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I thought it would be best to start out by writing about how to get organized with your business. Whether you’re just starting out or have been struggling at this for years. It’s sometimes best to step back and organize your work.
How many times have you had a thought about something that you needed to do? Could be a new tool to try, maybe a topic you want to dive into a little more or something else. For me, my brain is sometimes racing faster than I can keep up with my to do list.
I’ve tried to do list apps, emailing myself, recording notes on my phone or keeping a pad of paper in the car. What I’ve landed on as my absolute favorite tool is Evernote. The basic app is free for 2 devices so I started by keeping a copy on my phone and one on my laptop. Because I frequently have ideas when I’m driving, I setup an Alexa Auto device that connects to my Evernote app. Now I just have to say “Alexa, tell my notebook …”. You’ll still have to add an Evernote skill to your Alexa device to make it work but it’s pretty awesome.
I actually keep my to-do list in Evernote. One of the first things I do is create a note with that title and use it for a quick brain dump when I want to remember something. Then I can come back to it later and create a full note about what needs to be done.
Organize your File Folders
If you’re like me you could have files spread out all over your computer and it can sometimes be difficult to find what you’re looking for. If you haven’t already, create a folder for your business, then create sub-folders by topics. You could have a folder for ebooks you’ve downloaded, another one for private label resell products (PLR), another for graphics, etc. The best option is store it on a cloud drive like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive.
Create “Chunks” of Work
When you start looking at the list of things that have to get done, it can feel overwhelming. One technique I’ve found effective is say to myself that I’m going to sit down for a 30 minute stretch and focus on one thing. Maybe it’s something I’ve been putting off for a while that needs to get done. Put the phone in the other room, close all the social media tabs and set a timer. The first few minutes are going to be really difficult but then you’ll start to get into a flow. Before you know it, the 30 minutes is up and you can take a break or keep going a bit longer.
Value your Time
One of the most important things to learn is the value of your own time. Running a business can take over your life if you let it. You need to focus on what’s most important for your business.
From the beginning, you should create systems to manage everything in your business. Run it like you were building a franchise. You will get to a point where you can’t do everything and you’re going to need help. If you create and document systems from the beginning, it’s going to be easier to hand that work off to virtual assistants.
A great book on this topic is the “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber. He says in his book that people who are great at a technical skill are not always great at running a business. They’re not the same thing. Once you start a business, you have to know how everything works. I would highly recommend you read this when you’re starting out (and even if you have an established business).
There’s nothing wrong with bringing on other people to help out as needed. If you’ve never used Fiverr or Upwork, they’re both great resources for getting bits of work done very inexpensively. Focus on the important work and get help from other experts as needed. Otherwise, you’re going to get overwhelmed and it’s going to become just another J-O-B.
Get a Business Email Address
If you don’t already have a website domain or an official business email address, get a free separate email account from Gmail just for your business. You can create multiple email accounts for free. Then use that account solely for getting emails related to your business. It will make it easier to find things and keeps your business email separated.
Take Care of Yourself
Probably the most important thing you can do to stay focused is to rest and take care of your body. You can’t stay “on” all of the time. Take a quick mental break and go for a walk. Or go ahead and check your social media accounts for a few minutes. If you haven’t already learned, starting a new business is hard work. However, the reward of having something that you built is amazing!
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