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This chapter is from the book

Organized from the Start

While we cover organization skills and ideas in the next chapter, precious time can be wasted by lack of organization. One tip we want to pass on here, though, is to try to envision organization in your home office from the very start. If you already have a home office established, you may want to spend the time to implement these ideas, because in the long run, they will shave minutes and more off your workday.

Set up a FedEx, UPS®, or overnight carrier service account if you ever use them for your business. Spend 15 minutes on the phone or on-line once, get your account, have them ship supplies right to your doorstep, and you won't have to waste time again. Don't ever sit "on hold" with FedEx or any of the other carriers. Once you are set up, you can do it all on-line, efficiently and quickly—that includes scheduling pickup, tracking packages, and ordering supplies.

  • Have a postage scale and postage supplies on hand so you don't waste time on line at the post office. Again, go to the post office once and get all the supplies you need, along with rate sheets, and you won't have to waste time there again. This is especially important in the months of November and December, and around the dreaded income tax deadline date in April when lines at the post office are at their longest.

  • Consider, depending on your mail volume and the nature of your business, getting a postage machine for bulk mail.

  • Consider paying your bills on-line.

  • Organize your filing cabinets and shelving systems from the start so information is at your fingertips.

  • Whatever office supplies you use, keep them well-stocked so you don't run out at deadline time.

  • If you regularly send clients flowers, establish an account at a florist you can trust and pre-select choices that you like. Or set up an account online at one of the national florist companies.

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