Category: Business Management



BreakthroughAs we enter the final quarter of the year, most business owners are looking at the things they want to do to finish out the year and many are playing catch up after the summer fun.  As you gear up for Q4 are you stepping back into the same old thing and the same old routine or are you making a shift and taking things up a notch?  Has it been your intent to take things to the next level or to get certain things done but you just can’t seem to make that happen?

If so, take a look around your office.  What do you see?  Is your workspace well organized or are things in disarray and cluttered?  If it’s the latter, consider that your workspace is part of what’s holding you back.  Over the years as I’ve worked with clients one of the things that I learned early on is that clutter is a product of what’s going on with you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  In essence, you are your clutter and your clutter is you and it can be keeping you from making that breakthrough to the next level.

If your workspace is cluttered you may have noticed how it makes you feel when you’re in it.  You can’t think clearly or focus, you may not feel like sitting in the area with the clutter or you might even feel heavy when you’re in the space.  All of these things are caused by the clutter in the space.  When you have physical, emotional, mental and spiritual clutter, it produces a cluttered space.  This means that the thoughts, relationships, beliefs, and yes, even excess weight each contribute to holding you back.  It keeps you moving at a snail’s pace or allows you to stay right where you are, stagnant and unable to move forward even though that’s not where you want to be.  Your breakthrough and the things you just can’t seem to get done are placed on hold due to your internal clutter.  To get rid of the clutter in your space, you have to address the internal clutter in your life.  Doing so is what keeps the clutter in your space from coming back after you clear it.

When these internal connections are addressed it’s possible to get rid of the clutter and keep it away for good.  In addition to looking around your office to see what’s there, look inside to see where your internal clutter resides, then take the steps to figure out why it’s there and resolve those issues.  As you do, you will find that it becomes easy to rid your space of clutter and keep it away instead of clearing it and having it come back again.  Get to the root of your clutter and clear it so that you can have that business breakthrough during this last quarter of the year.  If clutter is a real challenge for you, visit www.ItsNotAboutThePaper.com for a solution.

 


BusyBusinessWomanThe equinox is here and summer is officially over. The kids are back to school, the flip flops and sunglasses are off and business is back in full swing.  This is the time to refocus on your goals and desires and be ready to bring in the fall harvest.

If you have children who just went back to school, you prepared for that—shopping for supplies and clothes or packing the car to send them off to college.  Maybe you planned your summer vacation or fun activities.  Just as you did that, you have to prepare yourself for getting back to business too.  When summer was in full swing most people cut back so they can enjoy themselves and their family and routines and systems got tossed to the side.  Now it’s time to pick it all back up and get the ball rolling again, which can be a lot easier said than done.

It can be hard to regroup after all of the summer fun or after any break for that matter, but it’s necessary if you’re going to bring in this year’s harvest.  If you’re finding it hard to make that shift, here are 5 key points for you to use to get back into the swing of things and focus on your fall harvest:

  • Get organized!  Organize your office space in a way that allows you to find anything in no time flat.  So many people waste time just looking for things and believe me that time adds up.  When you lose time, you lose money.  Get rid of things that you no longer need, archive files that you need to keep and mark them with a date that they can be destroyed.  Once you get your office organized, maintain it.
  • Develop systems that support you.  Any business will have the usual systems—accounting, sales, filing, etc, but many forget that they need a time management system, which is one of the biggest mistakes I see solopreneurs making.  Because of that gap, time flies by but nothing’s gets done.  Find the tool that fits for you and create a system around that tool.
  • Get back on track with your goals.  It’s really easy to get off track even without summer vacation in play.  Take a look at what you created, review your plan and the tasks that will get you to the end result and see what changes need to be made.  If there’s something that hasn’t gotten done because of your summer excursion, recreate it and get it moving.
  • Eliminate the time wasters.  If you haven’t yet learned how to delegate, now is the perfect time.  If you have someone that you can pass things to, then start handing them off so that you can focus on the more important, income generating things.  If you don’t have a Virtual Assistant, get one.  If that’s not in the budget, then find an intern who needs the college credits and hours.  Don’t forget the #1 time waster—email.  Control what hits your inbox and how you handle your email.  First, set designated times to check your email and don’t make one of those times first thing in the morning.  Check email for the first time 1.5-2 hours into your day.  Use email filters and folders to direct email to designated folders labeled for particular people, projects and newsletters then check those folders as needed.

Those are four things that will get you back on track and help you make that shift to get back to business. The fifth key is to implement them all. Just don’t take in this information, make your notes, say you’re going to follow the steps and then do nothing.  Be in action. Take the steps that will help you make that shift that you’re looking for. If you do they will help keep you on track.


When it comes to productivity, one of the biggest obstacles is procrastination. It’s one of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals and it can take a toll on your life.  We all procrastinate for one reason or another, but what happens when it begins to negatively impact your life?  We all know how it is, you put off doing something and probably have absolutely no idea of how long it takes to do the task you’re putting off.  You can end up living in chaos simply because you’re putting off something that will take you just a short time to do.  Are you one of those people who shuffle through the pile of papers on your desk?  If so, you probably spend more time shuffling through them each day than it would if you’d stop procrastinating and sort through them one final time and toss, file or process what’s there in the pile.

