Sitting still and putting together a to do list can be pretty dull. I know that I have trouble taking the time when there is something else interesting to do. I have also seen folks that don’t feel the need to make protocols or procedures because “everyone knows what to do.” Even when your company is small, it is critical that everyone knows what to do, when to do it, and what is expected each day. These steps can be tedious (especially for those of us who would rather be out and about “doing” something), but they will save time in the long run. Here are some steps to help with your organization:
- Make sure you are clear on your big goals. If you have a mission statement or a long term vision, this is where you must start. Hopefully, you will only need to go back to this step on occasion. However, making sure that your priority tasks feed back to your mission is crucial for achieving your long-term goals. Once you have the big goals clear in your mind, the day-to-day tasks will flow in the right direction.
- Identify where you are and next steps. When the big goals are clear, identify where you are on the path to meeting them. Be very clear on where you are, so you can plan for the next steps. Make sure that your “next steps” are specific and task-driven.
- Set aside time for each priority task. Knowing what to do is the first step. Making the time is the second. You may need to play around a bit, so feel free to re-organize your schedule until you have figured out how much time you need for each priority task. Some hints: For the tasks that don’t have inherent deadlines, make sure that you give yourself timelines and create specific spaces in your schedule for making progress on these tasks. For the tasks that do have deadlines or logistical importance (e.g., making enough money to stay afloat), make sure to reserve sufficient time to accomplish these tasks, without overwhelming the time saved for other, “long-term goal” tasks.
- Make protocols/procedures for routine tasks. When you identify things that must be done every day, week, month, etc., make sure to create routines for getting them done. Although these tasks are typically important for the running of the business, they shouldn’t require thought. Make these tasks as efficient as possible (create an effective, seamless workflow), so that they take as little time as they take brain power. These tasks can be pesky time-wasters that steal energy and focus on the big dreams and goals. Schedule these in, keeping in mind the time you have reserved for the priority tasks and the time to work on your dreams and mission.
- Be flexible and rigid at the same time. When work evolves or clients need to reschedule, we must be flexible. However, if you remain too flexible, you will lose the structure you have developed and hop back into reacting to the crisis of the day. Go ahead, reschedule your hour long dream session to see a client, but don’t cancel it. Just put it somewhere else on your schedule!
Find your path… to efficiency!!
If you have questions about how to organize your work, please do not hesitate to call or email: 424-241-3205; firstname.lastname@example.org