This month we’ve been guiding our members to overhaul their offices for success. When you organise your work environment, you optimise your surroundings for productivity and increase your ability to work effectively.
The actions you take today to organise your office will also save you considerable amounts of time, money and energy.
A disorganised office costs more to run. Supplies, tools and equipment go missing because nothing is organised or put away properly. Those things have to be replaced to get the job done, and twice as much money has been spent in the end. Plus, you spend valuable time searching for missing items, files or paperwork.
In fact, some studies have revealed that the average business owner spends nearly four weeks each year navigating through messy or cluttered desks, looking for lost information. Does that sound like productive time to you?
In our online course, ‘Milking It’ we cover:
- The psychological impacts of a clean and organized workspace
- The financial benefits of an organized workspace
- How to audit your work environment
- How to implement small changes in your office that will increase productivity
- Making sure that your office is equipped with productivity tools
If I haven’t convinced you yet, read these benefits of taking the time to create an organized and well-structured office.
- Better communication. An organised office environment encourages better internal communication. With a central area for staff communication, it is easier to share sales news, track targets, and plan and monitor projects.
- A manageable budget. Organised spaces will allow you to quickly see what you have, what you need, and when you might need more. This supports the creation and sustaining of budgets, especially for supplies and equipment.
- Increased work ethic and morale. When you and your staff take care of your surroundings, it makes the workplace a more pleasant place. Taking care shows that you value your work and the people who work for you.
- Better time management. Simply put, you spend less time looking for things and more time actually working. An organized office will complement and support your time management strategies.
Stay tuned for some office organizing tips.
More than 60% of Australian women say they are suffering from time pressure. This is causing stress, arguments and inner turmoil. Even our kids are struggling. Employees waste 10 weeks a year searching for missing documents, grappling with sharing files and other lost administrative tasks.
We try to play catch up by multi-tasking, better known as ‘faulty tasking’, but we lose 30 minutes of thinking flow every time we switch tasks, making it the most overrated in our list of bad habits.
When did we lose touch?
My darling grandmother would not believe the way I live my life, were she still gracing this world with her wisdom and charm. With so many “time saving” devices at my disposal – washing machine, iPhone, car, Thermomix, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, microwave. She may well wonder why I don’t swing in a hammock all day long reading a book, with all the help at my disposal.
How many devices can claim to save us hours per day? And yet here we are, more ‘time poor’ than our grandmothers. Their perspective of time was completely different.
The thing is, time is a totally man-made construct. What’s your relationship to time? What does it mean to you? Is it something to tame? To conquer, keep, spend, waste, have, make? If you could find 12 extra hours per week, would you spend it doing what you’re already doing and feeling as stressed as you do now? Or would you use it in a way that changes your life for the better?
We need to change our inner ‘talk’ about time, and remember that we already have what it takes to make a massive difference in our own lives and the lives of those around us. Of the three sources of personal power – time, energy and money – time is the only one that we can NEVER get back. The clock is always ticking. Spend money and you can go and earn it. Expend your energy and you can re-charge with a good night’s sleep. But no one has ever been able to turn the clock back.
Sometimes it feels like you’re there all alone with that massive ‘to do’ list and your mind racing about endless tasks you haven’t done, worrying about tomorrow, next week, next month. But there are millions of women who all share these frustrating time issues. Time to stop overwhelming and start living. It’s time to change the way we think about time.
Are you ready to start turning your ideas / passion into money?
Whether or not you have your business up and running yet it’s critical you begin to visualise an existing business and see yourself running a successful enterprise. When I’m faced with challenges in my business, it’s my vision that keeps me going. When I look at the inspiring vision I set when I started my company, all complications fade and I’m motivated to push through and carry on.
Every major company in the world has a vision or mission statement – a broad, futuristic idea of what their company will achieve and look like in the future. Our five-step process helps you get there, but you need to know where “there” is first.
So, let’s take a look at what a vision statement is, and why it’s important for you to create one for your business.
