Clever Home and Home Office Management
Have you ever stopped to imagine what your home and family life would be like if you ran it like a business?
Take up an organized procedures that help you run your family like an organization. Your household will run smoothly if you also involve other family members in sharing responsibilities. Engage everyone, in one facet or another. This is known as delegating.
What is involved in running your family and home like a business?
Each job assigned must be clearly defined. Depending on your child’s age and skills, they will be proud to contribute, and they will learn responsibility in the process. Children will even begin to take care of their rooms better when they are in charge of it. This may not happen overnight, but it will happen in time.
To establish a good working foundation, set up a home base of operation.
This will be the place where you administrate papers, schedules, telephone numbers, and other daily details. This can be located anywhere, so long as all administrative items are centralized. You will not find a successful business with some papers on a desk, other papers in a bathroom, and a few scattered throughout the lunchroom.
There are a number of organizational solutions to put into effect in the household. If there is a particular problem area, a system can be adapted to solve the problem. In other words, if something does not work well, fix it. Come up with a method or system that will keep the problem from reoccurring.
For example, if you keep running out of certain bathroom items, put a pen and pad on the towel rack for you and others to mark down items that need to be purchased at the grocery store. If messages are not relayed, keep a message pad by each telephone to insure messages are recorded and placed in a certain rank. If you can’t keep track of family member’s activities and events, post a calendar and have each person (who is old enough) responsible for adding their new events.
Create organized procedures and methods in your home and you will become organized. Take a look at your needs as a family unit now.
Smart Time Management for Busy Moms
When people complain that they do not have enough time to do something, what they are really saying is that the thing is not a priority, and what they are doing is choosing another activity in its place.
Let’s face it, time cannot be managed but people can!
You can tell time to last longer but it just will not do it. So instead of managing it, we must manage ourselves and use our time well. The best way to begin the discussion of time management is to take a look at your busy life and then develop a plan, a vision, or a program.
Whatever you want to call it, it will give your life good direction. If you do not have a plan or at least a distant goal, you will not know which path is the right path to take in your daily life. Whether it is going to the grocery mart without a shopping list, or deciding whether to work full time, a game plan is what is needed most or decisions are haphazard and just will not work so well.
Write each priority down if it helps (and it usually does). This creates a road map to life and will enable you to easily see how to spend each of your days. For example, if you are clear that your priority is to have an outing as a family, then you will be able to say no to activities that take place during that planned time hour.
If free time is a priority, then you may choose to limit the amount of extracurricular activities a child participates in. Set your priorities with integrity and then stick to them. You will also be able to see when you are straying from any designated path. If you are often straying, then perhaps it is time to reevaluate your plan and then see if it is still working for you.
Decide whether you want to be the Chief, Cook and Bottleawasher. Alternatively, perhaps you prefer to be the MANAGER.
A family manager wears a number of different hats, from chef to accountant to personal shopper to nurse to teacher. That does not leave much time for taking care of yourself. The way to claim more time for yourself is to become a great manager and train others in your household to do more of the work in your place. Then (the hardest part) be brave enough to let them do it even if it is not exactly the way you would want it done.
Eliminate Time Drainers.
Be realistic about how you spend your time. It sometimes helps to set a timer when doing certain activities to keep track of just how much time you are putting into any activity. A good plan is to work for 45 minutes of any hour, then take a break for some 15 minutes and use that time to watch TV, surf the web, write e-mails, read magazines, etc. Give yourself a time limit for time off and then get back to doing productive tasks. You will feel more refreshed this way.
Dealing with Phone Calls and Other Interruptions.
Make use of a stopwatch when you make non-essential telephone calls or when you are interrupted by a call. Be stern with yourself on this and you will save lots of time. Give yourself a time limit so you can move on to the next important thing. Gracefully say “I need to take care of something” and then excuse yourself from the conversation.
People who love to shop can lose track of time and can lose a whole day without really noticing. Approach shopping as a chore and not a hobby and you will find time you never thought you had. Shop with a list or even a timer. Go into the store for the things you need only. If you are at a shop to take advantage of a sale, set a timer and when the timer goes off, you are done. Go directly to the checkout counter and then head off for home.
Coordinate Your Errands
Do your errands when the stores are the least busy. You will be amazed at how many essentials you can take care of at 9:30am and at 9:30pm. Banks and post offices all have slower days than others, too.
Avoid shopping on the busiest days and the busiest times and your errands will speed along much faster and you will not be so frustrated.
Group tasks by type and location. This means you need to have your list of errands.
Determine where you can do each. In addition, go to the area where the most tasks can be done. Or go to the do-it-all-giant-super-mega store where you can do grocery shopping, house wares shopping, get glasses, take pictures, and enjoy your dinner. You will save valuable time.
Accumulate Free Time
We usually think things will pass along faster than they actually do. Leave free time in your day for when life is unpredictable. Also, leave small wedges of time between appointments in case of traffic or other unknowns. If there is no emergency, then you can relax, read, make calls, listen to the radio, or sip some coffee or tea.
