Productivity Tools for the Entrepreneur by Judith Ann Kirk

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Apr 8th, 2013
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todoTools are an important part of any task and absolutely necessary to stay on top of your entrepreneurial game and be productive. However, it is not so much the tools that enhance your productivity, but how well you use and maintain them. There is an old adage referring to taking time to sharpen the saw in order to increase productivity. When you are too busy sawing (producing), you tend to forget to take time to sharpen the saw (maintenance). The following tools, if kept sharp, will keep all aspects of life running smoothly.

  1. Dayplanner/Calendar – Use only one dayplanner/calendar and block off personal and family time first.

  2. Tickler File System – This is a place to put time-sensitive papers that require a future action.

  3. Contact Manager – Whether paper or electronic, this system maintains addresses, phone numbers and pertinent contact information. Consider cross referencing names and categories. Then, if you don’t remember the computer repairman’s name, you will always find him under ‘Computer Repairs.’

  4. To-Do List – Lists are no substitute for planning and scheduling, but, if used wisely, they can augment the process and turn intentions into action. List your priorities rather than prioritize your lists.

  5. Colored File Folders – With the use of color, you can identify files or categories three times faster than the standard green folders. Consider using bright green for files that bring in the money, red for expenses, and yellow for action files.

  6. Telephone – Let your fingers do the walking, call ahead.  Check on availability of products.  Verify appointments you are going to and ones that are coming to you.

  7. Telephone Headset – Saves the neck and chiropractic expense.

  8. Voice Mail – This tool controls interruptions. Utilize your outgoing message to educate the caller. Think about what you are saying, and do not promise to return every call which only adds an unnecessary layer of pressure to your day.

  9. E-mail – Enhances the speed of communications. Keep messages clear, concise and one topic only.

  10. Wastebasket and Recycle bin – 80% of all papers filed are never looked at again, so utilize the circular file(s).

A tool is simply something that aids in the performance of an operation. Tools cannot make you more productive. However, when used efficiently and effectively, tools enhance productivity. Take some time to open your toolbox of possibilities and be diligent in usage and maintenance. Keep them sharp!

© Judith Ann Kirk | Judith Ann Kirk is a Simplification Specialist with over 15 years experience as a Professional Organizer. Getting organized eliminates clutter, chaos and confusion and leads to a stress-free life with more time, money, energy and breathing space. www.OrganizingResources.com is a resource of tips, techniques and life management skills that will lighten your load and simplify your life.

And if you liked these tips you may be interested in the Get a Plan! Guide® to Ridding Your Workspace of Clutter part of the Get a Plan! Guides® series designed to give you the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion.

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