You hear and read it everywhere; you need systems in place. But what does that mean? It means developing procedures, processes, and routines to manage your business. For example, what is your process when you receive an email or phone inquiry from a prospective new client? How do you keep track of this person and their contact information? Another example is keeping track of clients who owe you money.
There are dozens of tools out there to help you manage the information and transactions for your business. Deciding which tools are best for you can be time-consuming. I spent hours reviewing, researching and trying out various tools before settling on those I use now. I also continue to re-evaluate the tools I use as well as new ones to make sure I am using the best tools to run my business. Choosing the tools to help you run your business is the easy part. Developing the daily habit of using those tools can be a challenge. Sticking with those daily habits, well, let’s just say I fell off the wagon and paid the price.
During my recent move from Arizona to Colorado, I was reminded of the value of the systems I had in place. Mostly because I stopped using some of them. I immediately became scattered and disorganized. Balls got dropped. I became stressed because I couldn’t find the information I needed or forgot something I was supposed to do. The paper was everywhere because I didn’t take the time to sort and process my notes each day. When I sort and process my notes from the day, items are added to my task management system, client notes, calendar items set up, etc.
A long distance move is stressful enough, becoming stressed over little things because I didn’t stick with my systems made it worse. As I’ve worked to re-establish the habit of following my systems, I found there is still much satisfaction in shredding paper and banishing it from my life. My stress level has gone down to whatever is considered normal for me. And to the pair of scissors that went missing during my move, I hope you found a happy new home. You’ve been replaced.