A vision statement is a broad, inspiring image of the future state a business aspires to reach. It describes without specifying how aspirations will be achieved, or when. It’s ambitious and forward-thinking. It’s not about where the organization is now… it’s about what the organization will be, or aspires to be.
A vision statement needs to:
- describe aspirations and intent
- be inspirational for your future staff and customers
- project a compelling story • paint a clear picture
- use engaging and descriptive language
- be realistic
- align with your company’s values
The vision statement will also provide a clear criteria or measuring stick for decision-making. When making tough choices, ask “Does this support the vision statement?” If major initiatives don’t support the overall business vision, chances are they aren’t worth the investment of time and money.
If your business doesn’t have a vision statement, it needs one. If you already have one, then take this opportunity to strengthen it or make sure it’s aligned with the current dream you have for yourself and your company.
Your vision statement – once created, agreed to and perfected – should remain consistent and unchanged for several years.
Your staff need a strong, clear vision statement just as much as you do. When creating a vision statement, keep this in mind. The vision will need to be something that your staff can embrace, get excited about and that will motivate, inspire and build morale.
How will you communicate your vision to your employees once you’ve created it? How can you inspire them to nurture and support your vision on a daily basis, and in everything they do? How can you empower and motivate them to take ownership of the company’s future and their stake in it?
Let’s start creating your unique vision statement.
1. Start by looking at your strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of everyone who does business with you.
Think about strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of customers, staff, management, vendors or suppliers and owners.
For example, what would your customers say about your customer service standards? Would this area be considered a strength or a weakness? What would your staff say, or what would you want them to say about training and professional development opportunities? What do you think about your income and overall financial growth? Use this chart as a guide:
Strengths Weaknesses Customers Customer service Product or service availability and quality Business location Business image Staff Training Salary Professional development Benefits Quality of work environment Management Training Benefits Staff skills Vendors / Suppliers Product or service quality Owner (You) Income Business image Salary
2. Analyze your observations, and remember that your weaknesses represent great opportunities for change and improvement, while your strengths need to be nurtured and developed.
Take a look at what you’ve written and answer the following questions on your pad of paper:
- What does the overall picture look like?
- How does the overall picture align with the dream you have for your business?
- What great achievements and qualities exist in the strengths section? (List 10)
- What opportunities exist in the weaknesses section? (List 10)
3. Now that you’ve assessed where your business stands today, where do you want it to be? What opportunities exist?
Here you will take the strengths and opportunities you identified in step one, the analysis you completed in step two and start describing them in words. Use the chart below as your guide. Write three sentences that describe the future state of your business.
3. What opportunities and aspirations are the highest priorities for you and your business?
Take the sentences you created above and list them in order of importance to you. You may have to do this several times before you feel the order is accurate. Then combine duplicate sentences or ones that describe similar things. Once you’ve finished your list, take the top three to five sentences and combine them into a cohesive paragraph.
4. Refine your statements so that they’re broad, future-oriented and use words that reflect your values, priorities and dreams.
You need to refine your statement so it’s smooth, clear and easy to understand. Here’s a checklist to use when reviewing the words you’ve written:
- is it inspirational for your staff and customers?
- does it project a compelling image? • does it paint a clear picture?
- have you used engaging and descriptive language?
- is it realistic? • does it align with your company’s values?
TIP: You can use phrases like:
A leader in… Support the development of… Offer opportunities to… Continually create… Build on… Inspire… Develop… Facilitate… Achieve… Deliver… Bring together…
5. Include your staff in the vision creation process and ask them for feedback.
Do they understand the vision? Do they support it? Does it inspire them? Can they find meaning in their work based on it? Incorporate their feedback where possible and relevant.
6. Put your vision statement where everyone can see it – your staff, management, customers and vendors.
Once you’ve created your vision statement, share it with the world. Your vision is something you’ve committed to, and it lets everyone know where your company is heading. It allows them to see where you want to go, and gives them the opportunity to help you get there.
Now, do you have everything you need to start working towards your vision?
