items in real-time. Organizational apps, in general, make everything more streamlined and help to manage time more efficiently. Choose a software tool to help you delegate, so you aren’t trying to manage small tasks that could be done by someone else. Leveraging technology to remain organized is a great way to relieve some of the stress associated with attempting to organize your day, analog-style.
Take Notes and Revisit Ideas
Whether you hear a good idea in a meeting or think of something over a lunch break, jot it down. Many successful leaders keep track of ideas without getting sidetracked by utilizing tech-based applications, or even pen and paper. By writing down your ideas, you have the opportunity to revisit them later (maybe during your hour of self-reflection). It is so important to capture your thoughts without losing focus. Being organized in this way allows you to be fully in the moment and hold on to those important moments of inspiration.