Gain: Clarity and Focus To Improve Your Business in 2019

The start of the year is ideal to  reflect on the past year and decide what has worked and what can be  improve.  It  is a time when to sort through all the note books filled with scribbled ideas or tips, gained from talking with my connections or speakers who have shared insights at the events I have either organised or attended.

I was visiting Adelaide with Leigh to attend a Conference when I first met  Aerlie Wildy , a business designer. business coach and mother based in the Adelaide Hills, specialising in designing and systemising business for growth.

Recently Aerlie shared a blog that I just have to share with you. as our first YTM event on 22nd January has insight on how to gain clarity and focus for 2019 and Aerlie’s tips here are sure to resonate with many of you as you focus on decluttering your business and make space for 2019.  I have taken out the key points but you can read the entire blog on Aerlie’s website and sign up for some other useful material- link below . we also have a full day Planning workshop coming up to help you take action this year.

 Firstly Aerlie  recommends that you do this in conjunction with your 2019 planning and as we havbe a full day planning workshop coming up it is a good time to give some thought here too. .

How to decide what to declutter

Once you know what you’re aiming for, you will be able to make key decisions about what stays and what goes.  Aerlie writes-

Quick pointers on making those decisions:

·         Does it match my current branding

·         Did I open this in the last 6 months

·         Was this helpful?

·         Did this sell?

·         Was this really easy to use?

 Pick the one thing that will have the biggest impact for you and work on that first.


The Foundation of Staying Organised

 Create 2018 folders, and move everything that is no longer required into them.


Why is decluttering important?

We work more effectively and efficiently when there is clarity. It’s that simple.

With less goals, fewer priorities, products, tasks – we are simply more focussed, clearer, on message, and more productive.

We all know what it’s like to be spread so thin that there’s just not enough time to get everything done, let alone do it well.


Aerlie has shared 30 Ways to Declutter your Business for 2019

One of the biggest obstacles to growing a business is having STUFF everywhere (Unless you get organised, this will not change!)

 This list is separated into 5 categories: Decluttering yourself, digital decluttering, marketing decluttering, processes, and finally social media.

 Part 1 focuses on untangling yourself, so that you can stay focussed, manage bright shiny object syndrome, and be productive is essential to be able to grow and scale your business.

1 Declutter your brain

2 Declutter your calendar -
Do you have reminders, notifications and appointments in your calendar that just aren’t relevant any more? It’s time for them to go.
3 Declutter your desk -
Clear your desk by filing, ditching, and decluttering anything that’s floating, or has lost its potency, because you see it every day.
It’s also time to unpin everything from your cork board ready to reflect your new vision and WORD for 2019.
4 Declutter your goals -
If you have goals on your list that STILL haven’t been achieved, then step back and take time out to get some perspective.
Aim for fewer goals – you are much more likely to achieve them, because you can focus on one well instead of setting yourself up for failure.
5 Declutter your special projects and commitments
Keep your spare time simple – you need to treasure it and keep it safe so that you can recharge!

Part 2: Reducing Information Overload

Fun Fact: Your brain can only carry 6 key pieces of information in it at one time before it starts fatiguing, and not working at it’s best..
Any more than that, and it will struggle – and this looks like getting distracted, getting tired, not listening well – your brain working overtime.

6 Declutter your To Do lists and sticky notes
t’s time to consolidate and declutter. One place for everything will save you brain space, and help you remember where everything is.

7 Declutter your Notebooks

If you use notebooks, then go through them when they’re full, and scan the ideas worth keeping into Evernote. Then you have them on hand, digital – available on any device. 

8 Declutter your computer desktop

If you can’t see the background image on your desktop, then its time for a declutter. Create some folders and subfolders, and give all of these files a home.

9 Declutter your apps

Check out how many apps you have on your phone, laptop AND tablet that you don’t use and delete them. If you haven’t used them for over 3 months then hit delete.

10 Declutter your Inbox

If your Inbox is a source of stress, because there are SO many emails banking up, then it’s time to clear some out.I know how hard it can be to find the time to tackle this. Who has a spare couple of hours to delete emails

11 Declutter your newsletter subscriptions

Here’s a general rule of thumb: If you haven’t opened any newsletters from an entrepreneur or shop, then unsubscribe.

Chances are you subscribed because of FOMO or wanting to have the information ‘just in case’, so switch to a ‘need it now’ subscribing strategy, and ONLY subscribe to newsletters when there is information relating to them that you need now.

The information will still be there later, when you need it – but you’re keep your Inbox clean and clear.

12 Declutter your Downloads Folder

Saving all of your downloads into your downloads is a recipe for chaos and clutter – and it means that there isn’t a home for it, so it all get’s bundled into the same folder.

All fine, until there are hundreds of files, photos, jpgs, pngs, pdfs that you have to sift through every time you need to find a file.

13 Declutter your browser tabs

OK – how many weeks have you had some of the tabs open in your browser?
Have you opened it again, or are you just keeping it there ‘in case’ you need it, or because it had something in there you liked?

14 Declutter your Files
Chances are there are files you downloaded from a newsletter subscription that you don’t need, and possibly hanging around in your Downloads Folder. Anything that you haven’t opened or used can go.or the 3 basket strategy (Bin/donate, Keep, and ‘not sure, so keep for 3-6 months’).

If you move items into the ’not sure’ folder and haven’t touched them in 3-6 months, you know what to do.

