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…]

9 ways to trap the paper tigers in your office

tigerYour office is a mess. You’re frustrated and overwhelmed because you want it to be organized but you don’t know where to start, especially when it comes to sorting through all that paper.

Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. Surveys find that we lose at least one hour each day due to disorganization and clutter. That’s a lot of wasted time and money.

So what’s a person to do? The answer is to use a variety of containers to trap the paper pests that are attacking your office. Once you’ve used these tricks, putting paper in its place will be a no brainer. [Read more…]

Quick tips to get you and your business ready for fall

Colourful autumnal leaves illuminated by the sunFall is an important time of the year for entrepreneurs and small business owners. No matter what kind of business you’re in, summer has likely given you a reprieve from the usual hustle and bustle. That’s not to say you haven’t been busy serving your clients, it’s just the atmosphere has been more relaxed.

As you gear up for fall, it’s natural to feel a little anxious. You know from experience that September typically arrives with a jolt. Just the thought of it makes the stress creep up the back of your neck.

How do you make the transition easier?

Here are some quick tips to help you boost your productivity and keep you in control as you move into autumn. [Read more…]

How to disinfect your computer in 5 minutes

Blooming SwabIt’s that time of year again. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, our thoughts turn to longer days, outdoor barbecues, and walks in the park. For some strange reason, many of us are also in the mood for some serious spring cleaning.

One area that often gets overlooked is our computer. I’m not talking about all the files and documents that may be cluttering up the inside, I’m talking about the outside. That’s the place where all the grime and bacteria love to hang out. Tests have shown that your computer keyboard has more germs on it than a toilet seat. If that doesn’t inspire you to take action and get cleaning, nothing will!

Here’s what to do to get your computer keyboard and mouse germ-free in 5 minutes: [Read more…]

10 resolutions to make your business more efficient

 

For those of you whose New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to make your business more efficient, here are 10 ideas to help you get started.

[Read more…]

5 lessons to help you prepare for the worst

I’m one of the lucky ones. I live in Toronto, Canada, and although we were given advance warning of Hurricane Sandy, she never showed us her full force. The world has seen many images of her wrath: people being rescued from their homes due to flooding, fires that reduced homes to piles of ash, cars crushed by trees, and storefronts peeled back with the contents scattered across the road.

These images make us understand how vulnerable we all are to Mother Nature and her fury. They show us how we can lose everything in a matter of seconds.

The same is true for your business.

[Read more…]

3 simple steps to move your business closer to paperless

Have you ever heard the expression, Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill? While this saying is usually used to help us deal with the troubles in our lives, I like to apply it to paper … which can definitely be a trouble for many of us.

If we’re not mindful of all those pieces of paper that come at us, they’ll stack up into bigger and bigger piles and before you know it, we’re surrounded by mountains of paper.

Lucky for you, I’m going to share with you 3 simple steps you can take right now that will make a huge difference in how you manage all your paper. You’ll see immediate results and you’ll have conquered those mountains once and for all. [Read more…]

Tech saves the day at tax time

It was a dark and stormy night. Through the thick blackness a tiny light shone in a house far, far away. Why was this light on in the wee hours of the morning? What could be so important to cause someone to be up this late? Were they up to no good … possibly concocting a plan to overthrow the world? No. They were preparing their taxes for the almighty Canada Revenue Agency.

The plot thickens…

Unfortunately, a series of events prevented our tired and frustrated heroine from making her tax preparations an easy and stress-free process.

It was down to the 11th hour … she had to get vital information to her accountant in time to meet the impending deadline. But alas, the file was too big to email. Whatever would she do? This information was crucial to filing a complete tax return. If this didn’t happen, and she was late in sending in her tax return, she would face a stiff financial penalty.

Read on to find out how she was saved from this impending doom. [Read more…]

Spring is a great time to battle the digital clutter monster

Research shows that 80% of what we keep we never use. Research also shows that office workers spend an average of six weeks per year looking for things. People … if we’re going to keep this much STUFF around, the least we can do is organize it so we can find it … should the need ever arise.

But the need rarely arises, so we don’t.

Digital clutter is incidious. It’s easy to keep and easier to ignore. It’s not like physical clutter that constantly reminds us we need to put it away. We don’t tend to trip over it or bury our keys under it. What does happen is our computer speed slows down taking our productivity along with it, and our stress level goes up (WAY up). Not a pretty picture.

This story could have a happier ending, but we have to be brave. We have to charge full steam ahead and go to battle against this evil monster. Listen in to my interview with CBC Radio morning host Matt Galloway to learn how you can declutter your computer. And what better time, than spring …
[Read more…]

Dealing with Post Conference Clutter 

pile of receiptsI’m still on that post conference high. I’m motivated, invigorated and full of great ideas to take my business to the next level. I can’t wait to get started. Oh, but wait, there’s all those pesky business cards and receipts I collected. I have to get those out of the way first. Then there are those great handouts. I need to do something with those too. Argh. So I guess I will have to wait to get started. I can feel the euphoria leaving my body.

It’s all those administrative tasks that keep me from doing what I really love. Organizing. As a small business owner, I get it. I HAVE to do this stuff. It’s part of being an independent professional. But sometimes, it just plain sucks. But there is a solution. [Read more…]