When you are part of a small business, you wear multiple hats, maybe even to the point where you’re adding shoes and jackets too. As crucial as it is to stay organized, for some it still feels like an unattainable feat. Read on to check out our tips to keep your business in order this year.
For a lot people, smart phones have become nearly an extension of our hand. They rarely seem to leave our fingers and if they do, they are usually only an arms length away. But aside from checking our Facebooks and texting, there are a lot of great apps perfect for managing your day to day. I myself am a huge app nerd. I’ve tried every single app and software geared toward managing productivity and there is only one I keep coming back to, Trello. It’s as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You could just have a “Do” column and a “Done” column on one board or you can have 20 boards with notes, to do lists, due dates etc. It even will email you when you have a due date coming up. Most importantly it’s free for one user. If you want to add a few team members then you’ll need to pay. Here is an example of a quality board!
Stick With What You Know
It’s okay to admit you need help. Your time is important so figure out what tasks you can handle and what tasks you may need to outsource. Everyone has a niche and there may just be a company out there who can do what you need done at a price that makes sense. Whether it’s bookkeeping or marketing, there’s even companies out there who can provide answering services if you need someone to manage your calls. You may spend a little extra but it will save you a lot of headache in the long run.
Keep it Clean
Whether your main workspace is your work truck, your extra bedroom, or a full on office with a big window and everything, take the time every night to straighten it up. Coming in to a messy space, especially on a Monday is recipe for some serious anxiety. I like to utilize bins labeled “Needs Attention”, “Work in Progress” and “Finished Work.” Each evening I seperate the mess on my desk into these bins and each morning I come in and work on the “Needs Attention” and “Work in Progress” bins. Every Friday I take an hour and file everything from the “Finished Work” bin into my filing cabinet. If you’re on the go more than you’re in a traditional work setting, consider getting a plastic filing box and doing the same, using file folders instead of bins. There are also a lot of great scanner apps out there if you’re more into digital storage, plus you’ll always have your documents handy if they are accessible on your phone.
Out of Hand Emails
My inbox always seems to be full. I actively try to clear it all the time but still it fills up. The best advice I can offer on this subject is to keep the emails you need to follow up with in your inbox and file away anything you no longer need. But never delete anything! You can also utilize the “Flag” tool if something needs to be followed up on ASAP.
Write it Down
Finally, every night before I leave my office I write down 5 things I need to accomplish the next day. I’ll write down more if I have to, but I try to limit it to the top 5 priority items on my plate. That way I know exactly what I need to get done, and anything on top of that is just bonus. This can also be done with Trello, but I tend to stick with good old paper and pencil for this one.