Friday, August 21, 2015

Let's get organized before the busy fall season hits!

 "A powerful method for reprogramming your subconscious mind with the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of highly productive people is for you to 'act as if' you were already the efficient, effective person that you desire to be." - Brian Tracy

Let's get organized before the busy fall season hits!

Do you walk into your office area and shudder?
Do you feel overwhelmed before you even get started?
Do you waste time looking for a handout, phone number or guest order?

Clutter = Overwhelm = Stress

In our business, we survive the summer and take full advantage of the fall and holiday season. We are heading into our busiest season of the year. Now is the time to get organized to take advantage of that season. We're going to be busy. Let's be ready.

I used to pride myself in my lack of organization. I had six stacks of papers on my desk, but, by golly, I knew what was in each of those stacks! I could call my office when I was traveling and say, "I need you to fax me the handout on hostess coaching. It's in the pile on the far left, about halfway down." I had sticky notes all over the desk. They were in the kitchen, the car, the office and basically, wherever I happened to be when a thought came to me.

It was a great system until a sticky note fell off my desk or the fridge never to be seen again. What was that great idea I had in the car? Where is that phone number I wrote on the napkin?
Then I invested in Brian Tracy's audio series on time management. It changed my mental picture and the way I worked. He talked about the time we waste searching for things. Even if we do know what pile a particular paper is in, we still have to find it. He talked about all the information lost on sticky notes, and more importantly how it feels to work in the midst of chaos. I realized piles of papers, clutter and sticky notes was chaos.

I recently fell back into the old habit. I was working long hours, the piles of scripts were growing. Potential clients were mixed in piles with existing clients. Sticky notes were reappearing. Once again, I dreaded going into my office. The clutter completely overwhelmed me. I couldn't find things I needed when I needed them. Instead of following the weekly/daily plan I had proactively created for maximum productivity and priority focus, I fell into reactive mode.
I finally realized how much time and productivity I was losing working in this mode and took a couple of hours (that's all it took) and filed, tossed, and cleaned. Ahhh, now that felt good. My office was a place I wanted to work in again.
I've heard people say when their office is too cluttered, they move into the kitchen.
Then when the kitchen is too cluttered, they move into the family room! There's no place the family can go that isn't strewn with papers!

Whether you have a designated office, or a corner in the bedroom, keeping things organized will take a lot of stress off you and your family!

Below is a few time management and organization tips that have worked well for me, and next time I'll share a few more.

1. Invest in a file cabinet or inexpensive cardboard file box. Office stores have these. They are just cardboard but work great!
    • Suggested filing ideas:
      • File by topic: Booking ideas, hostess coaching, sponsoring, etc.
      • Reports (If you get sales reports from home office)
      • Home office communication
      • Current incentives or promotions
      • Career plan
      • Newsletters
      • I'm a paper girl, so I printed parties after I entered them and filed them in my "party box" for easy reference.

2. Keep everything you need to make hostess packets and sponsoring packets in a file box. When you're ready to make packets it's all right there in one place.
When you're making copies for your packets be sure to make lots of copies of each to avoid frequent trips to the copy center.
Make an abundance of hostess packets, recruiting packets and guest folders. You're going to be busy! Get ready for it!

3. Keep sales receipts in an accordion file and label each section. (Postage, hostess gifts, office supplies, copies, team gifts, recognition gifts, etc.)  (Use TAXBOT - available for FREE in your workstation ~Noel)

4. Keep a spreadsheet, (either online or in an accounting log), and enter your receipts frequently. Do a subtotal weekly and monthly. Then at the end of the year, you only have twelve numbers to total for tax purposes. (Use TAXBOT - available for FREE in your workstation ~Noel)

5. Keep a small notebook in the car and track your work mileage. (As an aside, be sure and check with your accountant; you may be able to write off all your trip mileage even though you are doing family business while making business copies or delivering product, etc.). (Use TAXBOT - available for FREE in your workstation ~Noel)

6. Develop systems or use somebody else's! The more systemized you are, the less you forget, the less stressed you feel and the more productive you are!

    • Critical Contacts Binder
- I developed this system from a concept I learned years ago. That one idea was worth the cost of airfare and the registration fee I paid to attend that event! It is a system designed for organizing all your hostess, bookings and sponsoring contacts. When used effectively, you will never miss another important call, contact or meeting.
    • Coaching Binder- This is a leadership tool designed for coaching your new consultants, future leaders and first level leaders. Complete with a nine-step coaching guide, scripts, checklists, pages for notes and tracking forms.
    • Leadership Binder -If you are a leader, this system will be your new best friend! Everything you need to keep your leader-life organized is included. Sample scripts, outlines, personal and team tracking forms, your BIG 5 PRIORITIES, team meeting templates, and much more. I used mine every day!

7. Finish one task before starting another. If you make a customer care call that turns into an order, write up the order, enter the order, file the order, and write a thank you card if it's a big order! Then, move on to the next task. You're much less likely to forget a piece of the process if you complete it right then.

"The habit of completing your tasks, finishing what you start is an essential part of character building." - Brian Tracy

You are capable of excellence, so go for it!  

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