• Do you feel overwhelmed, inundated by your office, out of control, overscheduled and full of mental and physical stress?
• Are you running faster, multi tasking more and feeling that you can't get ahead?
• Do you accumulate piles of all the things you need to "decide" on? e.g. "I might need this info some day!", "I don't know if this is important", "I don't have time to deal with this now"?
• Do you spend money on expos, advertising, brochures, networking etc without a clear understanding of the real costs or payback (ROI - return on investment both for money AND time)?
• Do you lose sales and opportunities because of lack of timely follow-thru?

Running a home-based business or working as an entrepreneur is different! Time management skills and workflow/follow-up processes are critical for success. When you do not have strong, well thought out decision making criteria, it's easy for piles to build, procrastination to set in and time to fly by unproductively.

It's about getting a 30,000 foot view:
If you think that multitasking faster, sleeping less and buying more storage containers will give you the edge, you are too close to the problem and are dealing with symptoms vs. the causes.

THE KEY to being organized LONG TERM, is the ability for you to see the bigger picture and assess where you are and what you want to accomplish.

Planning and goal setting: You get stuck and stressed when you don't have a plan because you don’t know where to start, what to do or how to set up a system. Overwhelm, procrastination, fear, and perfectionism pull you into the abyss of despair and non action or misdirected action.

You will struggle with being organized and time management if you do not have the following decision making criteria in place:
1) What to let in
2) Where is it going to go - schedule & space
3) When are you done & what’s the exit strategy?

Three Secrets to long term success:
1) Work with someone on big picture goals. Determine what is important - set priorities.
2) Be selective. Set up appropriate decision making criteria to realistically assess opportunities and obligations you take on. This is the number 1 thing I coach my clients on - ALWAYS!
3) Simplify your life. Develop good habits and get into routines that keep you on track.

• Three email accounts & set up rules to create folders to keep your email inbox from looking like your "in basket".
• Multitask with caution (higher & lower brain function). No, it's not a good use of your time to read your email while you are talking to a client!
• Get your "to do's" on your Calendar
• Un-clutter your work space so you can focus - this affects your productivity more than you realize.
• Block your time for increased productivity
• Set up an easy to use filing system - I do this all the time with my clients to save them 6 weeks a year looking for misplaced (or buried) information.
• Have a coach or accountability partner if you are a procrastinator, get overwhelmed or are too distractible to focus - good intentions get you nowhere, create extra stress and deplete resources! The difference between success and failure in business is the ability to focus AND act on appropriate priorities consistently. I play this role for some of my very successful clients. What are you doing to move YOU ahead?

It's Really All About You (and your market) Questions:

What is your biggest issue?
What do you need to work on?
What is keeping you from moving forward on this?

Finally, my challenge for you - print this article out and put it on your desk. If it is still "floating" around your desk or environment in 30 days with
out action (but great intention!) contact me http://www.withinreach.biz.
Copyright 2010

Author's Bio: 

Mary Dykstra MBA, CPO, CRTS Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and Time Management Coach for Office, Home and Life. Coach, speaker and hands on consultant. Mary helps corporate, residential and entrepreneurial clients get organized. She is focused on creating appropriate strategies surrounding office & residential organizing, time management, planning, home based businesses (plus MLM & Network Marketers) and setting up sustainable systems for clients. Mary is passionate about helping clients regain control of their minds, lives and environments - long term. Moreover, Mary has extensive experience in working with people with ADD/ADHD. Though Mary is based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, she speaks and consults nationally as a time, life & office management expert.

In addition to her work as a CPO & Time Management Coach she works on a national level with certification of her industry. She is the current Director of Examination Development for the Board of Certified Professional Organizers. Find out more about Mary Dykstra at http://www.withinreach.biz