The beginning of a new year often signifies many things: a fresh start, a renewed sense of motivation, and everyone scratching their heads about how the prior year managed to slip away so quickly. For many businesses, it’s also a time to contemplate the most effective strategies for a successful year ahead. So, what rituals can you adopt to ensure productivity and profitability are at the forefront this year?
According to Kylie Thorley of The Spacious Life, a clear and organised workspace is crucial to setting goals for the upcoming year.
“Clutter can significantly impact productivity and profitability,” explains Kylie, who helps business owners and individuals with decluttering their space.
“A disorganised workspace leads to extra distractions, increased stress, and wasted time searching for things you need.
“When we are working in a simplified and organised environment, we naturally become more focused, efficient and the overall environment feels a lot lighter and more enjoyable to be in.”
While clutter can adversely affect the workplace, Kylie says a few simple changes can ensure smoother day-to-day operations, making it a worthwhile investment for the year ahead.
“When you declutter in a business setting there are multiple financial benefits to be gained, both from a cost-cutting point of view and an increase in revenue due to improved staff productivity,” says Kylie.
“It’s all about starting with the small steps, like implementing basic organisation systems, such as assigning designated homes for regularly used items, utilising digital tools where possible, and establishing a regular decluttering routine.
“This could be scheduled for 20 minutes each Friday before everyone leaves the office for the weekend. Include a digital declutter as well, to ensure everything is ready for the coming week.
“By choosing to start the year with a declutter and refresh of your workplace, you will be creating a more positive work environment, and pave the way towards being able to set some clear goals for the new year.”
The advantages of goal setting, particularly in the new year, are widely known and put into practice.
However, Jan Bode from Fresh Eyes Financial Coaching says one of the most common pitfalls she sees during this time is businesses’ goals not aligning with their budget.
“Setting business or personal goals and an action plan to achieve them is good at any time of year, but a natural time is after a break or a stop in activity such as those lucky enough to have a Christmas break,” explains Jan.
“Set time aside; lock out time in the calendar and take yourself away. The goal is uninterrupted thinking time. But it is crucial to make sure your goals align with your budget, which can be achieved by ensuring they are as detailed and specific as possible.
“For instance, if you have a high revenue target in your budget, but one of your goals is to cut back on work so you have a better work/life balance, then there is going to be some give and take. Not saying it is unachievable, but you need to map out the steps of what work/life balance means to you, and what you’re willing to give up in achieving this.
“Success is more achievable when business owners are actually super honest with themselves about what they really need.”
Jan says that goal setting shouldn’t be limited to the new year but should occur regularly. She recommends setting time aside every quarter and month for a review, noting this as fundamental in achieving success.
“Do not throw your budget and goals over your shoulder as if it’s ‘all done’ and walk away. Keep accountable to yourself. You will likely be surprised at what you are capable of,” adds Jan.
“Have a tracking system to keep yourself accountable on both the metrics you are going to change and the result you are aiming to achieve. Tracking systems don’t have to be expensive; it can be a simple Word document or an Excel spreadsheet.
“At the end of the day, consistency, honesty and accountability really are the key to a successful year ahead.”
Kylie Thorley – The Spacious Life
Jan Bode – Fresh Eyes Financial Coaching
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