Jade Boyd Co.

Business Minimalist Podcast

5 Things to Spring Clean in your Business for a Fresh Start Feeling

5 Things to Spring Clean in your Business for a Fresh Start Feeling | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd
I'm Jade!

MBA | Business Strategist | Business Minimalist | I help busy creatives bring order to chaos with an intentional business strategy and simple systems.

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Are you into spring cleaning? I’m not really into cleaning, and typically couldn’t care less if the floors are scrubbed (as long as the clutter has been put away)! However, in the spring, I always get the urge to do a deep clean and declutter of my entire house. I wish I could say that I get that urge as a business owner only once a year too, but in reality, it comes about every 90 days! If you’re creative and ambitious, you might get that urge to reset and refresh your business routines every once in a while, too. But what if, instead of taking on a shiny new project to your plate to scratch that itch, you went through a spring cleaning process to get that fresh start feeling instead?

In this episode, I’m sharing 5 practical things that you can deep clean in your business in order to get a fresh start feeling going into spring. Press play to get a little boost of energy to carry you into your next season of business!

5 Things to Spring Clean in your Business for a Fresh Start Feeling | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd

Key Takeaways from this Episode

  • A key consideration to take when decluttering your goals
  • How to feel empowered in your marketing plan
  • Jade’s task management system that will save you time
  • An overlooked key to sustainability in business
  • How Jade organizes and declutters her calendar

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Click here to read the full episode transcript!

Jade Boyd: Oftentimes when my clients go through the process, they come out on the other side, feeling super empowered and really excited to put this in the process, because the more you believe that what you’re doing is going to lead towards your goals, the more likely you are to actually show up and do that thing.

So at the time of recording this, it is almost spring and if you’re like me, you might be getting the urge to spring clean everything, but if I’m being honest as a business owner, I don’t only get this feeling once a year, I think it’s natural as part of the rhythm of coming out of winter, especially in the Midwest and into spring to want to have that fresh start feeling.

And I’m not big on cleaning per se, like spring cleaning is great, but I’m more of a decluttering type of person and that’s usually my focus in the spring, but for my business, I feel like spring cleaning or decluttering in my business is my way of itching that scratch that many business owners fill with shiny object syndrome, wanting to do something new and fresh and different and take on that new project or make that new offer.

Instead of scattering my efforts in a million different directions, I use the process of decluttering to get that same fresh start feeling where I do feel like I’m starting over where I do feel like I’m having that full reset, and although the process is a lot wider than this, in this episode, I’m going to share five different things that you can declutter in your business to get sort of that fresh start feeling going into spring.

And again, I don’t only get this feeling during the spring. I get this feeling quite often and I limit myself to starting over once a quarter and use that as my like, okay, going into the next quarter, how am I going to adjust? What can I get rid of? What can I delegate? And adjusting my business to fit the season of life or business that I’m in at that point.

And that is my checkpoint for reassessing. Where am I at? Where am I going? And how can I kind of like refresh and reset my routines and my strategy and my business so that it’s aligned with the season that I’m in. So again, the process is a lot wider than this. There’s so many things that you can declutter in your business, but today I’m going to share five that you can declutter more quickly.

So the first thing that every business owner should declutter in their business is their goals. Like I said, every new season of life and business is different. And it’s so important to have that check in with yourself to make sure that the goals that you’re pursuing are still aligned to what you actually want your life and business to look like.

And that changes continually in business and in life, especially if you’re entering a big life change or you’re up leveling in your business in a significant way, your goals are going to reflect that and to stick to goals that are outdated or misaligned is not doing you or your business or your contractors or your clients a service at all.

So it’s so important to refresh them. And I, have mentioned The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry a book by John Mark Comer so many times on this podcast, but one thing that he mentioned in that book that really stuck out for me. He mentioned one morning he was drinking his coffee outside and he saw his neighbors getting up super early to go running and it was like 5am or something and they’re outside and in their workout gear getting ready to go on a run and he thought to himself like I really like the idea of being someone who gets up at 5am and goes on a run but I don’t actually want to do what it would take to become a runner.

