Well it’s that holiday time of year, and I will hopefully be taking some time off of my own soon which means there’s lots to get organised before I go!
I’m writing today’s blog to help other small business owners and bloggers with their organisation and planning at this time of year. Here are a few things I do to get me ahead and so that I don’t come back from a week off with a mountain of work to tackle!
Technology Clear Up
I like to get my computer tidy so that it’s ready for a fresh start when I’m back.
Firstly, I’ll declutter my desktop and make sure that files are away into the correct folders. I also delete anything that I don’t need anymore.
Next, I’ll go into my download folder and do the same thing. File documents and images away that I need, delete the rest and keep it clear. Obviously I really need to tidy this!!!
Finally, I make sure to back everything up. I do this regularly but especially if I’m not at home for a long period of time or if I’m taking my laptop away with me.
This year, in August, I took time out and created an editorial calendar with the help of Creatively Content. Taking this time out to create a strategy has been amazing. Not only does it save me having to think up content (because I already did that!), but it allows me to create content in advance. If I have any downtime, I can look at the calendar and work on something.
So while you think you don’t have the time to brainstorm and strategise – be that for sales, marketing, customers, or content – I strongly encourage you to find time. Take a full day, take two days, whatever it is. Arm yourself with a calendar and a pen and make a plan.
It doesn’t have to be perfect but planning ahead will save you time in the long run. And will allow you to enjoy your holidays without worrying about what has to be done when you’re home.
Receipts & Invoices:
I use an expanding file to collect all my receipts and I have that empty and ready to go. Then I have a folder for Invoices.
For the first two years of my business my receipts and invoices were not in a good way. So a few years ago, I took time out and organised a system. This system is as I’ve described above. Once a month, at least, I collect my receipts and make sure I’ve printed off invoices.
I never clock off without organising the office.
Everything on my desk is filed away and organised.
Files in my in-trays are also decluttered and organised into the filing cabinet.
In the filing cabinet, I will look through some files. I don’t try to do all of them – it’s just not realistic in terms of time to do so. But I’ll scan the files and pick out the ones I haven’t really used over the last few months and more often than not, they are shredded.
And speaking of shredding, that is also cleared out.
Finally, the room is dusted and vacuumed and tidy for when I get back!
So that’s how I wrap up for any holidays or long breaks that I want to take. The main reason I do it is really to make sure that when I come back all rested from a nice holiday, that I’m not landed straight into trying to catch up. So a bit of a clear out before I go is always scheduled in.
Hope you have a great Christmas and don’t forget to put the Out of Office on!