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5 Terrific Tips on Getting More Organized

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Getting Organized Can Save You Time and Money

If you think need to be better organized in order to be a more productive business owner, then I think you are onto something. Being unorganized costs you time; time that could otherwise be spent growing your business.

Yet with only a few tweaks, running your own business could be easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful. And who couldn’t use a little of that right now?

Remember Superman, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Giving some of your workload to others will free you up to solve other crimes and fix more problems. And probably sell more too!

I think Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, put it best: If you spend too much time working in your business, you won’t have enough time to work on your business. That is, if all you have done is create a job for yourself, that’s a mistake. It is far better, and smarter, to figure out how to free yourself up to be more entrepreneur, less worker.

5 Tips for Solo Entrepreneurs to Maximize Their Productivity

1. Plan your day at the start of each day:  Before the craziness of the day sets in, begin by looking at what is coming up and then prioritize it. Make a list and try to follow it. That way, instead of events controlling you, you control them. You don’t want to spend your days putting out fires.

If you have a day planner, use it. If you use Outlook or an iPhone instead, be sure to take advantage of their built-in organizational tools.

2. Get and learn the right software:  There are so many time-saving productivity software tools out there that it is a mistake not to use and take advantage of them. Software makers spend an inordinate amount of effort on R&D, learning what it is we small business people need. They then create powerful software applications designed to fill those needs.

Buy them. Learn them. Use them.

The mistake many of us make (myself included) is that we get this great software and never take the time to learn everything it can do for us. A day of training can make you far more organized and effective.

Check out project management software, or customer relationship software, etc. They can really help.

3. Don’t be a slave to email: When I read that Tim Ferris, the author of The 4-Hour Work Week, spends a little more than an hour a week on e-mail I was incredibly jealous. Few of us have figured out how to stop the onslaught of email to that degree, but even so, it is possible to be smarter about email:

  • Designate the amount of time a day you want to spend doing email and stick to it.
  • Set aside time for email once or twice a day, and again, stick to it.

The mistake some make is getting so caught up in email that they check it several times a day (or hour!)

4. Get your office organized:  Constantly searching through stacks of papers and piles of notes is no way to run an office. Get the office supplies you need and put them where you will use them. Color-code files. Get a shredder. Buy a bigger file cabinet. Get an extra bookcase.

Organizing your office is one of the easiest, most affordable things you can do to be more productive.

5. Delegate:  You don’t have to do everything yourself. Giving some of your workload to others will free you up to use your time better.

Especially now, anything you can do to be more productive is a smart move.

About Steve Strauss

Senior small business columnist at USA TODAY and author of 15 books, including The Small Business Bible, Steve is your host here at TheSelfEmployed.com.