Like, do you want to run a marathon or do you want to become a runner? Basically, he’s differentiating do you want the life or do you want the lifestyle? And when it comes to goals, I think it’s really important to not just visualize what it would look like to reach the goal, but what it looks like to actually pursue that goal. Are you willing to do what it’s going to take day in and day out? Are you willing to make the sacrifices? That it’s going to take to reach that goal, or do you just want the goal without having to change your lifestyle, your habits, or your systems, or the way that you run your day to day life. And so decluttering your goals, oftentimes I will realize that like, oh, that goal seemed really great, but now I’m realizing that my lifestyle and the vision that I have for my lifestyle isn’t actually compatible with that goal that I thought was really important, but now I’m seeing actually is not really aligned to the season that I’m in. Not that I won’t pick that back up later, but I think when it comes to decluttering your goals, it’s really important to ask yourself, do you want the life or do you want the lifestyle?

Another thing I see business owners do is confuse projects with goals. So projects are pretty cut and clear. They’re defined. They can be done in less than a year, but goals are a little bit more ambitious. They’re a little bit more vague. There’s many different routes that you can take to reach your goals. They typically take a year or more to reach. So I always use the example of starting a podcast, because a lot of business set the goal to start a podcast, but I would see starting a podcast actually as a project because it’s very defined. You can do it in six weeks. If you have the right support around you and the right tools to go step by step through the process.

And ultimately you have complete control. As long as you show up and do the work, you’re going to start a podcast. So, A goal would be to monetize your podcast and make $10,000 a year off your podcast for example, figuring out how to do that for the first time. There’s many different ways that you can monetize a podcast. You don’t necessarily have control on the backend because There’s a lot that you can do to influence your audience and building your audience. But ultimately it’s not a direct, I do this, and then the results automatically come pursuing your goals oftentimes takes trial and error and experimenting. And again, there’s never one way to do it.

So if you have a laundry list of goals that are things like start a podcast, I always suggest treating them more like projects and making sure they’re connected to a larger goal in your business. You really don’t need. More than three to five goals overall. I suggest three to five goals for business and life in total to really, really focus your efforts.

But if you’re taking baby steps in the right direction, I would say three to five goals for your business even is more than enough. And there’s probably lots of projects that go along with, trying to reach your goals, but declutter your laundry list of goals and figure out what are the top three that are actually most important and which projects are going to help me get there the fastest, which projects feel most aligned for this season of life and prioritize finishing projects instead of working on 10 projects at the same time.

And again, going along with, dealing with your shiny object syndrome and focusing on one quarter at a time, pick your top priority projects for this quarter that you can start and complete or wrap up within the next three months based on what’s going on in your schedule and in your life. And then save the rest for later.

I love strategic planning and I will kind of brain dump what I think is going to happen in future quarters for the rest of the year, but I focus on one quarter at a time because things are going to change within that quarter as you learn and grow and experiment in your business and you can always adjust your future plans, but I focus on Planning out what my goals look like one quarter at a time. And then a lot of other things go into what I call the parking lot. It’s just a laundry list of good ideas that I could take on when the next time comes around to do a business reset and reevaluate my goals and what the most important projects are to get there, but it’s not something that I’m going to waste my time thinking about or working on now because I’ve already identified what my core goals are and the most important things for me to do in this season to finish in this season to make progress towards those goals.

And if you haven’t checked out the quarterly reset yet, I have a full process that I use for myself, but also with my clients to help me reset my business around my goals and do that quarterly planning in a way that strategic and aligned and focused on a life first business. And so I will drop the link to the quarterly reset, whether it is taught live or the recorded version, the link will be in the show notes. So you can check that out. If the idea of focusing on one quarter of a time feels more appealing to you than staring at a laundry list of overwhelming goals and questioning what you can actually do today to make incremental progress in the right direction, the quarterly reset is definitely for you. So again, check out the link in the show notes if that sounds appealing.

