As a mom in business, getting and staying organized is an ongoing theme. From planning my week on Sunday night to scheduling in fitness to making sure everyone gets home from school to planning for an upcoming conference, my daily life runs like an airplane flight plan. During the summer, hyper-planning and knowing where everything is located IS even more critical otherwise life begins to looks like one big circus.
When summer hits, our lives as mom (dad) – preneurs and professional women (and men) get turned upside down, and we adjust our routines to allow for different pickup and drop off times along with wanting to enjoy some summer fun with our kids. Unfortunately, somewhere in between basketball camp, swimming, and a myriad of important conference calls, my home office took a turn for the worse.
The first sign was my desk. I could not find what I needed when I needed it and wasted a good bit of time looking and searching. The second sign was lost sleep over trying to remember which pile of papers was which. The third and final sign was when I went into my closet to grab something off my normally tidy shelves and my CorpNet Binder (also know as a corporation or an LLC kit) fell on my toe. OUCH. If you have received a binder from CorpNet, you know what I mean. Those suckers are big, heavy, and full of great info and ways to keep your paperwork together, but do not feel so great when they land on your foot.
Unfortunately, I was not using my binder to its fullest capacity, and somehow my closet let my BIG toe know that it was time to shape up (or ship out).
Sometimes getting back on track just means that you actually have to listen to your own advice once in a while, so I put on my imaginary top hat and refreshed myself with my own words of wisdom.
I put into effect my very own tips for taming a home office in order, especially during summer:
- Reign yourself in: Take an afternoon, unplug, and go through that huge stack of important papers. I know you have one. We all do! File the papers accordingly, and DO put your important LLC paperwork in a safe place (make copies, too). Make sure to label folders and shred anything that you do not need any longer.
- Make a rule: To straighten your desk on Friday afternoons before the weekend. Nothing like having a messy home office hanging over your head during the weekend. Get the place ready for a productive Monday.
- Go Electronic: With business books. I have several hard copies of important business reads, but I mainly stick to business books on my E-Reader which makes it easy to tote around my reading and reference it wherever I may be at any given moment. This allows you to grab a quick fact on the road or to catch up while waiting for an appointment.
- Go Old-Fashioned: With business cards. It is great to enter information from business cards into your contacts, but there is such a story with every card. I recently met the founder of May Books, and she spoke about keeping all the biz cards that she receives taped into a notebook. I loved this idea so much that I created a notebook for business cards. Each card is unique and gives you a flavor for the person who gave it to you. As an added bonus, you can write little notes on the paper next to the card.
- Make certain to uphold: Do Not Disturb when working! I found a fabulous handmade do not disturb sign for my office door and hang it up when I am having office hours. This is a great way to establish boundaries when you are working for kids (and spouses) and really helps set the mood for working. No need to even buy one, just grab one from your next hotel stay or have your kids make one.
Being able to work from home is such a luxury for moms, but can also drag us down a boundary-less road. Don’t let that happen to you this summer. Make the most of every minute with an organized office and schedule, so you can enjoy a few extra minutes splashing around with your families!