Have I been a busy little business owner. Doing all the things I’m supposed to be doing: going to networking events, gathering business cards, setting up coffee dates, conducting free coaching consultations, all the things I need to do to keep the clients and money coming in. The issue I encounter is that when I get back to the office I have all this work that I’ve accumulated while being away: business cards, event notes, information I’ve agreed to provide, and of course emails that have accumulated while I’ve been away.
It was during one of these weeks that at the end of the week I had a desk that looked like someone dumped their recycle bin on my desk. It occurred to me that while very unique, I wasn’t the only one that could be having the same issue so I thought I’d address how I keep up with this “stuff”.
Seeing all that “work” on the desk day after day can be very stressful and overwhelming. So, I have what I call “project boxes”. They are about the size of the top of a copier paper box. Just deep enough to keep all the material for pertaining to a particular project and can be stacked. One box would have all the prospect notes for entering into the contact database. Another box would have the business cards separated by event. When I get back to the office for the day I pull out project boxes, sort my days work into the appropriate box, and then stack them out of the way.
One way to keep the work from piling up is to set just a few days out of the week to be out of the office. That way in between the “out-of-office” time I have “in-office” time to keep up with the work. At the end of the week, I put the following week into production. That means I don’t schedule appointments in the week we’re in. It’s your business and your schedule; arrange it to how it works best for you.
My work schedule is Tuesday through Saturday. I schedule “housekeeping tasks” for Friday morning. Those tasks are: computer clean-up, filing, shredding, scanning, and other weekly tasks that need doing. By doing these tasks weekly it keeps them from getting out of control. Saturday morning I do my “planning tasks”.
These are tasks that get me prepared for the week to come. I have a file cabinet drawer with folders Monday – Sunday. Preparing for the week consists of getting everything I need for Monday into the Monday folder, everything for Tuesday in the Tuesday folder and so forth. That includes driving directions, client folders, event notebook, etc. What makes this work so well is that I don’t have to think about what I need for the day, it’s all right there. I just pull the folder contents out and put them in my satchel and away I go.
These are handy tools that work really well for me and hopefully you will be able to use them in your business as well. Remember, it’s your business and you get to construct it however works best for you.