The second thing to spring clean in your business is your monthly marketing plan. This is something that I do for myself and again, for all of my clients, it is so much easier to show up well in your marketing to show up strategically if you’re starting from a strategic template, monthly plan, rather than trying to recreate the wheel every single month. Having a set process for planning your monthly content, no matter if you’re trying to focus on building your email list or booking your next launch or whatever that looks like, having a template to start from so that you are being consistent and there is strategy behind the content that you’re creating or whatever marketing strategy you’re using outside of content creation, if you’re doing collaborations or networking events or many other business minimalist marketing strategies, as I like to call them that are not creating content, having a strategy for your overall brand and how you’re going to execute that and your marketing is so important.

And in every season of business, it’s going to change a little bit because again, as you’re showing up and doing that consistently, you’re going to learn a lot from your audience and your business is going to evolve. You’re going to have different lead generators or your brand might even shift your vision for what your business looks like might shift a little bit, and that might affect your marketing.

For me, I just went through this process for Q2 and for my marketing, I’m definitely cutting back because I’m batching a lot ahead of time for maternity leave. And. I have been showing up more than usual in the past few months, but now I’m transitioning into kind of a slowdown focusing more on the passive income streams in my business rather than actively, like showing up and launching or anything like that while I’m on maternity leave. And so my marketing plan for the next quarter has shifted a little bit and also who’s responsible for things in that marketing plan is going to have to shift a little bit.

And there’s something so empowering about creating this template marketing plan and understanding how you can tangibly do things and focus on needle moving activities that are actually going to help you reach your goals and marketing is that lever, the primary lever that you’re going to pull in order to reach your goals.

Because most of us are focused on building a profitable business that allows us the time freedom to not have to work 80 hours a week to make the income we want to make, and when it comes to actually reaching those goals to booking the right clients at the right time, marketing is the lever that you’re going to pull. And many of my clients often say, after going through this exercise and having that plan in place, that is when they start seeing themselves differently as a business owner and start feeling like the CEO that they wanted to be because they feel empowered. They have a strategy. They understand what their goals are and what they can do to make it happen. They don’t feel like powerless and scattered pursuing a million different things. They’ve thought through who their client is, what their channels are, how often they’re going to show up. It’s aligned to the schedule. They actually want to work and it helps you claim the sense of control because there’s not a lot that we can do when it comes to reaching goals. Again, it’s vague, there’s a million different things that you could do to reach your goals and oftentimes you’re doing something for the first time and it’s kind of an experimenting process and you can control what you do, but you can’t control what other people do in response to that, but understanding and doing your best to create a clear strategy that really is thought through and having a clear framework to actually move people through your funnel in your business does provide you a little bit of a sense of control and a better way to test marketing rather than like following trends and throwing spaghetti at the wall, it’s something that’s going to last a lot longer than that. So again, oftentimes when my clients go through the process, they come out on the other side, feeling super empowered and really excited to put this in the process, because the more you believe that what you’re doing is going to lead towards your goals, the more likely you are to actually show up and do that thing.

If you are showing up day to day, looking at the things on your to do list and not actually believing that it’s going to make any significant difference in helping you reach your goals, then you’re going to be a lot less motivated to actually follow through and do those things. You’re going to be a lot more likely to procrastinate or put it off or just delete it and not do it at all. But if you take the time to sit and think through the strategy behind your marketing plan and really do believe that showing up and doing those things consistently over time is going to help you reach your goals, then it’s going to provide a lot more motivation, marketing is going to feel a lot more fun, and ultimately you’re going to see better results. So if you haven’t refreshed your marketing plan in a while, spring cleaning, great time to revisit, is this actually working? What can I change? And what feels more aligned to the season of life and business that I’m in right now?

And again, this is something that I teach in the quarterly reset. So if you want a step by step process for doing this, make sure you check out the link in the show notes.

Okay, the third thing to spring clean in your business is your task management system, which can get messy over time if you are continually adding and changing things and never taking a step back to see the bigger picture of how your task management system is working and what’s not working and if you don’t have a task management system, then it’s going to be a little bit hard to declutter it.