In the Momentum Business Academy e-learning program, we will show you how to work through a comprehensive goal-setting process that will act as the roadmap for achieving your vision. You’ll also review, in depth, the five-step process which is the strategy that you’ll use to achieve your goals, and in turn, the vision you’ve created. Find out more here: www.momentumbusinessacademy.com
Here in Australia we’ve all just dropped our kids off to their first day back at school for the New Year and I can hear the collective sigh of mums around the nation. No matter how many mixed emotions we all feel about saying goodbye to our kids at the school gate, let’s face it, school holidays can be exhausting.
A brief moment to stop and think about the year ahead is time well spent. As Brian Tracey said, ‘Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1000 percent Return on Energy”. Too right.
The good news is we’re back today at DYRTM and ready to help you unearth the new, improved 2014 version of YOU. Not that there was anything wrong with the 2013 version, but let’s face it, we can all do with some inspiration and momentum.
So this week, we’re taking the time to fine-tune our vision for the year ahead and we want to help you do the same. Why? It’s hard to hit a target that you can’t see. Getting an accurate vision of your target is very important!
Are there dreams that you don’t even want to think about because they’re way too exciting? What goals have you long given up on? Is this the year you’re finally going to start up that business? Or maybe there are business partnerships you have yearned for but not had the guts to approach? What about your health – is there a fitness goal that will stretch you out of your comfort zone (and help you shed the excesses of Christmas)? Maybe it’s time you transformed a space in your home so that it comes alive and helps you and your family make magic. And finally, maybe you just want to make some extra cash.
Whatever it is, this week I want you to decide on what it is and write it down. Start a fresh beautiful new journal on page 1 and start writing history. Yes, that’s right, you heard me: history. We’re going to walk through this year with you step by step and keep you accountable to make it happen.
You probably already know that 90% of New Years’ resolutions fail within the first 30 days. Well the good news is the first 30 days of 2014 are now over, so happily ditch those ‘resolutions’ you made on Jan 1. Now you’re ready to make your dreams a reality. We’re going to show you how to make them happen (because we’ve been helping people do this for a decade). There are plenty of techniques that we’ve learned and taught along the way and there’s a science behind getting what you want that we’re teaching our members.
Not sure where to start your thinking process? Click here and join our online program and we’ll show you how step by step.
Here’s to our success,
Brigitte & Angie & the team at DYRTM.
- You become your own BOSS Lady! Who doesn’t want to be in charge of themselves, their destiny and their business. It takes dedication; setting to do lists and sticking to them, setting boundaries.
- Work the hours you want. I find it best to work at the time of the day you are most productive and ‘awake and rested’
- Work in your PJs sometimes. Whilst I don’t recommend this all the time, it is a guilty pleasure of mine occasionally to stay in my PJs all day. It is good to start your day by getting dressed as if you are going out to work for the day, it somehow puts you into work mode.
- You get to live the life you want.
- You can cook cupcakes in the middle of the day. I don’t actually cook cupcakes in the middle of the day, every day, however i do get to do random things that I WANT to do. It might be watching a missed episode of my favourite show – Revenge, it might be to give myself a pedicure, or to sit out in the sun and read a few pages of my favourite book. Whatever it might be, it is so important to do something for ‘just you’ occasionally.
- You can have a nap in the middle of the day. Whilst I have to admit that I have only done this a handful of times in the 10 years I have been working from home, I love the fact that I COULD do it if I wanted. As a mum of five young children the pleasure of a daily nap is now somewhat a dream, my goal this year is to set aside time to do just that. I plan to join the likes of companies like APPLE, Google that give their staff dedicate time for a siesta.
- You can be there for your kids.
- I can work wherever I want to.
- VERY IMPORTANT! Remember to take care of yourself!!
So long, 2013 financial year and hello to a brand new one! This week we’re making sure our clients have a simple system for success for the 2014 financial year. I want to share a few features of that with you today.
