Ever wished you could get more out of your days? Wish those boring administrative tasks could be made faster or more enjoyable? Then turn those wishes into goals because they are definitely achievable. What you have to do is to take some time to think and then act upon what you discover.
When starting my business, I had some overlap time in-between resigning and starting to work for myself. This turned out to be an excellent opportunity for getting organized and prepared, and to structure my own projects. Some people recommend to take a day off to catch up and get organized. I say a week is necessary to get into the right flow and create routine.
I recommend this to both businesses and individuals. Your life needs more attention and care than any business would require. Do this to take care of yourself and your life will become easier and frustrations will soon start to slide off your shoulders. However, take it seriously and realize that this isn’t the kind of thing you just do on your lunch break.
If you want to get truly organized, a day is too little time. You need to be able to get into the efficiency “mood” and create a reliable routine. In my experience, taking an off-week for administrative tasks would greatly benefit you if you can afford it. It’ll give you enough time to figure out what it is that you need to figure out. Allow yourself to research appropriate solutions, find the right tools and plan ahead before settling for anything less than an ideal solution.
During my previously mentioned spare time, I organized my home studio which I’m now working from. I cleaned it up and created a comfortable and creative atmosphere. Then I started looking at what my business would need for me to perform administrative tasks efficiently and to communicate easily with clients. I added structure and routine—a solid foundation—to my new venture.
All this takes time if you want to do it properly and if you don’t, it’ll hurt you in the long run. You can only achieve so much in 24 hours, unless your name is Jack Bauer. It would do you good to spend a considerable amount of time tailoring every aspect of administration to your own business and life. Questions that should be answered include:
- If you charge hourly, how can you track your time in the simplest way?
- How can you bill your clients quickly and easily?
- What can you do to get more time out of a weekday?
- What activities would you like to spend more time on?
- How can you achieve that?
- What are the distractions and frustrations of your life?
- How can you get rid of them?
- Are you using the best software and tools for your needs?
- Is all of this fun? If not, how can you make it fun?
The list goes on. Most of these questions need to be answered by doing both internal and external research. Take a deep look at yourself and your business, and use Google like it’s the last thing you’ll ever do. Think big—you’re going to grow tremendously as a person and as a business in the coming years.
I would also recommend to keep as much communication—or any activity for that matter—online. Go digital in every aspect. Once you get the hang of it, it’s more efficient and it's more automated. If not for yourself, do it for the world—go green. That is, however, a subject for an upcoming article so I’ll just leave it for now.
Where to next? With greatness in mind, it’s time to figure out how you’ll be able to handle all the aspects of the huge success that awaits you.
Below is a video from TED.com where Stefan Sagmeister discusses the power of time off. Check it out and you might just find it interesting.