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Santa Isn't The Only One With A List
It's the start of a New Year and a time that many small business owners take time to review their business in 2006 and plan for improvements in 2007.

The Value of Lists
There are professional organizers who create workable spaces and coaches to help people achieve their goals. As an Entrepreneur, you are visual and one of the key things you can do to help yourself stay organized and achieve your goals is make lists. If you can see everything, you can prioritize, complete tasks and feel you have achieved something with a reduction in your stress.

I assist multiple clients, with myriad details, and I work with a Not-for-Profit in multiple communities. As a multi-tasker I have to have lots to do, but there is the possibility of losing track of details, which I find stressful. Missing commitments and forgetting meetings and details is deadly to any business, particularly small business. I don't do it, and this is how I keep track.

My Planning System:

  1. Reviewing my diary for the last 3 months and looking ahead for commitments, promises and targets, I write everything down on several sheets of paper and prioritize the details, considering lead times and assigning dates for start and completion. I enter this into my planner.
  2. I sort through the paper on my desk, and the file I call planning and detail, creating new files as needed and adding items to the list as I come across them, tossing extra paper.
  3. Once I have assigned dates to the work, that's decisions made and stress reduced. Having reduced everything to a list, and road map in place, I can hit the ground running, saving time and manage my business efficiently.
I feel focused, in control and energized.

There are many organizing tools you can use to suit your style, from Palm Pilots to a calendar on the wall. I prefer a Daytimer with a month at a glance and 2 pages per week from my local Staples. I am visual and the planner is portable, so it works in the field. Organizers only work if you can look at them! For my home office, I found a new chain called Solutions has everything I need to organize my desk.

Whatever your style, take time on a regular basis to plan your activities, make sure you have the right tools and carve out a space in your home as a base for your business.

Margaret Pennyfather is an experienced Sales and Marketing Professional with exposure to a wide range of businesses. Her Sales and Marketing Consulting Services are available to businesses from Marketing Network Associates and can be reached via email at

Copyright 2007 Margaret Pennyfather


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