Book your FREE Productivity PowerUp Session Sign Up »

Five essential systems every business needs

GearsIs your business rocking? Maybe it’s moving so fast it’s making your head spin. Or maybe things have quieted down for you giving you time and space to rethink how you do things.

In either case, I’ll bet this thought has crossed your mind more than once: I need to change the way my business works!

Like any successful business owner you always keep a close eye on your business. You can feel when things aren’t running the way they should. Your gut tells you when you’re wasting time recreating the wheel or doing things inefficiently. You can smell a lost document a mile away, you just can’t see it!

If you want your business to thrive, it’s important to build a solid foundation of systems to support it. I call this your Business Ecosystem. It’s what happens behind the scenes – things that are integral to how your business is organized and how it functions.

Without a healthy and balanced Business Ecosystem, you may start to see your business as “hard.” You’ll feel overstretched, overcommitted and overwhelmed. [Read more…]

5 simple ways to love yourself

I Love MeWhen was the last time you did something special for yourself? I’m thinking dinner with your best pal, a day at the spa or even just enjoying a good book.

I can’t remember the last time I had a time out.

It’s not because my husband doesn’t chip in with the kids and domestic chores. It’s not because I don’t have a grip on work/life balance (although this is a work in progress). And it’s not because I’m a control freak.

The simple truth is … I put the needs of others ahead of my own.

Make no mistake, I’m not a martyr. Simply put, it has become a habit to put myself last, especially since having kids. When I’m on an airplane and the flight attendant demonstrates the emergency procedures and instructs us to put on our own oxygen mask before our child’s, I shudder. But I get the subliminal message: take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.

It’s time to make a change

Being good to yourself doesn’t mean becoming self absorbed. It simply means taking care of your health, happiness and overall well being. The good news is it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time and it doesn’t mean humungous shifts in the way you do things now. [Read more…]

Feng Shui your office in 60 minutes

FengShuiGuest post by Michelle Cooke Little, Feng Shui designer

People tend to complicate things. We don’t mean to, but to some extent, we all do. It’s our nature.

When our workspace gets complicated it shows. We’re surrounded by clutter, it may take on a dark, dingy atmosphere and it’s generally not a place we can be our most creative and productive selves.

Let’s change all that. Let’s simplify our workspace, using the principles of Feng Shui to take us there. It doesn’t have to be difficult. I’ll show you four ways you can implement Feng Shui in your office in 60 minutes. [Read more…]

Digital Organizing Part 3 – How to easily organize your bookmarks

This is the last of a three-part series on organizing the digital side of your business.

icons of browsers applicationsWhen was the last time you thought about the bookmarks in your browser?

If you’re like me, the bookmarks (or favorites) area in your browser barely gets any attention. In fact, I’m willing to bet your bookmarks list is full of links to unused and forgotten websites. Am I right?

Bookmarking websites can be a very useful and time-saving way to access relevant information on the internet. The purpose of bookmarking is this: as you come across interesting articles or websites, you create a bookmark so can reference it later.

However, for many later never comes. And so, you are left with a long and disorganized list.

Because the bookmarks list is hidden from our view, we never really think about it. It’s sort of like that junk drawer in your office. The reality is what gets noticed, gets organized. Tweet that!

To keep your bookmarks organized, you need to create a system, similar to your filing foundation.

Once it’s in place, accessing that memorable website will be a snap. Using my CLEAR approach (which I use in the CLEAR Your Clutter workbook) here’s how you can easily organize your bookmarks in 5 steps. [Read more…]

Organize Your Computer Desktop

uncluttered computer screenThis is the second of a three-part series on organizing the digital side of your business.

If your computer desktop is littered with random documents, it’s time to get organized. One, because it’s a mess and finding files in a mess takes more time and energy. Secondly, because it slows down your computer. All those homeless files take up operating memory from your computer. With less memory available your computer will run slower.

Clutter is a catalyst for wasting time. Tweet That!

It might be overwhelming to think about organizing those files, but if you followed the steps in the first part of this series, getting your computer desktop clear off will be a cinch.

Here’s how … [Read more…]

Digital Organizing Part 1 – Organizing your computer files

This is the first of a three-part series on organizing the digital side of your business.

laptop with computer file foldersThe start of a New Year is a time for renewal. Never are people more motivated to make positive changes in their life than in January.

Losing weight, exercising and getting organized are the most common New Year’s resolutions North American’s make each year. They are also the ones that are the hardest to keep.

While I can’t help you shed those extra pounds or work up a sweat, I can do something about the state of your business. Creating systems to help you streamline how things get done is one part. But what I’m about to show you will revolutionize and simplify the way you organize the digital side of your business, particularly your computer files. [Read more…]

12 Days of Business Efficiency

snowflake_smallYou may have noticed this too … the Christmas carols have been playing in the stores for weeks. I asked the cashier if she was getting tired of hearing the same songs repeatedly, she looked at me and said, “I don’t even notice them anymore.

Have we all been numbed to the spirit of the holidays?

I love the holiday season. Whether the celebration is Christmas, Hanukkah or Winter Solstice, it’s a time for friends and family to gather and share food, laughter and gratitude.

In keeping with this spirit, I’ve put together my version of the 12 days of Christmas, from a business efficiency perspective. With all the love floating around at this time of year, it’s important to heap some of it on your business. [Read more…]

Tools I use to run my business

toolkitYou can’t run your business alone. This is a fact.

I’m not saying you need a vast team of programmers, designers, assistants, make-up artists, images consultants, etc. behind you. But the one thing you do need is technology.

Whether you’re a baker or a coach, to be in business today (especially if you have an online business) you need to use technology to get things done.

People often ask me about the tech tools I use to automate and streamline my business. So, here’s a peak into my business back-end. These are all the tools I use to make sure stuff gets done around here. [Read more…]

Scary stories about running your own business

Scary jack-o-lanternsPart 1

What scares you about running your own business?

To get you in the mood for Halloween, this is the first of a two-part series dealing with some spooky situations associated with running your own business. To be honest, there are lots of scary things, but we’re going to focus on the day-to-day operations.

The first is from Lynn in Canada. Here’s her situation:

“I run our family business out of our home, so I have 7 years of business receipts and statements to store. I’m running out of storage space. What can I do about it and how long do I have to keep all these receipts and statements?”

[Read more…]

Beat the bottlenecks in your business

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 10.40.07 AMBottlenecks in your business are like having a bad head cold. Just as your nose gets congested and your head feels heavy when you’re sick, so too does your business when experiencing a bottleneck. You’ll notice your workflow gets clogged and your business becomes sluggish and inefficient.

Symptoms also include piles of paper on and around your desk, tasks remaining undone and rising stress levels.

The first step in finding relief is to identify the bottlenecks. That’s not always easy to do on your own, so I’ve put together a list of the top five common business bottlenecks and what you can do to beat them. [Read more…]