From time management to filing and documents, organization takes skill. Hire a pro, or learn on your own - starting with these tips.
- Make a list of all your responsibilities as a business owner. Prioritize them. Income-producing tasks should be at the top of your list. Place your prioritized list on your computer monitor. This will help you focus.
- Make a list of everything that MUST be done each week. Note the amount of time needed for each task.
- 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.
- 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.
- Set up a paper processing system. A step file sorter holds about seven files. Make files: Do, Read, Awaiting Answer, Consider, Refer, Ideas. Sort your paper as it arrives.
- Take the time to set up a proper filing system. This means that you can find the information you want when you want it. The secret to an effective filing system is to keep it simple.
- 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.
- 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.
Article by Barbara Myers. Free "50 Ways to Manage Your Time" tips booklet. Visit www.ineedmoretime.com.