Do More in Less Time: Create a Workflow

by | Nov 5, 2014 | Columns

A weekly column on Fredericksburg.Today by Linda Clevenger, Organization Direct.

Of course you want to do more in less time. When you aren’t able to accomplish what you thought you could, we can feel frustrated and overwhelmed. A lot of times this is because there is no flow to your process. I relate it to the ‘ole saying of “putting the cart before the horse.” As much as we may want to jump to the end of the project and move on to something else, that just isn’t productive.

A good way for me to relate to a flow or process is canning fruit and vegetables. Without following a specific system, all of that hard work will be lost. To make applesauce, the flow is: cut the apples, cook the apples, put the apples through the food mill, (while this is going on, heat up the jars), put applesauce in hot jars, wipe off the top of the jars, boil the seals, put seals and rings on jars, boil for 10 – 15 minutes in a hot water bath, remove. (You get the hint). Leaving out just one part of the process can ruin all of that work; and it is a lot of work.

A workflow is important to our everyday success. When we accomplish our daily goals we boost our self-esteem and our self-worth.

Handling paperwork requires a positive and proven workflow. Without a system, papers can easily find a home on the top of every flat surface throughout your office or home. Having filing systems set up is a key to a successful paperwork flow. This is way more than just setting up file folders. Your system must make sense, be easy to operate and work for your personality.

When you clearly define the flow of your business and/or household, you will be amazed at the amount of work you will accomplish. People ask me all the time, “How do you do it all?” I have to admit that it took me a while to develop some of my systems. This is exactly how I am able to do as much as I do every day. There is definitely a method to my madness!

• I plan ahead – working from a calendar is key to staying focused and on time.
• I enlist help from family. I don’t have to do it all. Everyone has responsibility.
• I stick to a schedule as much as possible. There are some things that need to be done every day and other activities that need to be done weekly.
• I have filing systems. Especially in business, my filing systems are important to stay organized and positive workflow. This allows me to find what I need, when I need it and avoid wasting time looking for information.
• My filing system on the computer mimics my paper filing system.

Defining your workflow will help you maintain a productive household and business, as well as relieve stress. Take the time today to write down all of the things that you do every day and how you can create a workflow that works for you.

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