So I have a course called organize your business. That teaches my exact task management system that I use in ClickUp to manage every aspect of my business and my life so that I log in every day and it gives me my organized running to do list of what needs to happen that day. And again, I teach how to set that up. It’s very, very simple. I know task management systems can feel overwhelming to business owners who are used to one, keeping everything in your head, which, in my opinion is a lot more overwhelming than having a task management system, or two, just putting pen to paper, which I, I love paper. I obviously love planners and I actually do take my tasks out of ClickUp and write them on a physical piece of paper each day to like time block when things are going to happen and make sure there’s space for everything.

But ultimately, it’s a waste of time at some point to have to write and rewrite all of the different like checklists and things that we do day in and day out because I guarantee you, you are keeping a lot more than you might even think in your head. And if you’re writing everything down, pen to paper, like all the habits you do every day, man, that just takes a ton of time, and at some point it becomes really inefficient. So there are so many, benefits to using digital task management when it comes to saving time and not letting things slip through the cracks because you forgot to write it down, or it skipped your mind when you were creating your to do list for the day.

But even when you do have that task management system set up again, sometimes it takes a little bit of trial and error to know what’s going to work for you, and every season is a little bit different. So I just went through the process of decluttering this. It doesn’t take much time. My task management system is organized into four very simple folders.

The first one being goals. So if you already decluttered your goals, then that’s set. The second one is marketing. So again, if you already decluttered your marketing, it’s just a matter of having that reflected in your task management system. The third one is client work. So updating client workflows, if there’s changes that need to be made or like sticky points where you’re feeling like this is just not working, but day in and day out, you don’t necessarily have the time to go and change your entire workflow.

This is the time to kind of declutter that and set yourself up for success moving forward, and then the fourth one is admin. And the admin category is where I noticed that I usually have a lot of tasks that I’m just like snoozing or marking complete, even though I’m not doing them because they’re not the most important tasks, but when I’m decluttering, I take the time to go through and actually think about like, okay, if I’m snoozing this all the time or not doing it, then do I even need this reminder to come up this often? Can I have this reminder come up less often? Or can I just like delete this altogether? Would it even matter if I just deleted this, if I’m not showing up to do it consistently anyway?

So that can be said for any of these types of tasks that are in your to do list, but admin is definitely where I see that the most. I also keep a running list of automations or like questions for automations in ClickUp. Next time I update my task management system, these are some things I want to explore, because I know that my default is to get distracted by playing with systems because it’s something I really love doing.

And so instead of every time I have a thought of like, hey, what if I automated sending the Instagram posts from this list to the Pinterest repurposing place in ClickUp? Instead of having that thought and then immediately diving into ClickUp and trying to make it happen. I write that down as a parking lot item, say for later when it’s time for the, quarterly reset and to declutter things again, to start answering those questions and change my system all at once.

So I’m in that one focus headspace of optimizing and decluttering and streamlining things. And not constantly being distracted by that, because that is my propensity, because I love doing those types of things. So there might be things in your head that you’re thinking right now, like, oh, this always feels hard, or there has to be a faster way to do this, I can’t believe I’m manually updating this every single time a client gets booked or something like that. And so keeping a running list of those automations that you think might be possible or even that, you know, are possible, but they take time to set up the first time and a little bit of thought and intention, right?

Those are the things that I work through when I’m doing this task management decluttering and really getting as much as possible off of my to do list so that that Work that upfront work is serving me for the rest of the quarter, and again, your task management system is going to be constantly evolving and what your business requires of you is also going to be constantly evolving. And so every new quarter, there’s going to be different things that pop up on this to do list, but spring cleaning your task management system is going to save you a lot of time and energy in the future.

The fourth area to declutter is your ideal schedule or your template schedule for running your business and running your life. I am a huge proponent of ideal schedules, especially when it comes to setting up my business for success. And again, I organize my ideal schedule around those same four simple categories that are in my task management system, goals, marketing, admin, and clients. And so if you already set up your task management system, you’re going to have a really good idea of how much time you need each week to work on each of those four areas. And those are the four areas that I time block on my calendar to make sure that I’m making time first and foremost, within my business working hours for my goals, which, can oftentimes if you don’t prioritize them, those are the things that can be pushed off until later and procrastinated on because they’re usually really difficult and maybe even a little emotional, but also were never the most urgent things, but they’re super important.

