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Eight Tips for Getting Organized in 2008

Eight Tips for Getting Organized in 2008

by Maureen C. Costello

Running your own business has you wearing many different hats, so staying organized is essential to being a prepared professional. Here are a few tips to start your new year as a well organized entrepreneur.

  1. Review and plan your 2008 calendar. There are approximately 200 working days in a year. Take time to think through each month and schedule both personal and professional activities. Taking the time now to research Web sites for 2008 school schedules, important conferences and vacation days leaves little room for disappointments during the year.
  2. How's that working for you? Dr. Phil's favorite question gives us all pause to think about which areas in our businesses need tightening up. Ask yourself, "In what areas do I need to be more efficient? Which tasks can I delegate?" You went into business so you can do what you like–not to be burdened with the weight of nuisance tasks.
  3. Hire a Virtual Assistant (VA). Once you figure out where you need assistance, you may wish to consider hiring a virtual assistant. Some specialize in dictation, newsletter development, contact management, appointment scheduling and bookkeeping. Check out their Web site Ivaa.org.
  4. Make efficient use of time. Moving projects and agendas forward requires the discipline to book the next step then and there. Too often open items fester and projects derail because people failed to book the next step at the end of a meeting. The same goes with incomplete information in a voice mail message. Give as much information as possible to keep the agenda moving to an end result.
  5. Label your files. Using a labeling machine with black letters on a white background will help you find your files faster when you need them. Brother P is one labeling machine and Avery packages software with their labels.
  6. Carry a portfolio. Going to meetings is an essential part of getting projects completed. To stay organized going from conference calls to in–person meetings, consider using the Circa system from Levenger .
  7. Lay out your clothes. The night before you have a key meeting or have a trip scheduled–lay out your clothes. It's a very efficient way to ease your mind and think through the type of professional impression you would like to make the next day.
  8. Track your success. One of the best ways to track your success is with a calendar that shows all 12 months. Mark key successes, goal and benchmarks so you know when you have arrived!

These eight simple tips can keep you more focused on the tasks at hand and help you run your business more effectively.

Maureen Costello, M.A., CIP, is a principal with Image Launch LLC in Lake Forest, Ill. She can be reached at Imagelaunch.com or 847.482.1610.