15 Declutter your Social Media images

I don’t know about you, but as the year ends, I’ve noticed that my branding has had a few tweaks, and there are definitely some social media images that are now out of date. Some have fonts that I don’t like any more, some have branding elements like borders etc that look out of place.


Part 3: Marketing and Business Declutter

Being an entrepreneur is often about experimenting and trying new things and new strategies. Some work, some crash and burn. If they’re not resonating with your target market, then it might be time to declutter them.

16 Declutter your email lists

I moved over to ConvertKit earlier this year from Mailchimp, and I have to say part of the reason was because I had too many lists, and it was cluttered. I felt like I was doubling up and tangled up, so if you can relate to this, and know exactly what I mean, then take some time out to declutter your lists so that you can get to know your exact numbers.

17 Declutter your opt-ins

I have a tonne of opt-ins. I happily create them, but between opt-ins, content upgrades, planners, webinars, challenges – there’s a lot going on.

18 Declutter your funnels
This option may only appeal to some, but to put it simply, if you have funnels that aren’t serving you any longer, cull them.
The ‘KISS’ method (and a good old declutter) has really helped my list grow since, because I’m more targeted, but I’m more in tune with my message because there’s less choice. This is definitely a case where less is better.

19 Declutter your products

Too many funnels may be caused by having too many products!
It’s exhausting having to promote ‘all the things’ (unless you have this all beautifully automated and set up as evergreen – which is actually not a ‘set and forget’ system).

The new year is definitely the perfect time to take stock of what’s bringing you income, what’s resonating with your customers, what’s getting you the best results for your clients – AND what’s not.

20 Declutter your marketing collateral

So once you’ve decluttered your products, and are left with those that actually get results for you and your clients, you can put to bed all of the
– sales pages
– FB Ads
– landing pages
– web pages
– online courses
– content upgrades
– the email sequences
that you no longer requireYou can choose to retain the copy that you wrote, by saving them into Evernote, or just turning them off, and checking that there are no links back them.

Side Note: This is by no means a small 10 minute task. If you do this, you might like to get some help from a VA to help keep your time focussed.

21 Declutter your blog posts

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you will have some awesome stats on Google Analytics about which are your most popular blog posts.

They are the ones you need to keep.I’ve recently been going through old blog posts that have OK content, but need a swanky (SEO) new title, some backlinks (now that I have more) and up to date branded images.

There is some gold in my blog, but no one sees it, so this is a great opportunity to decide what is really good, and what isn’t really in line with my message any more.

Part 4: Your systems and processes

A good system is one that also works when you’re under pressure.

If you have systems with a million steps in it – chances are you’ve dumped it for something easier OR you were too busy and ended up doing it all yourself, despite the fact that you developed the steps so that you could outsource it.

Do you have any systems within your business operations that sound like that?

Then it’s time to review them and simplify. You (or your VA) just has to get the task done – it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Here are some systems and processes that might need a declutter to make them streamlined and actually support you to make life easier.

22 Declutter your client onboarding process

Yes – by all means make it as easy as possible for your clients to work with you, but if you have too many options, too many links, backwards and forwards appointment booking cluttering up your emails, and a payment system that relies on you being available to create and send an invoice, payable by bank transfer only, then you may lose a client or two, because they’re exhausted before they start.

By decluttering your onboarding process, you are focusing on as few steps as possible between a client saying YES, and them being booked in and paid.

23 Declutter your stats tracking

Make a list of the stats you really want to track, and reduce your list so that this is realistic for you (or that the process is simple enough for a VA to do it for you).

Bonus points if you set up your spreadsheet for 2019 at the same time!

24 Declutter your paid subscriptions

Do you know how many annual or monthly subscriptions you have?
Do you know how much they total every month?
Do you use every single one of them and they all help your business?

Ask yourself these questions to check in on whether you can save some money on a monthly subscription (or two).Often we forget which one’s we sign up to, especially if they do that sneaky thing where they roll it over to the next year without notifying you (until you receive the tax invoice in your Inbox and freak out!)

Part 5: Social Media

Social media is a major source of information overload. Take some time out to actively decide where you want to hang out, and pull back from those you don’t.

You will spread your wings again as the year goes on, but if I start from a smaller place,

25 Declutter your Facebook Groups

Plan to be

  • effective when posting

  • reduce notifications

  • reduce the amount of time on  Facebook

  • declutter my Facebook group membership.

26 Declutter your LinkedIn Groups

Make sure you declutter yours so that your message and your time are spent well.

27 Declutter your MeetUps

If you signed up to loads of MeetUps that interested you when you first registered, but haven’t managed to get to many others, or had time to unregister, January might be the time!

28 Declutter your Instagram Hashtags

You can only have 30 right?
Here’s a question – are you using the best ones, or do you need to let some go, and do some research for new ones?

There are always new up and coming hashtags to be found. You might pick up some new followers too!

29 Declutter your Youtube Channel, and subscriptions

Did you know you can make playlists out of your your Youtube videos?
You can sort all of your videos in the channels and customise the experience for any one who’s binging on your videos.

30 Declutter your Podcast subscriptions

If there are podcast subscriptions that you just don’t listen to anymore, then unsubscribe and clear space for the new awesome podcasts that will be launched in 2019. Whilst there will always be more podcasts, there will only be the same amount of time to listen! “

 Read Aerlie wildy’s the blog in full HERE

I am sure you will have found some GOLD in these tips. I can only imagine how much more focussed I will be without all of my clutter. I hope January, goes on for a few weeks more as I chip away at this list. Thank you Aerlie… your helpful insights will definitley make a difference in 2019.


Kerryn PowellComment