And so putting goals first. Then marketing, which is the lever for reaching your goals, right? Then client work and then admin and making sure that you have enough time and that you’re being realistic with what you’re asking yourself to do each week. And you have enough time block for your business where you can focus on those different areas that are going to help you feel like things are running smoothly.

This season I’m updating my ideal schedule to cut back on my working hours. So I was working four days a week after maternity leave. I want to come back and work two days a week. So I’m gradually decreasing and going into spring. I’m shifting and working three days a week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to kind of gradually move things in the right direction and also identify things that need to be, either eliminated or automated or postponed for later, because I don’t want to come back from maternity leave, super overwhelmed, trying to fit four days of work into two days.

And so taking that step gradually is going to help me set myself up for success later on, but that was a big schedule change and things had to get shifted quite a bit for me to make that change for my schedule for the spring, and there’s obviously going to be some adjustments because this is my first week doing this. And so every week, I’m sure there’s going to be something that comes up that is going to need a little bit of TLC for me, but in general, how often do we go throughout seasons of life or business where major things are changing and then just expect ourselves to add more to our place without deleting anything?

That is one of the most dangerous things that you can do as a business owner because inevitably if you are trying to force yourself to show up and do more than you are physically able to do time wise, that is inevitably going to lead to burnout. It’s not sustainable to try and force yourself to work at 100 percent, 110 percent all of the time. And so making sure that if you are adding something to your plate this season, for me, I am adding a baby, which is a huge change, but maybe there are other smaller commitments that you’ve added to your business or to your life. And you do need to go through and delete something because you can’t just keep adding more things to your schedule and never delete anything and expect yourself to keep showing up at that capacity for long periods of time. So looking at your schedule and what do you want this next season to feel like we’re going into summer and Q2, May and June are part of that. And so if you do need to make gradual changes to your schedule so that you are able to take more time off in the summer, or you are able to spend more time with your kids while they’re home from school, whatever your ideal summer looks like, adjusting your ideal schedule now and thinking about that ahead of time in case things need to change in your business to prep you to actually be able to take that time off without feeling guilty or dropping balls or falling behind in your business later on.

I’m also going to drop a link in the show notes to my task batching workbook, which again, kind of helps you think through task batching and goals, marketing admin and clients in your business gives a little bit more guidance on that, but also helps you have a step by step framework for setting up your ideal week. If this is something that you’ve never attempted before, that will be a really helpful resource for you. So head on to the show notes and get the task batching workbook. That is a free resource that I’ve created for you.

Okay. The next one is a really fun one. The fifth and last thing to spring clean in your business is your Google calendar. So if you’ve already gone through the previous step of imagining what your ideal week will look like, the next step would be to actually update that in your Google calendar or iCal or whatever calendar system that you use.

I think this is the fun part because you can get creative and choose fun color palettes. I’m actually going to link in the show notes for this episode. I have a Pinterest board created. For planning tips and resources. And this spring I updated my Google calendar and changed out the colors of my different calendars. And sometimes that can give you like a reset, fresh start feeling when you log into your calendar every day and see colors that are like different and inspiring. I had been using my brand colors for a really long time, but I updated it to have really fun and like wacky spring colors. And those are the types of palettes that I’ve been Pinning. And so if you want some inspiration on how to refresh your calendar and get some fun colors in there, you can definitely go to that Pinterest board. But the most important thing is actually blocking time so that your ideal week happens every single week. So things like, if you do have a certain time every week that you want to work on your goals or on admin work or on marketing stuff, that you’re actually blocking that in your calendar.

So that meetings aren’t getting scheduled over that. And also updating your scheduler. If you have a scheduler that connects with your calendar, that would be a little bit easier because it’ll automatically check for your availability. But if you’re scheduling your calendar separate, making sure that you’re updating the times that people are able to book time in your calendar. So it’s only during the times that you want people to be able to take time in your calendar.

