BLOG: Get smart, get organised, says Antony Whitaker

In some creative industries being disorganised is seen almost as a badge of honour, a reflection of the artist inside. But what’s the point of being creative if there are no clients, no team and, ultimately, no salon?

Every salon manager needs to balance creativity with good organisational skills to avoid unbearable stress and fear of financial ruin. Fortunately, these skills can be learned and, if repeated often enough, will eventually become habitual. So make a start today.

Set aside a certain amount of time, preferably at the start of the day, to identify what needs to be done. Prioritise each task and then pick the three most important and start with those. If you don’t get round to the others, that’s fair enough. At least you’ve made a start.

  • Don’t prioritise easy tasks over hard just because they take less time. Prioritise in order of importance.
  • Write down what you need to do on one list and mark each task as you complete it.
  • Have just one in-box so you know where all your to-do paperwork is. It’s so much better than searching through your cluttered desk if you suddenly remember you need to get it done.
  • Tidy as you go. Don’t let things pile up on your desk or the corner of the office. Clutter is the archenemy of organisation.
  • Develop systems for yourself and your business and make sure everyone on your team understands them and sticks to them.
  • Stay focused on the task at hand. If you can avoid being distracted you’ll finish the task quicker and more efficiently, and you’ll do a better job.

Practise simple techniques like the four Ds when it comes to decision-making:

Do it now…

  • Does it need to be dealt with immediately?
  • Are you the right person to deal with it?
  • Do you have the resources and time to deal with it now? If yes, then do it.

Dump it…

  • Does it need doing at all?
  • Is it of real value?
  • If no, dump it.

Delegate it…

  • Can it be delegated?
  • Is there someone else who could do it?
  • Is there someone else who should do it?
  • If yes, delegate it.
  • Decide when…
  • If it can’t be done now
  • If it can’t be dumped
  • If it can’t be delegated to someone else
  • Then decide when it should be done, allocate the time and book it into your schedule. And…do it.


Antony Whitaker is an educator and motivator, with a worldwide reputation based on more than 30 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry. An award-winning stylist-turned-educator, business coach and best-selling author, he has taken his message on management, money, marketing, team building and retailing to more than 250,000 hairdressers in 40-plus countries. His next series of seminars begins this March in the UK and Ireland.