Tips for Home Businesses to be More Productive and Efficient
By the National Association Of Professional Organizers (NAPO)
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), a non-profit organization for professional organizers, in conjunction with its annual “Get Organized Month,” is pleased to provide special organization tips that can help home businesses as well as small businesses.
“Employees are struggling to manage their days and figure out how to get more done with fewer resources,” explains NAPO President Laura Leist. “Professional organizers use tested principles and expertise to enhance the lives of individuals in the workplace. By creating and implementing processes and systems, they help employees and businesses take control of their priorities, information, time, paper and their lives.”
In honor of NAPO’s “Get Organized Month” held annually in January, NAPO members provide organization strategies so businesses can save time and money in the upcoming year.
Organize Your E-Mail: Read, Decide, Act!
· After you read an email, you should be able to perform one of the following actions: Reply, Delete, File, Forward, or Schedule. Reduce inbox clutter by making a decision immediately on each message, act on the decision, and then remove it from your inbox.
· Use the Delete Key and use it often. The most common mistake people make is saving too many emails. While many emails warrant being spared deletion, not every email needs to be saved. If you are copied on an email simply as a courtesy or formality, use good judgment on whether or not it truly needs to be saved. If an email contains an important attachment, take extra care to save the attachment before deleting the email.
Organize Phone Calls: Plan And Be Prepared!
· Make a mini-agenda for your phone calls and shave five minutes off your call time. The average phone call lasts 12 minutes. Using an agenda for that same conversation can shave five minutes off of that call. Think of how many calls you make each day, and multiply by five minutes each.
· Complete a phone call, and then write down your next action relating to the call. Do you need to make another call or mail something? If you can’t do it now, write it down.
Organize Your Work Day:
· Plan 60% of your day and allow 40% to handle the unplanned. Plan 15 minutes each morning and afternoon to review your priorities.
· Allow 50% more time for activities and projects that you originally planned as a way to accommodate unexpected delays. Things usually take longer. Consider it a bonus when you have time left over.
· People who multitask in the workplace are actually less efficient than those who focus on one project at a time. Prioritizing your tasks and tackling them one by one will help maximize your time more efficiently.
· Visualize the end result before starting an organizing project. This will help you focus on what you want to achieve.
· Take a highlighter to meetings. As you make notes, highlight anything which will require action on your part.
Organize Your Space:
When In Doubt, Throw It Out!
· Make decisions about papers as they cross your desk. Clutter is nothing more than the physical manifestation of indecision, so clear your desk.
· Spend 10 minutes at the end of each day putting everything away. This way you will walk into an organized and inviting workspace each morning. Reevaluate your arrangement at least bi-annually or as new assignments are acquired.
· Place tomorrow’s top priority task at the center of your desk before you leave work today. You’ll start your day focused.
“Working in a productive and streamlined office is a choice that employees and employers must recognize as a necessity in order to be as efficient as possible, which in turn will save some organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars,” continued Leist. HBM