Whether you need to regain control of your inbox, organise your work space or master some time management skills, here are some tips to give your business a spring-clean.
– Send less emails: It has been said that for every five emails you send, three come back, taking more of your time engaging in an on-line conversation.
– Simplify email folders: Less is more. Many people have dozens of email folders, which can make for endless time spent searching. Try having about six main folders and then break these down with sub-folders.
– Turn off pop-up notifications: Adjust settings so notifications are not flashing at the bottom of your screen every time there’s an email. These real-time updates can interrupt your work flow. Instead, check at set times during the day, every half an hour or four times a day – whatever works best for your business.
Company Document Organisation
– Create branded documents: Develop company documents listing policies, process and pricing in pdf format so they can be opened no matter what system customers use. When prospective clients make contact, you can reply immediately with the documents attached, rather than repeatedly type out the same information.
– Have one master calendar: Choose your preferred medium, either mobile device, email calendar or paper planner – and make sure every commitment is recorded there. If you do plan digitally, you can sync your calendar with others. Schedule everything that needs to get done, whether it’s blocking off time for administrative tasks or a reminder to take a lunch break!
To Do Lists
– Keep two to-do lists: Have one master list that includes everything that needs doing, then each day pull out the four most important tasks to accomplish that day and put them on another list (block time out in your calendar to complete these tasks).
– Design a workspace that works for your small business: You may colour co-ordinate in a style that inspires you with storage, noticeboards and stationery, perhaps have on display your annual goals. It is key to organisation, to ensure you have: a shallow tray for everything needing action: bills, mail and to-do lists; a desktop caddy that’s only big enough to hold the office supplies you use on a daily basis. Other items, store them away, out of site to free us desk space for working.
– Have two to four filing systems: one for client information, one for business reference information (permits, zoning, lease agreements) and at least one more for tax documents. Keep this system simple and easy to follow, otherwise people will just not use it.
Taking action on a few of these simple spring cleaning tips could save you hours each week giving your small business the advantage on your competitors.
Happy spring cleaning!