And just to give you a little bit more insight into what my Google calendar actually looks like. If you don’t know this yet, you can set up multiple calendars within Google calendars. So I have a calendar for business. I have a calendar for family that’s shared with my husband. So any like shared meetings or responsibilities go on the family calendar. I have a personal calendar for things that are just my things that I don’t necessarily need to share with Caleb, but they’re not business things either. There’s a separate calendar for personal stuff. I have a calendar that is sometimes hidden and sometimes not hidden. That just has everything on my ideal week.

Because when I look at my calendar, I like to see white space, I don’t like to see a million different things in 30 minute increments, and so I kind of experimented with putting my ideal calendar on my business calendar, my personal calendar, but ultimately I want to hide that a lot of the time, even though my scheduler Calendly is checking for my availability based on my ideal week. Like if I’m blocking time to work on my goals. Calendly we’ll see like, oh, this time is taken, but I don’t necessarily always have my ideal week showing up in my Google calendar when I’m logging in to like, see what my schedule for the day is, so that’s why I created a separate ideal week calendar so that I could hide it, but also it’s still blocking that time for me.

And then also I have a separate shared calendar for my group coaching program, The Business Edit, where we have all of our program events when guest speakers are coming in and extra coaching calls and quarterly planning sessions together. All of those things are on The Business Edit calendar, but again, that’s separate because it’s shared, even though it’s part of my business.

So that’s how I organize my calendar. After hearing the way I organize, you might have some ideas on how you could better set up your Google calendar so that it’s making your life easier and not harder, and separating those different types of events on different calendars and sharing them with the right people has been really helpful for me. But also you can make them all different colors and it’s kind of fun and it looks pretty, gives me that fresh start feeling. At least when I log in and see what’s on my schedule for the week or for the day.

So I hope this episode gave you some ideas and inspiration how you can get that fresh start feeling for yourself going into spring and going into a new quarter, any quarter, really. And I just want to preview that this is just a very small taste of the bigger things that could be decluttered in your business in order to free up more time and energy and headspace and help you reach your goals faster. And that is what my group coaching program, The Business Edit is all about helping you declutter your business from top to bottom so that you really can earn that dream income and focus on profitability in your business. Focus on the things that are actually moving the needle and leading to profit, leading to a bigger paycheck for you, but also figuring out how to minimize the time that you’re spending in your business, working less while getting those same results. And so the scope of what you can declutter in your business expands far beyond that and in the program, we go into the nitty gritty details of everything that we talked in this episode, but so much more than that, when it comes to strategic planning and task management and email management and file management, decluttering your offers, all of the things.

And so if you’re truly looking for a fresh start know that this could be a broader process as well. And so if that’s something that you’re interested in, I will drop the link to The Business Edit group coaching program, which is my 12 month coaching program focused on helping you scale your business so that you can earn your goal income while working two or three or four days a week, whatever your goal is for your ideal schedule.

So if you want the ultimate fresh start feeling, I did the show notes, grab the link and apply today. And we would meet for a 30 minute discovery call just to make sure that you are a good fit and your business is in the right place for The Business Edit, and I would love to meet you and chat more. If you have questions about anything in this episode, I’m also an open book when it comes to decluttering.

So. Please, please, if something resonated with you in this episode, reach out to me on Instagram @jadeboyd.Co, and I would love to chat with you, connect with you and hear your takeaways until next time, business minimalist, take what you learned today and get 1 percent better this week.

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Hi, I'm jade!

Ready to simplify and scale your services?

From MBA to Brand Photographer to Business Coach, I learned the hard way how to build a life-first business that allows me to work part-time hours without sacrificing profit. Now I help service providers simplify and scale their businesses so they can earn their dream income while living life on their schedule. If you're ready to build a sustainable, profitable service business (without the burnout), apply for the Business Edit Group Coaching Program today!

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Hi, I'm Jade!

Jade Boyd Co.