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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 15 Ways to Clean Up and Conquer Office Clutter

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 15 Ways to Clean Up and Conquer Office Clutter


    Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    What’s the coolest gadget (high OR low tech) you have to help you keep your office space organized?

    1. Paint the Town Chalk!

    Yael Cohen

      Our office is an inspiration cave. We can draw and write on every surface, from the white board to the conference table to the windows to the chalk walls. This allows us to not only go with the inspiration but also to visualize our projects and workload.

      Yael Cohen, Fuck Cancer

      2. No More Post-Its With Asana

        After my teams switched to Asana for project management, I noticed there were far less Post-It notes, scribbles and half-filled sheets of scratch paper lying around my office. Entering and organizing our tasks in Asana was easier, and it has also eliminated the digital clutter of separate task lists and the old mile-long to-do list.

        Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

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        3. Old-Fashioned Post-It Notes

          We use post-it notes as our teamwide “To-Do” list. We stick them on the wall in order to avoid clutter on our desks. We have a goal to pull the notes down every week after accomplishing big sales, operations and marketing goals!
          Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

          4. Move to the Cloud

          Louis Lautman

            Move everything to the cloud, so you don’t need any gadgets. If you look at your systems, it is highly probable that you can move many online, so you really don’t need an office. Today, there is more technology than ever that can handle an increasing amount of tasks. Begin to move your work to the cloud and lose the office altogether.
            Louis Lautman, Young Entrepreneur Society

            5. Work the Whiteboard

              We whiteboard everything. From projects to team assignments, presentations to goals and numbers. It is extremely powerful to see your messages in big, dry erase markers every time you walk through the office. It reminds you why you are there and what you need to be doing. That keeps myself and my whole team organized.
              Greg Rollett, The ProductPros

              6. Invest in IdeaPaint

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                We turned our walls into large whiteboards so that no matter where we are in the office, we can write just about anywhere. It comes in handy with the studio setup that we have, and creates a great creative visualization for us too.
                Ashley BodiBusiness Beware

                7. Keep It Simple With a Kamban

                  We’ve tried all kinds of online apps for organization, and our favorite tool ended up being a physical 3’x4′ Kamban board. It’s essentially a whiteboard sectioned off into four parts: to-do, in progress, done (waiting for approval) and icebox (ideas that we put “on ice” for later). We pin colored index cards to the board, and we move them from section to section as we progress.
                  Allie Siarto, Loudpixel

                  8. Mobile Office Grid

                    I use a product called Grid-It! by Cocoon to keep my “mobile office” organized. The Grid-It! is a board with a zipped storage compartment on one side and a mesh of elastic bands on the other. The compartment holds paperwork and discs, while the bands hold everything else (cables, gadgets, hard drives, etc). Simple concept, but it’s made my carry-on bag far more manageable.
                    Colin Wright, Exile Lifestyle

                    9. Adapt With Batteries

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                      I have a battery charger with a variety of different adapters. It allows me to plug most of the gadgets I carry around into it and recharge them. As an added bonus, I’m popular at conferences because I can always provide at least a little charge to anyone with a dying phone, giving us a chance to sit and chat.
                      Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

                      10. Rotating Paper File

                        David Allen’s GTD system recommends having a “tickler file.” Basically, this means that you have a file folder for each month and then a series of folders labeled 1 through 31. As paper material comes into your life, you put it in the correct day or, if it’s more than a month away, the folder of the correct month. This is a simple way to keep paper organized and accessible at the right time.
                        Elizabeth SaundersReal Life E®

                        11. Evernote for Everything

                          I scan everything into this program, then tag and sort it. It really takes away the need for me to have paper anywhere in my office. Also, whenever I need something, it is only a quick digital search away — even from my smartphone!
                          Justin Nowak, Mobile Business Advisors

                          12. Monitors and Mice

                          Lucas Sommer

                            To me, this is a no-brainer, but I make sure every person in my office has a second monitor and wireless mouse. Most people are unaware of how much faster they become with a mouse and second monitor, and I make sure everyone has that opportunity. Some people resist claiming that they “work better on their laptop trackpad.” Eventually, they realize.
                            Lucas Sommer, Audimated

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                            13. Keep the Cords Clean

                            Anderson Schoenrock

                              I have a henge dock for my MacBook Pro that keeps all my connectors organized and clean.
                              Anderson Schoenrock, ScanDigital

                              14. Cordies for Cables on the Table

                                The biggest source of office space disorganization is cords — they’re everywhere! Not only are tangled cables for computers a pain to look at, but they can also be a tripping hazard. Cordies — starting at just $9.99 — are available to help. Cordies, created by the cool crowdsourcing invention company Quirky, are design-friendly and effective in organizing stray cables.
                                Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                                15. There’s a Job Position for That

                                Brent Beshore

                                  A Director of Operations is the best way to keep a business organized. Startups are all about swift changes, and a human can help you adapt and keep pace with those changes a lot better than any single piece of technology can.
                                  Brent Beshore, AdVentures

                                  (Photo credit: Bad Day at Work via Shutterstock)

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                                  1 Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back 2 10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day 3 7 Most Difficult Languages In The World to Learn For English Speakers 4 7 Ways Learning a Language Will Make You a Better Person 5 8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months

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                                  Published on June 19, 2019

                                  Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back

                                  Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back
                                  Pause for a moment and think about how you would describe success.