Many people face this challenge every day, and it can really become a regular challenge.  There are ways to remedy it; get rid of it for good, but first you have to identify it; to know what it looks like.  So, what exactly does procrastination look like?  Here are some indicators:

  • Wait until the last minute to start something
  • Putting off doctor & dentist appointments
  • Put off decision making
  • Waiting for the “right time” to make that call or confrontation
  • Last minute seasonal tasks (like holiday shopping and filing your tax return)
  • How long have you been waiting to do______?

I bet that you could fill in the blank on that last one in a number of different ways.  People put things off thinking that the time will come and the truth is that it never does. If  any of the indicators above are present for you, take a deeper look at what you’re doing.  Start by looking at what you’re procrastinating on.  Create your 101 List.  This is a list of everything that you’ve been procrastinating on.  Now, you might not be able to come up with 101 things, but you get the idea.  Just start writing and see what you come up with.

The next step is to look at those things on the list that you come up with and determine why you’re putting them off.  Next to each thing that you list, list the reason that you believe you’ve been putting it off. Then think about the other things that come into play when you engage in that behavior.  As you look at your behavior, look to see if  there a “routine” that you have and what things you tell yourself when you put something off.  What emotions, if any, surface when you are procrastinating? Maybe there’s a certain way that you feel when you put things off.

These are key steps that will start the process of eliminating your procrastination.  Not only will they bring things to the surface that you may not see, but they will lead to the reasons for your procrastination, which is what you have to uncover before you can start working to eliminate it once and for all.  If you successfully complete these key steps, you’ll be on your way to eliminating this thief of time from your life.

If you’re looking for something to help you through this process, I invite you to have a look at my Procrastination Annihilation program.  It’s a 12 week program that will help you discover where and why you’re procrastinating, how to use procrastination to support productivity and how to eliminate it for good.


Getting to the point of having successfully organized your time or your space is only half of the effort.  It’s a great start, but if you want to stay that way, you have to have a few things in place.

Getting organized causes you to shift your thinking.  You might have heard me say before that being organized is a state of mind.  It calls for a shift in behavior; for you to develop new habits around how how you work; how you manage yourself.  When you organize your time, you have to have not only a system in place, but new habits that support you in maintaining that system and staying effective when it comes to managing tasks and your calendar.  This means that you have to plan on a regular basis, prioritize what you’re doing, be in the habit of delegating and saying “no”.  That system has to run like a well-oiled machine if you’re going to manage your time and your business effectively.

When it comes to your organized space, systems have to be in place too.  If you’re going to maintain an organized space, you need systems to keep it that way.  A filing system to contain your paper and rules for maintaining it, a way to manage paper and it flows to you, as well as a way to handle email and phone calls.  You also to develop new habits like clearing your desk and returning things to their designated home at the end of the day.  Building the muscle to develop those new habits to maintain what you establish will help you stay organized  for a long time to come.


Being organized is a state of mind, so before you can get organized, you’ve got to shift gears mentally.   To shift gears you have to make a conscious choice about how you want to work.

It’s really easy to be clear about what you don’t want or how you don’t want to work.  By nature it’s easier for us to determine what’s “wrong” or what we don’t like about something.  It’s quite another to be clear about what you do want, but necessary if you really want to change a situation.

Of all the things that we are taught when we’re young and as we grow into young adults, we are not taught to manage ourselves or how to organize our space or our time.  If we’re lucky enough to have some sort of clue as to what to do, then life tends to work better than if we don’t have that clue.  For most, being organized is something that we learn.  You might say “I don’t know how to get organized.” and may even believe that it’s just not possible.  I’m here to tell you that it’s not hard to do and that it is possible.  It’s all up to you  and your state of mind.

Your state of mind is where you start.  Where are you?  Are you thinking like a disorganized person?  Shift gears and start to think like an organized person.  What would your life look like if you were organized?  Get real clear and have a vivid picture of what that looks like.

Next ask yourself why you want to get organized.  Maybe you want to save some time; have time to spend with your family or friends; have time to focus on the money making tasks for your business.  Whatever your reason is, allow that reason to fuel you forward.  Let that be your focus and what drives you.

Once you know why or what your purpose for getting organized is, you can create your plan for organizing your space or your time .  What do you want to accomplish; what are your end results and what priority does each have.  Once you know the priorities, you know where to start and in what order to tackle things.  Your plan should also designate the tools that you’ll need to get organized.  When you create your plan, DON’T keep it in your head.  That’s the most dangerous place you can leave it.  When things stay in your head, they don’t become reality.  Get you plan onto paper.  It you prefer an electronic tool, get your plan into it and determine the steps that have to happen to accomplish each of your end results.

Getting clear about what you want, why you want it and creating a prioritized, written plan helps you shift the gears from the disorganized mind set to one of an organized mindset.  Being in action around your plan and your purpose has you operating inside of that space and developing the new habits that you need to get and stay organized, which will give you that extra time with family; to generate money through your business, or whatever it is that you’re looking for.

 

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