Organization Tips for Your Paper Crafting Business

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  • When you are organized and prepared you save time and money.  Just 1 hour a day searching for shoes, keys, paper, etc. equals 6 weeks a year of wasted time – wow, that sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
  • When you are organized and prepared you look forward to working and feel better about yourself.  It’s a great feeling to cross an item off your “to do list”.
  • Don’t fill your life with things you want to do
    • (eg. yarn for that knitting project you never started) – 
  • Do fill your life with things you like to do
    • (eg. walk in the sunshine, visit with a friend).

Before setting up your office in your home

  1. Have a clear understanding with family members:
    1. Set guidelines – hours to be spent in your office
    2. Support – when you will need someone’s help
    3. Interruptions – who is going to deal with them? (eg., making meals or taking care of household items while you work on your business)
    4. Cost – have a clear understanding of the costs. (eg., equipment, time, money)
    5. Benefits – income tax, time, profits, satisfaction
    6. Revisit and evaluate each of these items every few months and adjust as needed

Create an office

  1. Lighting
    1. If your room is dark, you’ll need extra lighting
    2. If your room is bright, you’ll need curtains/blinds so you can see the computer screen
  2. Workspace
    1. Desk – L-shaped works well to have different areas for different items
    2. Use vertical space as well as horizontal space – baskets, shelves, bins, containers/drawers for pencils, papers, scissors
    3. A filing cabinet beside your desk – lockable if confidential information will be stored inside
      1. Divide files into actionable items vs research items
      2. Don’t keep items that will go out of date quickly or that you can locate on the internet
      3. Sample book or display board of your cards
      4. Information book
        1. What goes together in a hostess package, customer package, recruit kit
        2. Where your order forms are kept
        3. Important contacts
    4. Proper electrical facilities
      1. Remove all extension cords & items causing hazards
    5. Ergonomics
      1. Have a proper chair for the desk/table you use
  3. Plan to deal with your office space daily
    1. Build clean up & get organized into your schedule
      1. For example – commit to spending 3 hours a day on your business would mean spending 2-3/4 hours making calls, searching for designs, etc. and 15 minutes cleaning up & getting organized for the next day.
    2. Evaluate continually – at least once every 3 months

Plan & Organize Your Day

  1. To achieve the goals you’ve set, you need:
    1. Structure – a tool used for putting order into your life
      1. Routines – habit/schedules
      2. Needs to be personalized – what works for you!
    2. Agenda – lets you prioritize your activities
      1. If it doesn’t fit with your agenda, it shouldn’t be a priority
      2. Keeps you focused and helps you say “no”
    3. Lists
      1. Have 2 lists – Master and Daily
        1. Master List – has ALL your tasks for home & business
          1. Use ONE calendar for all lists – digital or paper – whatever works for YOU
          2. Use Reminders/Tasks to store “future” info/files
        2. Daily List
          1. Absolutely MUST do today
          2. Make it doable – it feels good to check it off!
          3. Group errands/tasks together (eg: phone calls, paperwork, design work)
          4. Plan for something to come up – don’t book appointments “back-to-back” so you can deal with interruptions/delays
          5. Involvement with activities should be aligned with your agenda
      2. Attitude
        1. Surround yourself with things that make you smile
        2. Approach ALL your tasks with passion
      3. Managing Paper
        1. Problems start when the paper doesn’t have a home
          1. Use a basket on your desk to keep everything in one place – each family member should have their own
          2. Handle paper daily
            1. Give bills a home
            2. Schedule time to read items from the “read” pile
              1. Clip, file, recycle – handle only ONCE
            3. Don’t print everything – store on your computer organized in a system that works for you so you can find them when needed
            4. Have a binder where all your papers get filed – usually per year so they’re easy to locate for income tax purposes

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