                                  If your description is dominated by money or status, then your image of success is faulty.

                                  For example, there are countless people who have these assets but don’t feel successful. Some of these people have enormous amounts of disposable income, but work so many hours during the day that they have no life beyond their work.

                                  Would you regard these people as successful?

                                  At first glance, I likely wouldn’t.

                                  And, then there are the endless celebrities who go from fame to failure (think bankruptcy, addictions and worse).

                                  Are they successful?

                                  Probably not.

                                  In truth, success is about happiness and fulfillment in life.

                                  But, there is more than one definition of success. Just look at the above example of the person who worked too hard to spend their money. If they’re happy with their life, then we shouldn’t criticize their version of success.

                                  So how about you? Do you have a clear definition of what success looks like for you?

                                  If you don’t, you’ll be constantly chasing someone else’s idea of success, and could find yourself totally unfulfilled and miserable.

                                  The good news is that over the next few minutes, I’m going to give you the tools you need to build a crystal clear picture of YOUR SUCCESS.

                                  Positive Thinking

                                  With the right attitude, anything can seem possible.

                                  For instance, if you’re fed up with your job, but do nothing to change it, then you’ll likely be stuck there for years to come. But, if you see the job as a stepping stone to something bigger and better, then not only will you enjoy your work more, but you’ll have something positive to aim towards (e.g., a promotion or new job).

                                  The example above demonstrates a little-known factor of success… suffering!

                                  Yes, suffering may be a negative thing that most people go out of their way to avoid; but successful people use suffering as a springboard to big achievements. Mindset really does separate the losers from the winners.

                                  Another thing you can do, is to gradually build up your positivity and confidence by tracking your progress towards your goals. And, each time you accomplish something – however small – be sure to celebrate it!

                                  This is a great way to propel you towards success.

                                  The Purpose of a Purpose

                                  What is your purpose in life?

                                  These are questions I suggest you spend some time thinking about. To help you find the answers, consider the following:

                                  If you just seek a career, all you will find is a career.

                                  But, if you seek a purpose, you’ll find something much more than a career – you’ll find your calling. And when you’ve found this, and you begin following it, you’ll be firmly in the middle of the happiness, satisfaction and success zone.

                                  This is backed by science, with research showing that people who have a purpose and meaning in life have an increase in:[1]
                                  • Overall well-being
                                  • Mental and physical health
                                  • Resiliency
                                  • Self-esteem

                                  But, don’t mistake seeking happiness and success as your purpose. These things are a natural result of following your purpose – but shouldn’t be your focal point.

                                  Austrian Neurologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said it well:

                                  “It is the very pursuit of happiness, that thwarts happiness.”

                                  What about YOUR purpose?

                                  If you’re struggling to identify it, look for the things in your life that you’re good at, enthuse you, and provide a benefit to the world.

                                  Becoming a Better You

                                  Are your beliefs holding you back?

                                  If yes, here are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to break out of your mind trap:

                                  1. Boost Your Confidence: you can do this by overcoming challenges that come your way. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, face this challenge head-on by agreeing to do regular presentations for your company, or by joining a public speaking organization like Toastmasters International. Speak in public often enough, and your fear of it will plunge like a river going over a waterfall.
                                  2. Develop Healthy Habits: I’m talking about positive habits that will serve you day in, day out. Habits such as lifelong learning, eating well, and waking up early. When these things are automatic for you, you’ll reap incredible benefits from them. Take eating well, for example. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. And you’ll have way more energy to make things happen in your life.
                                  3. Invoke the Magic of Goal Setting: Without goals, you’ll drift through life like a plastic bottle in the sea. But with goals, you’ll be like a 100m sprinter running towards the finishing line. Goals really are powerful tools. They’ll direct your focus and energy, and will allow you to track your progress in life. I recommend the SMART goal-setting method (find out about this here).

                                  And, always remember… don’t compare yourself to others; only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

                                  Each step you take forward is making you a better version of you.

                                  Success Is Self-Love

                                  I encourage you to take the tips I’ve shared in this article and put them into action in your life. Ideally, starting right now!

                                  Firstly, transform your mindset by facing up to challenges and overcoming them. Then spend time to discover your purpose. And, once you’ve found it – start following it.

                                  Becoming a better version of you will take some time, but will be worth the wait. Not only will you reach into untapped potential in your life, but you’ll also develop respect and love for yourself along the way.

                                  So don’t let your beliefs hold you back anymore. BREAK FREE from them and start enjoying a happy, healthy and successful life.

                                  Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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