Refuse the Last Minute Madness
Always plan ahead for what you will need. Planning ahead does eat up some time, but not nearly as much as not planning at all. Living your life by accident leads to more of the same.
Live with purpose and intention and get more done. You will gain a sense of control when you can quickly lay your hands on what you need and know ahead of time that you have everything you need.
Create a launch pad area where you keep your to do list, returns & receipts, directions, and anything else you will need for your day. Kids need these for backpacks and school items. Make grocery lists so you do not have to stop and think on the spot and avoid impulse buying.
Spell it any way you Like N-O Spells NO!
Four-year-olds can say it, so why can’t we? Stop saying yes to every club, PTA, and acquaintance that asks you to do something. There are still only 24 hours in your day. Make yourself a priority and say NO to someone today! Give back to yourself for a change. A good rule is never say yes immediately unless you really feel you want to do it. You can always call back and say yes later.
When you do not say NO you end up overscheduling and this makes everyone a little nuts. Keep this in mind for children as well. Too many activities may be more entertaining, but it certainly comes with the cost of stress. Even if you are raising the next whiz kid, every child needs time to do homework, go to school, sleep, eat, and have free time to engage in creative play and thinking without be overbooked.
Delegate that Authority.
As soon as your children are old enough, teach them how to take care of
organizing, cleaning, and other household maintenance. Teach your spouse as well. This will blend harmony into the fabric of your lives.
Establish an Organized Home Office
Follow the lead of a well-organized home office. Using the checklist below, incorporate many of the organizing tips found on the list. You will have both a professional and efficient home office.
ORGANIZE YOUR BOOKKEEPING
* Prepare and send invoices to clients
* Enter monthly transactions into bookkeeping software
* Reconcile bank, credit card, and other account statements
* Send reminders for paying bills on their due dates
* Write and prepare checks to be signed to pay bills
ORGANIZE YOUR DATABASE MANAGEMENT
* Enter business card data into a database
* Send an introductory letter to new prospect leads
* Send scheduled marketing pieces to clients and prospects
* Track marketing efforts and summarize the results in a report
* Send regular follow-ups, reminders, and communications to clients
* Call people for missing contact information
* Send fax and email broadcasts
ORGANIZE YOUR DESKTOP PUBLISHING
* Design and print brochures and business cards
* Create flyers, price lists, and other marketing documents
* Lay out, printing, and mailing regular client newsletters
* Prepare professional-looking certificates for seminar participants
* Print labels using company logos or clip art
ORGANIZE YOUR INTERNET SERVICES
* Maintain a newsletter subscription database
* Post announcements and newsletter issues to the list
* Perform an internet search for an item or piece of information
* Edit or upload new information to a website
ORGANIZE YOUR MAIL AND EMAIL SERVICES
* Retrieve email and mail, sort, and get rid of junk
* Respond to routine email requests
* Forward items of importance to the client for attention
* Track and forward urgent issues while client is out of town
* Prepare packages and mail out products as orders arrive
ORGANIZE YOUR MARKETING SERVICES
* Send out the appropriate sales brochures for inquiries
* Create and mail a customer feedback questionnaire
* Track the responses to this questionnaire
* Summarize the responses and suggestions in a report
ORGANIZE YOUR PERSONNEL SERVICES
* Send reminders for annual performance reviews
* Prepare or update resumes and introduction letters
* Review resumes and summarize each in a short biography
* Sort resumes for a job according to pre-arranged criteria
ORGANIZE YOUR PRESENTATIONS
* Prepare PowerPoint slides from sketches of diagrams and charts
* Send questionnaires to seminar participants before the talk
* Track completed questionnaires and call non-responders
* Summarize the questionnaire results in a report
ORGANIZE YOUR RESEARCH
* Research potential locations for an upcoming seminar
* Find which locations have the appropriate dates available
* Find which can accommodate the size and type of event
* Research the services available (decorating, food, entertainment)
* Obtain written quotes and specifications from each location
* Monitor periodicals and clip articles of interest
* Visit the library to copy specific articles
ORGANIZE YOUR SECRETARIAL SERVICES
* Confirm upcoming appointments
* Schedule or reschedule appointments
* Get directions for a meeting or appointment
* Store back-up computer tapes for safekeeping
* Track birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates
* Send out the appropriate cards or gifts for special events
* Manage lists of necessary office supplies and ordering refills
* Coordinate air travel, car rental, and hotel reservations
ORGANIZE YOUR TELEPHONE AND FAX SERVICES
* Receive telephone calls while a client is out of town
* Forward important messages that require immediate attention
* Retrieve voice messages and responding to routine requests
* Receive and handle faxes while a client is out of town
ORGANIZE YOUR TRANSCRIPTION SERVICES
* Type letters and memos from tape or handwritten notes
* Type legal transcripts from cassette tape
* Type medical reports from tape or handwritten notes
ORGANIZE YOUR WORD PROCESSING
* Type handwritten notes from a meeting or seminar
* Type letters, printing on stationery, addressing, and mailing
* Proofread, edit, and check spelling / grammar
* Lay out larger documents
Organizing Home Office Tip of the Day:
PAPER ~ Try to keep paper that requires an action on your part stored separately from items that you are keeping just for reference purposes.
