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Blog: The Organized Entrepreneur
Get Organized with the Spurs

I prepared this article for the San Antonio chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners this week and decided to post it on the blog to share a little local flavor with our readers throughout the country.
Get Organized With the Spurs!
Shana M. Prichard, MBA
Founder and CEO, realign, llc
Organizing strategies are critical to the success of any group large or small, corporation or sports team, national or local.  Like people, groups come in all shapes, sizes and personalities and there is rarely a "one size fits all" solution that will work for everyone.  The world-class Spurs are winners who recognize the value of organization and never hit the court without a plan.  Similarly, world class companies share a culture of order and efficiency based on five key elements or "spurs".
S Set aside time for organizing
P Plan
U Uncluttered, ergonomic workspace
R Retrieval (aka Filing) system
S Structure for time, task and data management
Set Aside Time for Organizing
The best organizing strategies in the world are worthless unless time is set aside on a daily basis to maintain them.  In order to stay organized, documents must be filed, priorities must be analyzed and to-do lists must be reviewed on an ongoing basis.  Items requiring daily attention include your calendar, desktop and in-box.  General filing should be done at least once a week.  Resource files and desk drawers should be cleaned out on a quarterly basis while archives need to be reviewed and purged annually.  Some managers reinforce the value of staying organized by allocating the last two hours of the workday on Fridays for completing administrative details and planning for the week ahead.
A well-written business plan defines short-term and long-term goals and objectives for an organization.  Armed with this information, managers and employees have a useful framework for making decisions regarding the allocation of resources such as time, space and capital.  At realign, llc, we encourage our clients to begin each morning with a "Top 3 List" of things that must be done that day.  This list, which should support their overall goals, provides an anchor for times when business degenerates into "busy-ness". 
Uncluttered Workspace
Whether you are organizing a corporate office or a home workspace, an uncluttered environment will increase productivity.  There should be room to breathe and think.  Leave space for new ideas.  Clutter saps our energy and stifles creativity.  Time is wasted looking for papers lost in stacks and supplies hidden under other items.
Retrieval (aka Filing) System
Filing has no intrinsic value.  It only matters when you need to retrieve a document at a later date.  Whether you are designing a new filing system or simply deciding how to categorize a certain item, begin with the end in mind.  Consider when and why you would need to retrieve the document.  Where would you expect to find it?  Broad categories beginning with nouns form the basis of an effective filing system.  A destruction date penciled in the upper right corner of each document will facilitate routine purging and prevent overcrowding in your file cabinets.  The ideal retrieval system shares the same structure as the electronic filing system. 
Structure for Time, Task and Data Management
The most basic organizing principle a place for everything, and everything in its place can be applied to time, task and data management.  In a multi-person office, a good system is strong enough to provide a uniform structure for all employees, but not so rigid that it limits individual creativity.  Examples of simple, yet beneficial, systems include published document retention schedules, a standard file tree for all employees to use in storing electronic files, and routinely scheduled employee meetings to review the status of key projects.   
Organization, in and of itself, has little intrinsic value.  What matters is the increase in productivity and profitability that occurs in a well-organized environment.  Individuals can see great benefit from adding structure and order to their daily lives.  When a company implements systems carefully designed to promote order and efficiency throughout the organization, astounding results are achieved.

posted on: 3/29/2008 8:30:00 AM by Shana Prichard
category: Business

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The Organized Entrepreneur

by Shana Prichard

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About Shana:

Shana M. Prichard, MBA owns realign, llc, a professional organizing firm. realign, llc provides small business organizing services including filing system design/implementation, desk and time management and QuickBooks set up and training. realign, llc also provides home-office organizing services to individuals.

Shana's Website:


What I'm Reading . . .

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    This book really got me excited about pursuing my goals and growing my business. There is a heavier emphasis on materialism than what I am comfortable with, but overall this is an inspiring book.
  • "The Organized Executive", by Stephanie Winston
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