If you’re familiar with our online program Milking it, you’ll know that we like to make people’s lives easier and simpler with systems for success. And one of those systems we teach is a financial system, ‘Milk Money’. We bet that if you told all of your friends about it, they wouldn’t believe how simple and effective it actually is. Every household needs one and every business needs one. It’s neat, it’s simple and once you set it up, you just maintain it.
Join us now!
So, before I show you the four things about this simple system, let me ask you a question. What are you going to do differently this year? How are you going to make your 2014 financial year successful?
How about getting your own system in place? Your system should be made up of four things:
People, Processes, Rules and Tools.
Let me give you an example. Here’s how we helped our client Kate* set up her financial system. We helped Kate to make the complex simple. At the end of last financial year, she knew she couldn’t afford to have another year of chaos. Her family and her business depended on her success so she asked me to work with her to turn things around for the better.
Kate wanted to get her financial house in order and to make more money this year but she didn’t have a plan. Here’s the system we set up:
The most important part of any system is the ‘people’ aspect. Who are the people in your financial system? With my client Kate, they were her family – her husband and three kids. In addition, she had a bookkeeper and an accountant. She also sought advice from her father so he was a stakeholder in her system. All those people were involved in Kate’s ‘system’ and they needed to understand her vision and goals.
Another important person in your ‘system’ is your accountability partner. You need someone to hold you accountable for your goals and actions. Kate hired me to hold her accountable to her goals. But for you, that could be a friend or someone you trust.
People have tendencies, attitudes, habits, behaviours and it’s always good to consider these factors when you go about making your plans. One interesting thing about your people is to observe their attitudes towards money. What do you believe is possible for you to achieve financially? Why? With Kate, we discovered that she had some limiting beliefs about money. Once she was aware of them, Kate was able to make some changes.
Every successful outcome is the result of certain things happening in a certain order. If you want to lose weight, you could take every diet book in the library and distil the messages down to one equation: Ingest fewer calories and exert more energy. It’s no more complicated than that.
Join us now!
The same applies to your money. If you want to create wealth, all you have to do is increase your incomings & decrease your outgoings. It’s as simple as that.
It’s an equation.
But what we’ve learned with Kate and other clients is that people have a habit of making stuff complicated.
Here’s the process we take. It’s so simple:
Once I got Kate to really understand this very simple process, the rest was easy. Kate confessed she had actually never planned a financial year before. She was too busy trying to keep track of the ‘reality’ of her financial position.
In Milk Money, which is module 6 in our online program, we focus on money and we talk about money!
- We talk about our attitudes to money.
- We explore how limiting beliefs can hold you back.
- We talk about our financial goals and we create clear plans.
- We set up healthy financial habits.
Nothing grows in the dark. And sticking your head in the sand gets you nowhere.
When you set up your financial system for success, not only do you increase your money power, but you also increase your energy by reducing stress and thus improving health.
Join us now!
When you have a stable system for success, you will continue to create more and more wealth. In Module 12, we help you with the other part of your wealth plan: your business and how to make it more profitable. We teach you sales and marketing systems, social media, CRM, project management, people management, and all the turn key systems that will make your business efficient.
No system can ever work without rules. You need to spell out the obvious to yourself and everyone else. Otherwise it all falls apart. Think about the kitchen: if you don’t stack the dishwasher at the end of the day, the dishes won’t be clean. Here are some rules we set up with Kate, to ensure her financial system kept running smoothly:
- All invoices are to be sent off on a Thursday.
- All bills are paid on a Monday.
- Bank statements are reconciled on the last Friday of every month.
- All tax related information gets filed in my Tax Project file as it comes in.
- All small receipts go in the monthly envelope in my small receipts box as they come in.
- I only keep 18 months worth of financial information in my primary office space and the rest is kept in an archive.
The tools are what everyone commonly thinks of as a financial system. Now you know better – they’re just tools. Without the people, the processes and the rules, the tools are useless. Here are the tools Kate had at her disposal to make it all work:
- A budget spreadsheet.
- A cashflow calendar.
