Focus on items that will directly bring in revenue.
Replying to client emails, creating quotes and invoicing are definitely at the top of the list! Marketing is important but can wait. Filing is definitely near the bottom.
2. Create a system that works for you
There is no right or wrong way to do things. It is based on your personality and how your brain wants to stay organized. It is usually trial and error until you find a system that works for you.
Here are some ideas:
- Find a productivity app that helps you stay organized – I like to have my tasks scheduled to pop up on a specified day whereas some people like to use a note pad and calendar.
- Schedule in your office time – if you treat it like an appointment, there is a better chance it will get done.
- Post it notes or white board - I like to have very urgent tasks on my white board but I know some people like to use post it notes as reminders.
- Be realistic - If you make everything urgent, your brain will shut off on its own. Only pick maybe 3 things to do in one day. Make it achievable. Writing a book is not realistic, but maybe drafting a chapter is doable.
- Turn off interruptions – close down emails and Facebook when you really need to concentrate on something. Every time the incoming message box pops up, you lose your focus (squirrel!).
3. Hire a helper
You are in business to sell your product or service, not to do filing and billing. If it takes you 2 hours to do an administrative task, wouldn’t your time be better spent on marketing your business instead? I know you don’t have the money to spend on an assistant but can you afford to spend less time to get more paying jobs? Sure, you can do the task faster, but it’s still 1 less hour spent on getting more clients.
I will not lie to you that it will take you more time to get this new person set up to do things the way you like it. However, it will pay off down the road. Think of it as an investment in your business and sanity!
And your family will love you for it too!
Please feel free to share more tips in the comments!