Ask anyone that knows me and one of the first ways they will describe me is...she is very very organized. I swear that this goes all the way back to when I was a kid and would like all my drawing supplies to be in their neat little spots...and obviously color coordinated, boy am I a sucker for some good color coordination.
My tendency to find satisfaction, and even some kind of peace, in organizing things, my schedule, etc. I always thought was just my predisposition (thanks to my Mom) for being a neat freak.
But over the years as I have learned how to pay closer attention to my body's innate responses to my environment, I have learned that my yearning for organization actually is my body (and mind's) coping mechanism for handling the chaotic busy life I always like to place myself in.
To give you a little background, I come from a very very large Italian family, with lots of siblings and cousins, aunts and uncles, parents, and grandparents always around...we were very rarely alone and honestly I really truly loved it.
I also grew up in a home that was under construction as my parents renovated it for a good ten years of my childhood. While I have no idea how my Mom did it all with three small kids and a kitchen under renovation, what I know for sure is that it taught me how to get into my own peaceful place, even amongst a lot of noise and chaos...and organization was a big part of that process.
No joke, I would read, study, etc. all with the noise of my family and construction around me and so today this translates to me not really loving super quiet places, and always working best with a bunch of background noise and people around me. Because I learned how to adapt to my environment and organize my thoughts and prioritizes with a lot going on around me, I learned how the process of organization can really be a simple tool to immediately bring you out of a state of feeling overwhelmed and back into a state of control.
This juxtaposition at times in my life really has been confusing for me though, since I am not your typical type A personality that hates not having a plan, cant adjust well to change, always needs a rigid schedule, and of course loves things to be in their place and organized.
Instead I am kind of the opposite, I love traveling to developing countries where a plan just never is going to work, and you have to go with the flow. I love being spontaneous and usually make decisions confidently, but without very much overthinking. I also LOVE having a flexible schedule, and really don't like doing the same thing for too long. All of these things would seem to be completely opposite for someone who loves to be organized, but that is where I believe that people are thinking about organization all wrong.
To be organized in my mind is to be prepared, and to allow for space in your mind where your thoughts can gather, and free up other space so that you can juggle many things at one time without feeling overwhelmed.
For me, organization is less about overly controlling for a situation and is more about preparing for one. It allows me to feel comfortable in my environment and also allows for my mind to not always be filled with thoughts. In a society and world where people are overworked, and overstressed I honestly believe that learning how to bring a little organization into ones life can be one of the most freeing things a person can do for themselves, and their personal self care.
why organization is a key piece in running a successful small business
So now that you know how I like to use organization in my personal life, lets talk about how I like to use it in my business, and let me tell you it was a learning curve.
When I first started The Well Essentials I felt very confident that I was going to be super organized and totally handle being a business owner with ease. Well a combination of starting my business in the dead of winter, and realizing that owning your own business requires so much more than I had initially thought, had me for the first time in a long time feeling very overwhelmed and disorganized.
This feeling of disorganization and the discomfort that it brought about was really surprising to me, and also made me realize just how much I do rely on organization to keep me feeling really calm in my busy busy life.
Quickly I started to realize that this feeling of disorganization in my business was less about my business itself, and more about how I was marketing my business. Since today marketing is almost 100% based on social media platforms, I could not get passed this feeling of disorganization in juggling them all. I felt that the amount of time I was spending trying to get my social media planning and marketing pulled together really was in many ways taking away from all the other content and services I really should have been focusing on in my business, and this always left me feeling defeated.
So I tried my old tricks of using folders and color coordination and planners to see if I could get a handle on this social media thing, but the more I tried the more overwhelmed I felt. This feeling also started to trickle into my personal life and I felt as if I was constantly on my phone/computer working on social media, and much less present in the overarching goals of my business, and how I prioritize my own self care. The work I should have been doing was getting pushed to the side in order to stay current with social media, and I always had this strange feeling that I was just trying to stay a float.
At this point I was confused by all the varying social media strategies and my businesses social media was in a direct juxtaposition with the way I like to live my life in the present moment. However, I knew for my business to be successful it needed to be a part of my life...so where was the balance?
I knew something had to give and because I value my time, and mental state so very much I knew that investing in a tool that would reduce the amount time I had to spend thinking about social media marketing was 100% worth it.
This is where my favorite favorite business planning and marketing tool comes in: CoSchedule Immediately I love the calendar feature that CoSchedule offers (which I think really is one of their best features) as seen below, which is visually appealing and easy to navigate without feeling overwhelming like some other platforms I tried were.
the coschedule calendar
If you haven't heard of CoSchedule yet, and you own your own business, or work in marketing for another business, I couldn't recommend it more. It basically allows you to schedule out all of your blog posts, promotions, and messaging across every single social media platform, and even re-posts content for you so you can schedule and pretty much never think about it again.
I loved this CoSchedule overview video as I think it does the best job showing the features of the platform, and is definitely worth watching if you are feeling in anyway like I was.
coschedule overview video
I also think it's important to mention that I tried so many of the different tools and services out there, but nothing held a candle to the organization and features CoSchedule was able to provide me. Right away I really loved that CoSchedule would allow for me to compartmentalize my thoughts around my marketing into the different categorizes that I personally needed.
For example I could schedule marketing content under blog posts, social media, event promotions, services, and offerings. This level of organization allowed for me to have a much clearer picture of how my messaging was being split up over a week, and areas I maybe needed to improve on.
For instance, I realized almost immediately when using CoSchedule that I really was not promoting my services and products enough and could easily do that more without it overwhelming my audience.
Specifically for my business which is all about sharing quality nutrition and healthy living content with the world, in addition to public speaking, working individually with clients, and running workshops, I knew I needed a way to reach my audience consistently with my online content, without having that take away from all the other work I have to do on a day to day basis. CoSchedule 100% allows for me to do that, and honestly it is some of the best money I have spent investing in my business.
Once I found CoSchedule I was able to plan out my blog articles, and social media messaging in under two hours for an entire week. This meant that by investing just a few hours one day a week I was able to feel confident and prepared that all the work I was doing was reaching the widest audience of people in a consistent fashion. This then literally allowed me to shut my mind off from thinking about marketing and social media, which was amazing!!! This really is the power of organization. It also freed up so much time and brain power, which allowed me to focus on the content, counseling, and consulting pieces of my business that I LOVE doing so much.
blog post planning
Sometimes it really is necessary to understand the broader purpose for choosing to invest in something, especially for you health or business. In my case it was both.
For me choosing to invest in CoSchedule was choosing to invest more in the structure of my businesses marketing, it was choosing to connect more with my audience, it was choosing to allow my voice to reach more people (which is my ultimate goal), and it was choosing to remove myself from the chaotic nature that was my social media practice both in my personal life and business. By investing in CoSchedule I was able to organize my marketing and how I communicate with my audience in a way that was not conflicting with other parts of my life.
Today I truly believe that social media can be really positive or negative. Both personally and professionally. I know I personally have met so many incredible people through social media, but it also can be a place for a lot of stress to arise. For me having a tool that I could get organized around and set parameters for myself made social media turn from something that was stressful to something that I really enjoy for what it does for me and my business.
In an era when social media can feel as if it is taking over your life, but also can be argued as one of the most important tools for marketing a business today, I really believe in setting boundaries and using organizational tools to make social media a positive addition to your life and business and not something that instead is all encompassing.
To learn more about CoSchedule definitely check out their website or feel free to ask me any questions. There are referral links for CoSchedule present in this post, which would result in myself and yourself receiving a discount if you decided to use CoSchedule in your business, but this review is 100% my own thoughts and opinions.