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One of most important things you can do to be a better business owner is to eliminate clutter from your life – specifically, your work area.
Many martial arts school owners have an office in our homes where we have a computer and all our student information stored. If you are a small school, you run everything from there.
So go to your office and look around. Are there several stacks of various papers laying around? One with student info, one with bills, one with books and magazines you want to read, one or two or every three “to do” stacks? Phone messages with partial information on them strewn across the desk or posted to the edge of the computer?
Clutter Creates Negative Energy
Imagine this scenario. You wake up with great energy. You have a quick drink of water then work out for 30 minutes or go for your morning run. Then shower and breakfast, then off to your office.
When you walk into your office and it is a mess your mind immediately says, “Ug!” and does not want to enter with you. You already have an up hill battle before you even sit down. You find it difficult to concentrate on any specific task. In fact, you may not even get to a task. It may be so overwhelming that you give up before you even start.
This draining feeling leads you to doing time wasting things like check email, Facebook or playing solitaire.
As a martial arts business owner, you are the one who has to make sure everything gets done. One of the hardest jobs is creative thinking – finding new ways to market your school and build relationships with your students. You can’t do that in a negative environment and having a messy office is exactly that.
If your office is clean and organized several things happen. First, the energy in the room is totally different. It does not weigh you done. It opens you up to clearer thinking. It allows you to focus on those things that are important – working ON your school and accomplishing your daily goals.
Second, by having a clean space to work in it allows you no excuses. You have no distractions to side track you from getting things done.
Third, you can quickly and easily find things when you want them. This cuts down on wasting time. It also cuts down on negative energy building up through frustration when you don’t have to hunt everywhere to find things.
8 Ways to Eliminate Clutter
There are several things you can do to keep clutter from building up. The problem is that in order for them to be useful you have to practice what you preach. You have to have discipline if you want to be better at running your martial arts business.
Use a software tool to keep track of phone calls. There are tons of contact management systems available today. Find one you like and use it. Every time someone calls and you need to record the call put it in the system NOT on a piece of paper.
Have a file where you put bills. This does two things. One, it gets them to a single place where you know they are and it gets them off your desk and out of sight so you can focus on income rather than outgo.
Handle papers only twice. The first handling is the intake and placement of them until you are ready to handle them. Then leave them alone until you are ready to completely deal with that item.
Create a system for making lists. Again, there are software tools or you can have one – and only one – piece of paper where you list things to do, errands to run, phone calls, etc.
Do not allow yourself to start your day with any time wasting activities. They suck your energy faster than anything else. One thing can easily lead to 10 more and you’ve done nothing productive the entire day. Instead, the first thing should be some creative activity like planning a marketing campaign or other task that is working ON your martial arts school business.
Get rid of things you don’t want. Remove anything that is just taking up space. Give it away to your students, your local thrift store, stick it on the curb and mark it free or just toss it out. If you no longer need or want it then let it go.
Take a lesson from childhood – put things back where they belong. When you take out a book to reference something put it back on the shelf rather than toss it on the edge of your desk.
File things. Have a filing system to store everything – office supplies, bills, receipts, books and magazines, everything. If you have a place to put things then as they come in you can put them there rather than leave them lying about cluttering up your work space.
By eliminating all the clutter in your office, you become more efficient and more productive. You keep positive energy with you and you can focus your energy on the important tasks of martial arts business management – growing your school, retaining your students, and getting more value from them.
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