Owning a business requires expert organizing skills in order to keep on top of everything. This is especially true if you are working solo, and working to meet deadlines for clients. Follow these steps to organize your week and make more time in your work day.
1. Make a list of all your responsibilities as a business owner.
If you are a home-based entrepreneur (especially if working solo), chances are you are wearing multiple hats for your business. Every week, you will have marketing tasks, product development tasks, customer service tasks, ongoing projects for clients, administrative tasks, bookkeeping tasks, website updates, and hundreds of other things to do.
Prioritize your tasks, with income-producing tasks at the top of your list. Place your prioritized list on your computer monitor. This will help you focus.
2. Make a list of everything that MUST be done each week.
At the start of the week, make a list of the tasks and things that must be completed that week. Note the amount of time needed for each task. Keep your list realistic: do not cram your to do list into a massive gigantic list where you can only do 10% of what you’ve listed. Having a weekly priority list helps you prioritize the tasks that you need to do on a daily basis.
3. Reserve ten minutes each evening to schedule the next day.
Generally, schedule only 70% of your time to allow for interruptions and emergencies. Be sure to draw from your list of things that must be done. Try to set up time blocks where you work on a specific area (for example, marketing) for a certain amount of time before you move on to finances.
4. Organize your office by category.
For example, place all your marketing files and information in one place. Put all your financial paperwork together. This will help you focus on one project at a time. It is also a time-saver.
5. Set up a paper processing system.
A step file system holds about 7 files. Make files: Do, Read, Awaiting Answer, Consider, Refer, Ideas. Sort your paper as it arrives.
6. Take the time to set up a proper filing system.
This means that you can find the information you want when you want it.
7. Learn to use your computer.
Find out how you can take full advantage of it. Invest in classes or at least purchase how-to books for each program in your system.
8. Give time for creative thinking.
Spend some “creative” time just thinking and reading about ideas that could improve your business. Even 15 minutes per day spent listening to motivational tapes in your car can result in some effective strategies.
Organize your office as well as your time. Use lists to keep yourself focused and on track. Remember that being organized is a process at which you must continually work. Spending a few hours organizing yourself today will save you hundreds of hours in the future.
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