Organizational Habits

 What kind of organizational habits will help to keep your business on brand, on message, and converting clients? Jen Williams explains some great structures you can bring to your entrepreneurial venture. 

Building strong organizational habits is vital to making sure you are staying on brand, on message, and converting clients.

If you are not implementing organizational habits you could be running around not knowing the next task to take care of. Even worse, not knowing if the actions you’re taking are working toward your bigger goals or if you’re staying on brand and getting a consistent message.

Ever have a work day where you are busy the entire day, yet you didn’t get anything accomplished??

The organizational habit I want to talk about today is content dumping. At first this may not seem like an organizational habit but getting into the routine of creating content dumps can really help you focus on content creation that is on brand. It helps by decluttering your mind and not being so focused on 20 different tasks and 20 different projects all the same time.

Instead you’re able to focus just on the one thing in front you, the one to content creation that you’re trying to master.

So what is a content dump?

A content dump is when you sit down and you open up a blank notepad and you literally get anything and everything that is stuck in your head out on paper.

For some people this will look like a bullet point list, for others it’s in paragraph form. For me it’s just a jumble of words all across my pages.  Sometimes I will make them pretty in cursive, but most often it’s just dumping it onto the page.

What is included in the content dump?

Anything that is sitting in your head to take care of, you want to get out onto paper. It can be all future content ideas you have, anything on your to do list, big projects, goals and more. Even if it’s just a matter of listing all the clients are currently working on, anything that's in your head taking up space. These are things making you lose focus in the moment.

It might even be ideas you have organized somewhere else. Maybe you have a nice CRM that lists all your clients, but are feeling overwhelmed with work.  The content dump is just what is on your mind and what you need to get out so you can be productive. The repetitive the act of getting it out of your mind and writing it down is what’s going to help you.

What’s really awesome about the content dump technique is that there’s no structure to it. There is no right or wrong, there’s no rules to certain formatting. It  is literally just taking a piece paper and dumping it all out on your thoughts, anything is clogging up your mind. Anything that’s stopping you from being organized.

How is a content dump an organization habit?

Where this becomes an organizational habit is when you start scheduling in your content dumps. Now for me that’s once a day. Every single morning I will wake up, pull out my notebook, and will list everything that’s on my mind. After that I make my to do list and focus for the day.

Your content dumping schedule can look like anything. It can be once a month, multiple times a day, or whatever you need. Whatever your stress level, whatever your organization needs will determine how often to schedule them.

Start with once a day and see how much they help and how often to repeat.  

Having time to do this scheduled into your day can offer to multiple benefits. If you know it’s coming and start to stress about anything, you compartmentalize that stress knowing you have time later to handle it. You can let it go right now.

It also offers the benefit of being able to schedule time create content right after the content dump. If I am crazy stressed about 20 client projects I currently have lined up,  and I can’t stop thinking about them,  I don’t try to write a blog post about being organized.  The content will be awful. However, if I stop and do a content dump, my mind is now clear.  I feel organized and ready to tackle the content creation better.

What to do with the notes you make?

After you’ve done your content up and you have multiple pages full of all these random notes, what you do next is get organized.  Go through your content dump notes and sort everything into two categories.  items for your to do list and items that you need to go through put elsewhere.

I usually use the tactic to circle everything that needs to go on my to do list and highlight everything else that needs to be addressed.

There’s probably going to be a lot of items on this list that you don’t need to do anything with. If you’re anything like myself, sometimes I just get overwhelmed and need to write everything down. It might be a task I need to do anything with because I already have the item on another to do list or my editorial calendar. In this case just cross these items off.

The act of writing them down is what helps, it’s completely fine to write it down just to cross it off or throw it away. It’s been proven that the more times we write something out,  the better we’re going to remember it.

Immediately after a content dump, sit down and sort the items. Don’t put this off. You don’t want this exercise to become another thing to take care of later.

Whatever planning system you currently use, take the items that you put on the content dump that need to be added to your to do list, and add those.

Any content that needs to be organized, maybe it’s a new project you had sketched out during your content dump, go ahead and create that list using your preferred tool. Whether you use Trello boards, Asana boards or paper. Whatever you use to stay organized, go ahead and stop and create that organized list.

Content dumps have no rules, so use them for what works best for you. Get all those reminds off your mind and have a more focussed work session. However you decide to implement them into your day just remember to schedule in time for a content dump.