If you really want to feel more organized, check this out : 5 SMALL THINGS I DO TO FEEL MORE ORGANISED
Organize your Workspace Like a Pro
Your workspace, like your home, needs to be well organized. Use these handy tips to get your started:
LAY OUT YOUR WORKSPACE
* Use “L” and “U” shaped desks for the most efficient workspaces
* Store your gadgets and equipment — telephone, computer, etc. — on one “wing”
* Leave the other wing free to spread out while you work
* Have everything you need within arm’s reach
* Put your telephone on the side of the desk opposite your writing hand
* This way you can hold the telephone and take notes at the same time
* Add a hutch for extra storage for books, supplies, and equipment
* Avoid cluttering your workspace by filing away personal items
PUT ERGONOMICS TO WORK FOR YOU
* Pay special attention to your body — aches and pains aren’t normal
* Do not generally bend, squat, or stretch at your workstation
* Place your monitor at eye level — if not, raise your monitor
* Place your wrists flat when typing or using a mouse
* If not, use a keyboard tray or wrist rest when typing
* When sitting, your thighs need to be parallel to the floor
* Your calves need to be perpendicular to the floor with feet on the ground
* If not, adjust your chair or bring in a footrest
ORGANIZE YOUR SUPPLY STORAGE
* Do not hoard supplies at your desk
* Keep only what you need right now at your workstation
* Use a separate supply area for storing bulk amounts
* Store away extras in labeled containers and group like items together
* Ex: writing utensils, clips, notepads, etc.
* Place flat items (paper, sheet protectors, and folders) in stacking trays
* Place drawer dividers in drawers to keep small items in order
* Place envelopes and note cards in a small vertical rack
* Use bracket shelves above your desk for additional storage
Here are some time saving tips to help you get, and stay, organized.
- Use a day planner. These books used to be used only by the big CEO’s, or the school academic nut. Not so today! Look around for a bit before selecting one you like best. Make sure it suits your every need. You will find day planners in all materials and sizes. Your planner will help you effectively lay out your day on paper, so you know where you are going and what you are doing. These days, planners come complete with money pouches, checkbook holders and computer disk carriers, so shopping around is definitely a good idea!
- Use a family planner. Yes, buy another planner for your entire family. This way, everyone in the family knows what everyone else is up to and when. You can plan much better this way. Consider buying those dry-erase boards available in most office stores. Mom can put her important luncheons on there, dad can put his coaching meetings, and the kids can put their after-school events on it. Place it up in a convenient location, which might be the refrigerator or somewhere in a high-traffic area.
- Learn to just say “no.” You are only one person, after all and you cannot do it all! Exercise your stress management techniques by saying “no” occasionally when you are asked to do things that are of little priority to you.
- Take time to enjoy yourself. What makes you the happiest? Spending time with your children? Going out to the movies? Indulging at the spa? Attending sports or shows? Take a minute to think of what you love to do most and then get out there and do it all! Schedule some “me time” in that great new planner you have bought and treat it like an appointment with self! Although doing something such as gardening may sound like a bit of a chore, if you find it relaxing, pencil it in. Everything has a time of its own so make time for yourself.
- Take time to do a good clean up. When was the last time you organized that junk drawer, or sorted through your fridge? Is it time to catch up? At the same time buy some new hooks and organize your purse and keys. When you walk in the door, they should be placed right there ready for next time. Chances are, you might be spending valuable time getting frustrated over missing items. Make sure everything is located easily with a place for everything. That way, you will know where to look next time. Perhaps invest in some organizers. They sure are worth while when you find your life just that much more organized. Sure beats searching around for hours to find your keys!
- Establish a good routine. Keep writing in your planner daily and keep scheduling time for yourself. Throw in the occasional “no.” and get into a good routine. Stick with your new routine and you will find you will be happier and with much less stress.
You too can live an ordered life. Life really does not have to be a mess. Take a few steps to ensure that it is not and you will have time for the things that really matter to you most. You will have all the time you want for family, friends, work and more, and best of all, you will be sane. The number one benefit to being better organized is being sane!
The benefits of being organized
- You will feel better about yourself
- You will feel calmer
- Your world will smell and look sweeter
- You will be more amicable
- Friends and family will want to drop in
- Your spouse and children will wear a brighter smile
- You will have peaceful dreams
- You will not stumble around your home
- People will want to pay you more compliments
- Your kitchen will smell more fragrant
- Your soul can breathe better
Have a time and place for everything, and do everything in its time and place, and you will not only accomplish more, but have far more leisure than those who are always hurrying ~Tryon Edwards~