Organization Tips That Add More Hours To Your Day
One of the most common complaints that small
business owners have is lack of time. What most
don't realize, however is that their lack of time
stems from a lack of organization. But with a few
simple tips - that you can implement immediately –
you can literally add hours to your day.
--- Putting Things In Their Place
First and foremost, you should live by the motto,
"A place for everything and everything in its place".
When you are finished with a piece of paper, a
brochure or any other physical document - file it.
What usually happens is that you finish using a
piece of paper, "temporarily" put it in a stack
and then have to spend two hours cleaning up after
yourself once a week. Or, you may leave it in a
stack and spend two hours a day digging through
the mess to find what you need.
Create a filing system that works for you
personally and then use it! Perhaps you'd like a
filing cabinet? There are also expandable folders
and numerous other filing systems. Choose the one
you like, create a folder for it and put it where
you can find it again if need be.
--- I'll Be Right There
How many times a day do you say (or think) that?
Especially if you work from home, you probably have
plenty of interruptions that take valuable time
out of your day. If you're a work-at-home parent
with young children, it may be a bit more difficult
to end interruptions all together, but these tips
1. Set "office hours". As much as possible, let your
family know that between 8am and 11am, you'll be
working. Then again from 1pm until 6pm you'll be
"in your office". (Or whatever hours work
best for you.)
2. Ignore your email. Well, partially, anyway.
Unless you're expecting some urgent message, don't
stop what you're going to run check your messages
each time you hear the "bell" ring. Decide on the
time frame that works best for you and then check
your email at certain times during the day.
(Perhaps every three hours or so.) During the rest
of your work time, turn your email software off
so you can resist the temptation to check each
message as it arrives.
3. Screen your calls. These days most people have
voice mail or an answering machine. Unless you're
expecting a call, let the machine get it. Just as
with your email schedule, you can set aside time
during the day to return calls. This is a great
way to avoid telemarketers, too!
--- Automate and Delegate
When those routine tasks start taking up valuable
money making time in your schedule, it's time to
either automate or delegate.
It's all a matter of how you use your time - make
money or waste money. You can earn money each hour
by performing work or you can waste money by doing
every little thing yourself. There are several
options you can look into in this area.
Software - There is software available today that
will do practically everything! GoldMine or ACT
can automate almost all of your contact
information, e-mailings, prospect follow-ups,
appointments and much, MUCH more. Outlook is an
exceptional 'Day Timer' type tool that can help
with scheduling as well as email. SystemWorks can
automatically maintain your computer's "inner
workings" and automatically update your virus
protection. There's a program to do practically
anything you need.
Assistance - I know the first thing most small
business owners scream is "I can't afford an
assistant"! Maybe not one that comes to your home
and spends eight hours a day with you, but you CAN
afford a virtual assistant, a college or a high
A virtual assistant is someone who handles projects
or duties for you "virtually" from their computer.
Perhaps you need to have a report proofread. Just
email it to him/her and, once it's done, they'll
email it back to you. Virtual Assistants can also
schedule appointments, follow up with clients,
return routine email inquiries and perform numerous
You can also check with the career development or
job placement offices of local high schools and
colleges. They often have students who are willing
to work in exchange for a small fee or for the
Whatever you do - make the most of your time.
Being unorganized not only wastes hours of your
day that you could be making money, but it also
is a tremendous stress producer. Getting your
office, your schedule and your day in order can
make for a much more fulfilling and profitable
About the author:
Diane C. Hughes * ProBizTips.com
FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful)
Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your
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