Home Business Summer Tips – Part 3

It’s time for the next phase of organization, so you can be off and running with your home business this summer!

Now that you know what a sense of calm a working calendar system can give you, let’s see how you are doing so far!  Don’t worry if you haven’t gotten it done yet – just work a little bit on it – right now.  Take action in this area or you’ll be stuck constantly looking for more and more ideas.  This really is an idea that works, but you have to put it to work.

Your calendar should be your friend – one of your business partners.  If it isn’t, let’s talk!  Maybe I can help you develop a better relationship.

If you’ve done the first three steps, you have your three lists (have to get done, should get done and would like to get done), you’ve placed in your “big rocks” and you have set aside your large blocks of time.  Is all that done?  If not – take a moment and finish those off.

Next, you should have at least considered your calendar style.  Perhaps this will change, but what is it right now?  What has worked?  What might work better?  Is it a day-at-a-glance?  a wipeboard? a month-at-a-glance? an online calendar? something like Outlook?  or a combination?  I know I work with a combination and I sync them all up at least weekly.  I use a month-at-a-glance calendar which I keep with me at all times to schedule home shows and book fairs for my business.  It has small codes to indicate regular appointments and I use highlighters to outline dates I’ve set aside for business events.  The more detailed calendar is in Outlook.  My Outlook on my laptop syncs with my Palm Treo phone, so I have that with me at all times. We also have a wipe board version of the calendar for the whole family right in the kitchen.  It has week-long segments that are magnets and a backing board to which they stick.  That way, I just write things once and each week, I take the top magnet off, erase it, move three weeks up, fill in the fourth week on my now clean week and voila – month-at-a-glance for the whole family. 

Color coding is a must in a busy household, so pick a color for different people or different aspects of your life.  For us, this is what works:

  • Blue = business (probably because I like alliteration, but also because Blue is a calm color and seeing blue creates a positive psychological response)
  • Orange = anything to do with the kids – their rehearsals, concerts, lessons, classes, church activities, field trips, play dates, etc.
  • Purple = anniversaries,  birthdays and holidays (although major holidays usually get a whole fancy multi-colored decorated square)
  • Red = important – anything that is out of the ordinary – maybe company coming, a deadline, etc.
  • Green = Anything with my husband’s schedule or the family schedule that is out of the day-to-day routine – company coming, Jim umping a tournament, etc.

What’s great about these colors is if you are consistent and use them across systems, you will know automatically when you see orange that is has to do with the kids, when you see blue, it’s business-related, etc.

Last thing for today: When are you working and when are your days off?  No one can work 24/7.  You’ll burn out and lose stamina.  That only leads to one thing – quitting.  The only way to lose is to quit, so if  you want to build your business for the long haul, you have to design your week so you have time off.  So, choose.  Which days will you work?  Which days will you not work?   Make those decisions and check back.  Very soon, we’ll go to the next step.  By then, you’ll not only know when you’re working, you’ll start to know how much you can get done!  And….that really is the key to getting it all done.

All the best! 

Beth

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