One of 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 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 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 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 will help.
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 "bell" ring. Decide on time frame that works best for you and then check your email at certain times during day. (Perhaps every three hours or so.) During rest of your work time, turn your email software off so you can resist 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 machine get it. Just as with your email schedule, you can set aside time during day to return calls. This is a great way to avoid telemarketers, too!