You’ve heard the jokes about the 25-hour workday. Only you’re not laughing. As you consider starting a kitchen and bathroom remodeling business, you expect to log some long hours, especially the first year, as your business gets established. But 25 hours a day? No thank you.
Like many entrepreneurs, you will find that the course of your day, your week, and your month will go infinitely smoother when you’re organized. At least, this is what I’ve learned from the hundreds of entrepreneurs I’ve worked with at a big and bustling metropolitan chamber of commerce. The better organized someone is, the more productive he or she usually becomes. And greater productivity should open the door to opportunities you may not even be able to picture yet. In this way, organization can be the eminent “doorman.” Ten simple tips should help you launch your home improvement business on the surest foot possible:
Tip No. 1: Create a “command center.” It’s called your desk, and no one can (or should) tell you how to structure your filing system, sort correspondence, and track works in progress. It takes time to set up a functional workspace, but it’s worth every minute it takes. Spend the time to fine-tune your command center when you see an opportunity; it will save you time later.
Tip No. 2: Make the best use of your morning commute time. Map out your day (in your head), troubleshoot the “problem du jour”, or make some planning calls to eliminate the need for meetings later in the day. You can also invest in a video sharing service to decrease the amount of time you spend in your daily meetings. Regardless, if you open this valuable window of time, you will watch it invigorate your day with the fresh air of perspective. Wasting the commuting hours is one of the most common entrepreneur mistakes. Don’t let it happen to you.
Tip No. 3: Structure your day and prioritize tasks. Begin by reading and replying to emails and social media posts (if they’re related to your kitchen improvement business). Place your calls early and review your deadlines to make sure you’re in a position to meet them.
Tip No. 4: Create a task checklist or to-do list. Lists are effective, psychologists say, because the simple act of scratching something off them provides a surge of accomplishment that most people want to keep repeating. That could be, but lists also provide focus while keeping projects and marketing goals on track, especially if you include a “notes” section to chart updates.
Tip No. 5: Consolidate deadlines and events on one calendar. Take your pick – the method that suits your needs and your personality: a desktop calendar, a handheld calendar, or a paper calendar you can tote around with you. More than one tends to confuse matters and wastes time, not save it. Manage your operations efficiently by organizing a business calendar.
Tip No. 6: Reduce big problems or projects into smaller, more manageable segments. Imbue this sensible process with logical starting and stopping points and heighten your sense of accomplishment while negating procrastination. This is a tactic frequently used by business travelers. You would be wise to use it too.
Tip No. 7: Work someplace other than the office when it’s wise to do so. Sometimes, you can get more accomplished or focus better if you remove yourself from the center of the work action for a full day or part of it. Just guard against the risk of seeing your valuable work time evaporate by indulging others’ curiosity and offering explanations for your absence.
Tip No. 8: Learn to delegate – or at least ask for help. For many entrepreneurs – not just those thinking about starting a kitchen remodeling business – delegating is a learned practice. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs usually learn how to delegate after many false starts. What does this quality say about entrepreneurs? Plenty, but it’s a serious impediment to structuring the completion of tasks so you get more done.
Tip No. 9: Harness meeting time. Look for opportunities to combine meetings (especially when the same participants are involved) and reduce meeting times by at least 25 percent. Just imagine: cutting back four, one-hour meetings to 45 minutes will give you an “extra” hour a day and about 30 hours a month – close to a week of time you don’t have now. This can be done with your local or remote teams working anywhere.
Tip No. 10: No matter how busy you get, always make short-, medium- and long-term goals. They will help keep you focused, energized, and constantly moving forward. Just remember that for goals to be achieved, a plan must be in place to accomplish them. That’s a passive way to characterize what can be a lively process – and one that will invigorate your kitchen remodeling business in myriad ways.
Tip No. 11: Take a break. Running yourself ragged does not actually improve your productivity at all. Just because you feel busier does not mean you are getting more done. Take breaks throughout your day. This allows you to regain focus and rejuvenate yourself. Schedule 10-15 minute breaks throughout your work day. This will help you to become more productive and make every minute count.
Tip No. 12: Keep your desk neat. In addition to the above tactics to get organized at work, you need to keep your desk as neat as possible. Determine which tools you absolutely need to conduct your work efficiently. Leave any other objects at home. While all five of your favorite photographs might look nice at home, they can create a lot of clutter in your office space. If you want to liven up your space, use marketing products and plants to do so. Those who work in organized, spacious areas perform their work better. Thus, keeping your desk neat is crucial.
Few people aspire to a 25-hour work day. And if you embrace these tips and make them your own, an eight-hour day should do just fine. These tips are almost as important as communication skills in the workplace.