No matter how hard I think things are as a self employed home worker I know that by some planning and hard work on my part I can actually make it easier.
THE TO DO LIST
How many people have a rolling to do list - one that never ends - as you take one job off the top you add half a dozen to the bottom. What happens to the BIG stuff, the important stuff that you know you have to do but avoid doing, those things that are perhaps a bit scary to face up to. Where do they go? Do you just hope you will get round to them soon or are you proactive and push through those scary phone calls and emails/letters? Mother Duck has lists upon lists upon lists and can guarantee that somewhere along the line something important will get lost or forgotten.
I am addicted to little sticky notes, in bright colours; I stick them on the shelf above my desk, on the desk, in my diary, indeed anywhere that I think they might act as a prompt to make me do something from the to do list. They fall on the floor, get lost and another 'thing' is forgotten.
At the start of each month I try to create a mind map of the month - appointments, events I am standing at, orders to complete etc. from that I try to create a further mind map that should enable me to see exactly what has to be done for each appointment/event. On a good month this works but it is by no means foolproof, some things still get forgotten and have to be shunted to the next month.
I have a business diary, a family diary and a personal diary!
I have to make sure that all three match but can guarantee that something will get missed out.
I am trying to find the perfect answer ... I have tried wall charts, to do lists, mind maps, diaries and the throw it all in the air in frustration method. I haven't yet found the one method that works for me, although I have to say mind mapping is the better of my choices, for me.
One thing I do try to do is move those important items off of the general to do list. I take those one by one and face them head on. They may be the most scary, which is why they have sat on the to do list for so long, but they are usually things that make me move a step closer to a more successful business. They make me acknowledge that I am a small business, that I have to answer to me and my customers if I fail to meet a deadline.
So what is the answer? I am sure that there are books on the market that will give you advice on how to organise your life, office or business. I have read many books giving advice on running a small business, running a craft orientated business, how to Blog (I'm still learning) indeed I have a shelf full of advice for my small business. I have used some of it successfully, some not so successfully and yet I struggle to find the most perfect way to organise myself and my workroom.
I am sticking (pardon the pun) to using my little coloured sticky notes and mind maps and I will be taking those scary items off my to do list one by one and facing them head on ... OK maybe I'll start with those tomorrow.
Anyone have any hints and tips to help organise this daft old duck they really would be much appreciated, leave me a comment.