- An online accounting software package called Quickbooks that she and her bookkeeper used to do her invoicing and key in her expenses.
- A shoe box to hold her small receipts in month-by-month envelopes.
- A folder to hold all her bank statements.
We’ve helped thousands of people all around the world get organised and save many thousands of dollars each year with our systems for success. Maybe it’s time we could help you?
Come and join us TODAY. Stop delaying it. We can’t wait to help you start Milking It in Life, Business and Home!
*Kate gave me permission to use her story, but her name was changed to protect her privacy.
My basic philosophy with technology is this: “use it to achieve your objectives”. It’s that simple. But it can easily hinder your progress without a system in place to manage it. There’s a real art to using technology to free up, rather than eat into your time.
Many of my clients and friends share with me their feelings of technological overwhelm. I help them establish a system with some rules that work for them, knowing what they can cope with and taking into consideration their degree of mobility and the complexity of their jobs and lives. I thought it might be useful to share a couple of my own tips and tricks for getting the results I want in my work day and I hope they make your life easier too.
Getting Inspired: Having a set of goals is important. Staying connected with them is equally as important. Images are a powerful way to do this. As I come across an image of something that inspires me, I save it in a file I set up called ‘Vision Board’. I have created a collage of these inspiring images in Picasa (free Google image management software). When I power up my PC, my ‘vision board’ instantly appears as my wallpaper on my desktop, immediately inspiring me and reminding me of my goals. I also use two other lovely little free apps called Penzu (journaling) and VisionBoard both from Happy Tapper.
Staying Inspired: I’ve moved on from bookmarking websites and remembering what I bookmarked (and why). I now use a fantastic free app called Evernote and I can add anything to it around my own themes, projects and ideas. For example, I’m currently working on a big project and I want to keep track of all the websites, e-mails, images, documents, etc that I come across that will help me with that project. All I have to do is click the little Evernote button and they get flagged neatly in there!
Making it happen: To make sure the rubber hits the road I use a fantastic free service called Simpleology to manage my tasks and keep me focussed. I log onto it in the morning, do my morning brain dump of everything I need to get done and then I just focus on one item at a time, ticking things off throughout the day. It’s so satisfying and makes me so much more productive than having 10 windows open at once just ‘so I don’t forget’.
Pull vs Push: I don’t get interrupted by e-mail all day long. When I’m working on a project, I apply the ‘pull’ strategy: I shut down my e-mail application and only open it when I need to. I then have three routine times when I handle e-mail, morning noon and night. The ‘delete’ button is your second best friend here.
Finding your files: I have a really easy system for knowing exactly where anything is in my filing system. This is all laid out in Paper Flow, your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy, along with screen shot examples. Basically there are just 5 main folders – only two of them for ACTION and everything is filed under those folders. The same applies to e-mail. It just keeps things flowing beautifully.
File sharing: I use a great free service called Dropbox to share and access files while I’m away. My clients and colleages can receive files from me without the e-mail trail with enormous file sizes. I have also created my own set of files that I’m working on, so when I travel (I’m actually writing this blog on holiday) I don’t even need to take my laptop with me. I can log in anywhere and have access to all my files while I’m away. Colleagues and clients will have access to real-time updates from me.
Reading: My iPad makes light work of my reading as all my reading material is loaded onto that before I go. I can now move mountains of work in airport lounges so there’s nothing waiting for me at the other end. I know it’s a bit of an investment but I’m not looking back!
Social connection: I can manage all of my social media accounts with my one social media dashboard: Hoot Suite. This enables me to post content across all the different social media, as well as schedule content to load at different times and for different channels.
Connecting 1:1: To keep costs down, I use Skype as much as I can for calls but I also use a great teleconferencing service for group coaching calls with the added benefit of recording the meeting. Webinars are my other favourite for learning and teaching.
For an easy, inspiring, no-nonsense, results-focussed online training program that teaches you systems for success in Life, Busines and Home, try Milking It. We hold your hand through implementing more than 12 systems for success with videos, workbooks, forums and coaching. So to make your life easier today, click here.
