March 10, 2015

A Home Office Checklist: Holistic Review

Remember when your teacher said, “Check your answers” before handing in your test?  She knew that no matter how well you think you did, you might have missed something. That’s the power of review.

Your office is no different.  You need to periodically evaluate your procedures to make sure your systems are functioning correctly.

Ask these questions:

  • Are things getting done?  If you still feel you’re playing catch-up, something is not working in your system.  Find the weak link and fix it.  Are you making decisions about all incoming items? Are you delegating tasks to others?  Is your planning effective?
  • Are you comfortable with your new habits and routines?  If not, what feels awkward? Is it an issue of physical placement? Could your files be closer? Do you have sufficient room next to your inbox near to process paper?  Do you simply need more time to get used to being organized?
  • Is your filing system working?  Can you find what you need quickly and easily? Is there enough room in the file drawer so your files hang freely? Do the categories make sense or do they need fine-tuning?
  • Are you over-scheduled?  Learn to say, “No” to projects or commitments that don’t advance your business. Adjust your workload. Set specific goals and prioritize your time.
  • Are you constantly interrupted? Set boundaries with others in the household.  Announce your “office hours” and ask not to be disturbed.  Hire a dog walker. Turn off email and only check it once or twice a day.  Use voicemail and return all phone calls at the same time.

Create an hour of uninterrupted time at the end of each week and review your lists of action items and projects for the upcoming week.  Think carefully about what tasks will help you accomplish your long term goals.  Stay focussed on your business and strategize how to bring it to the next level.

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