Modern life can be hectic and time consuming. For small business owners, time management can be even more challenging. Here are some to do’s you may want to make sure you have gotten to and done. If it contains items where you were going to get to it but never have, make a list and start a few at a time.
1. Do you have a regular and living will? If not, should something happen to you, circumstances can quickly become very complicated. Lawyers and emotions rarely mix well. Even if you do not have your estate all figured out, put something in place to make sure the government is not your estate planner. You can always change it. Does that will include instructions regarding children should you and your wife die together in an accident?
2. Do you have a power of attorney authorizing someone to make decisions should you become incapacitated or sick? This takes some trust, but if you are in intensive care, someone has to sign those payroll checks.
3. Do you have photos of everything in your house and your office/shop? Are those photos stored off site? If you have a fire or tornado, you need to be able to prove what you own.
4. In the last five years, have you reviewed your insurance coverage with a “professional” multi-line insurance agent who works with businesses?
5. Do you back up your computers off site? Just making a copy of files and putting them in a fireproof safe will not work. Fire safes do not protect from heat. Make sure your backup system is automatic and not subject to an office person remembering.
6. Do you own your own website? If you’re not sure, ask. And do you have a copy of the code that was written in case your provider goes broke?
7. Have you shopped and reviewed business phone services in the last five years? If not, there is a good chance you are paying too much.
8. Do you have a safety program and know what to do if someone is seriously injured on one of your jobs? If you were on vacation or out of the office, is there an emergency file your office manager or someone else can follow? What if it was you that was injured; would someone else know what to do? Do you have a relationship with a safety consultant? When a death occurs, it is too late to try and find a safety consultant to represent you. Now is the time to know that person and how to keep in touch with them.
9. In case of an emergency, do you have a flashlight and water in both your office and home?
10. Do you have some cash reserves or are you always broke? Yeah, I know — kids, family, the economy, etc., etc. The simple truth is always being broke creates way too much stress and you have to fix that or every year goes by and it is the same. My Dad was a carpenter but he always had a few bucks saved for a rainy day.
11. Have you told someone important in your life thank you? Teachers, a coach, a past friend, a family member. Saying thank you is always a good thing and not enough of us do that.
12. Improve your keyboarding and typing skills. Almost all businesses and managers/owners use computers in some form. If you can’t type, it takes up too much of your time. Numerous games on the Internet can improve your skills.
13. Fix what you’re bitching about. If you have an employee that has bugged you for years, get rid of them. If you have some type of function you go to out of loyalty, quit going and substitute something you enjoy.
14. Volunteer. Go to a shelter, bang nails at a Habitat House, do something for the community. It will make you feel good, you will be helping someone else and it will help you appreciate your life more.
15. Have a clean the office and desk day. If you have a book you bought to read and you have not read it in the last year, you are never going to read it. Do it as a company exercise. Back your pickup truck to the door and let it all fly.
16. Say No.It is OK to say no to that committee you don’t have time for or boring dinner you don’t want to attend. Setting boundaries is healthy.
17. Don’t let e-mail start your day. You have no control over what you were sent last night and how your time might be stolen. Stick to your morning plan and then deal with e-mail.
18. Use e-mail to document legal situations but do not use it to manage conflict. Most people type poorly and there is no inflection; emotion is hard to detect. Talk conflict out, don’t e-mail it out.
19. How often do you do something for you? Make an appointment today to do something for you. Might be to go to a ball game, go hunting, or take a weekend trip with your wife, whatever? Sometimes, we mistakenly put ourselves last.