I’m curious to find out how you use technology to actually make your life easier (rather than harder). Please share your favourite tip with us on Facebook.
This is a guest post from Simone Mitchell Thompson, Coach, intrepid traveller, wife and mum (in no particular order). I have followed her very handy advice about saving passwords since reading this post and am finding this approach so much faster and more reliable than my old spreadsheet I’d been keeping for years. Enjoy this – and just remember it next time when you forget your DYRTM password!
I have far too many things to remember and as I get older, it seems to get harder and harder to recall certain information …………. pin numbers and online passwords are the two things which always floor me.
There are certain websites that I can log into with no problem and I never have to think twice about the username / password / memorable information combination which is required (bank account, facebook, Coles online are just a few examples). Other sites which I use less often (Open University, old e-mail accounts, kids school portal, the online tax return option I have …….) these totally throw me. I sit at the computer with a very intent expression on my face while my brain races through the different number/ letter/capital letter combo it could be.
After three agonizing attempts, I find myself locked out and on the phone trying to remember my “helpline access” password, or pin number or whatever other combination of pets names, birthdays and phone numbers I cobbled together 18 months ago when I first set up the account. I am usually, eventually referred to a real person who sounds as frustrated and resigned to his / her fate as I am at that point.
The account is reset for me and I am advised to go back in and change the password to something more memorable, but not too easy to guess …………… which brings me back to the start of this cycle!
Recently I had to request a new pin number for a credit card – I hardly ever use this card, so when I had to input the pin, my mind was totally blank. I remembered receiving the original pin number some time last year which was sent with the obligatory warning to destroy the pin number and NOT to write it down. Of course I didn’t actually WRITE it down! Oh no, that would be too easy for someone to find (anyone but me I must add). I decided in my infinite wisdom to disguise this pin as a phone number. I quickly scrolled through my address book but had no idea what on earth I named this “person” with the fictitious phone number. Does anyone else to that?!
I found a lot of contacts of people I hadn’t spoken to in ages and resolved to phone them sometime soon. The key to my pin number, however, remained buried in one of the 17 mystery contacts I couldn’t place as real people. I tried the first few which looked most likely and managed to lock myself out of the account. Which led to me calling up sheepishly to request the next new pin number ……………..
A more tech-savvy friend came to my rescue with the wonderful little piece of software called 1Password, which is now my new best friend and can be found at:
For a small fee of $49.99 my life has changed! Not only have I stopped disguising pin numbers as phone numbers, I can log in directly from the 1password application. This means I don’t even have to remember the web address of my bank any more!
To quote from their website
1Password is a password manager that goes beyond simple password storage by integrating directly with your web browser to automatically log you into websites, enter credit card information, fill registration forms, and easily generate strong passwords.
I am not normally so excited by such little pieces of software, but seriously, this one is amazing! It has saved me so much time by not having to scrabble around any more to find information. As well as storing passwords etc (you can use your own passwords or have 1Password generate one for you), you can also store things like software licence numbers, drivers licence or passport information and even attach a file to this, meaning that you can upload and store an encrypted version of your passport.
Initially I was a bit freaked out that all this info was held in one place (it is also available on iPhone, iPad and Android) but now that I have set the master password to a super-high level, all my details are safe. I just need to remember what THAT password is!
Let us know your password solution – we’re keen to gather opinions on this one.
After six years’ experience in the self-publishing game and some of the largest retailers as my distributors, I’m very excited to announce that we have a new publishing house! Wiley (Wrightbooks) will re-launch the popular Paper Flow, the ultimate guide to making paperwork easy here in Australia in June and will also launch it in the U.S. and Asia for the first time. I’m so excited and proud that Paper Flow is now going to reach a global audience. The team at Wiley are amazing to work with and having all that support means I now have more time to coach and train groups and individuals than before.
If you or your organisation is interested in workshops, presentations or coaching, please get in touch.