By Donna Torres, Director of Small Business at Xero
It’s official, Spring is finally here – the days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer, and that means we’re all starting to get our mental energy, motivation and mojo back.
But it also means spring cleaning: tidying up the study you’ve started to use as an all-purpose junk room, getting that disused lawnmower out of the loft and taking it to the dump, and generally taking the messy and making it orderly. It’s a useful process: you increase your productivity, feel less stressed, and ultimately end up happier and healthier.
It’s good for you and it’s good for your business. Reviewing your processes and systems every so often, clearing out those that don’t serve a purpose and replacing them with some that do, is essential. When we do it, we take inspiration from Marie Kondo, who you might know from her Netflix series or book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which contains some advice for tidying up and changing your life.
A messy work environment leads to a messy mind. It stresses us out, it makes us less productive and effective and it pushes our goals a little further out of reach.
So how can you channel the spirit of Marie Kondo to spring clean your business?
Ask yourself – does your IT infrastructure spark joy?
The first stage is sorting. Go through your IT infrastructure and see which files and programmes are necessary and which aren’t. Which pieces of bloatware didn’t get deleted off your systems? What tools are you holding on to that you don’t particularly need?
When you find out, say goodbye and don’t look back. If it’s eating up time and resources, it’s not worth keeping.
Get on cloud nine
Marie Kondo believes you should contain everything so that it’s visible within a single drawer or wardrobe. Think of the cloud like visible storage: a means of gaining simple, real-time access to data across the entire span of your organisation.
Think about your existing apps and IT infrastructure. What can you migrate, adapt or remove entirely? If it can be taken to the cloud with minimal fuss, it should be. When our information is in the cloud, we don’t have to worry about lost data, accessibility, or whether it was saved or not. This reduces stress and increases tidiness.
See the bigger picture
Cleaning can be tiring and laborious, but doing it will make you feel much better: the clutter is removed, the mess is tidied and you can finally see things clearly. This will help you make better business decisions.
So, think about what clutters up your day and what keeps you from bringing tasks to fruition. Think timelines: what big-picture actions need to be achieved and what do you want for your business?
Then give yourself specific milestones for achieving them. Cloud accounting makes it really easy to see what position your business is in and to constantly assess how far away you are from reaching your goals so make the most of it.
Declutter your accounting systems
A business owner inevitably has a lot to deal with on a day to day basis – so think about how to clean up your accounting systems for the season. Cloud accounting can make it easier to focus on what’s important every day: it makes it easier to reconcile receipts with bank statements, it reduces the time it takes to perform complex tasks, and allows accountants and clients to benefit from greater collaboration and visibility. This will give you time back to focus on the most important aspects of your business and growth.
At Xero, we’ve designed our accounting software to allow you to manage expenses from anywhere and at any time, and it integrates with 700 complementary apps giving you a whole ecosystem to support your business.
If you want to start your decluttering journey, start it with technology. Tidying up your desktop and your processes will save you time and keep you organised, making your working days easier and more streamlined.