TITLE - 26 Office Organization Strategies

26 Office Organization Strategies

Office organization requires effort and planning, but it isn’t difficult to accomplish.

QUOTE - 26 Office Organization Strategies


Use these tips to turn your office into a haven for productivity.

1. Declutter.

This is what I’m focused on this month with my Multiply Mastermind students and my Scholar students. We’re doing a 30-day decluttering challenge, not only of our office but also of our homes and lives.

Empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Take everything out and look at it. Then throw away or donate anything you don’t need. Ask yourself the question, is this serving me still? Am I using this? If not, it’s time to go.

Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you need it, out it goes. Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants, real or artificial, and decorations. If they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

2. The Desk Zone.

Desks should only contain the necessities, like your computer, phone, printer, and reference materials. Too many things cause clutter and disorganization.

Ideally, your desk should have drawers for supplies and files used daily. Pens, pencils, tape, paperclips, and staples should all stay in containers or in easy to reach drawers. This is your workspace. This is where you are going to make great things happen. You want to make sure this is clear of clutter, so you can focus and be productive on your business.

3. Clean Off Your Computer Desktop.

Digital messes count as clutter, too. Files sitting on your computer desktop are distracting and will make it difficult to focus. I make this part of my monthly system, where I am cleaning off all the files on my computer desktop.

I’m constantly downloading things, and I take that one day a month to put them in the correct Dropbox or Google Drive folder. I can tell when I look at somebody’s computer screen, and it’s covered with files, that we got some internal stuff going on. Remember, once a month, get that desktop cleaned.

4. The Paperless Office.

One of the best things you can do for your office and the environment is to go paperless. Paper creates clutter. Although a certain amount of paper is necessary, try reading and storing documents online instead. Before you hit the print key, ask yourself, do I need to print this?

5. Go Digital.

Organize all your files in cloud-based software like Google Drive or Dropbox. I use both. I teach my students in my Multiply Mastermind program how to create their business hub in Google Drive.

Then you want to create systems so that your files are easily accessible. If you went inside of my Google Drive or my Dropbox, you would think I have some severe OCD problems, but I can find anything in two seconds flat. That is how organized I have these files in there.

6. Inbox and Outbox.

Having in and out boxes on your desk creates space for those documents that have to be printed, as well as incoming and outgoing mail. This allows you to know exactly where documents are instead of having them in piles all over your desk.

7. Snail Mail.

Sort your mail every single day. Don’t just stick it in a pile to be sorted. Every day, the mail comes in. What’s going in the trash? What’s being shredded? What’s going in your inbox to deal with that week?

If you wait and just let those piles stack up on your kitchen counter or in your office, it’s going to create brain clutter. Remember, we’re trying to clear our outer space to stay focused on the important things that we want to accomplish during the week. Do daily mail sorting. It takes 2 seconds.

8. Filing Cabinets

An organized office needs file cabinets. Color coding makes it easier and faster to find information. If your files become stuffed, clean them out. Put prior years’ files in a labeled storage box to free space. For all of the documents that I need daily, I want them just like an arm’s reach away.

I have a silver cabinet here, things that I don’t need as often. So like worker’s comp stuff, insurance stuff, stuff like that, that goes in there. But quite honestly, again, I have very little paper because I’m trying to keep everything in the cloud.

9. Magazine Boxes.

Store the magazines you want to keep in special magazine boxes on a shelf to declutter your workspace. Better yet, throw them out as soon as you’re done reading them.

My mom loves to order me magazines, even though I constantly ask her not to because they create clutter. My system is when the magazine comes, I read it immediately so I can toss it. It stresses me out. When I see the magazine, I’m like, oh, I have so much to do, I don’t want to read this magazine, but I don’t want it hanging around. So I read them the day they come, and then I toss them.

If that’s not something you want to do, you can get these magazine boxes at, The Container Store, keep them on a shelf, so they’re not creating clutter in your office or life.

10. Paper Shredder.

Shred documents with personal information that you don’t need to keep. This will free up file space and protect your confidentiality as well. You don’t want to be throwing any of your personal papers with your information directly in the trash, so use your shredder for those documents.

11. Filter Your Email.

Create a filtering system for your emails. Examples of mailboxes to create, customer care, sitter correspondence, drafts. You’ll always want to have a drafts folder, so you do not have to re-type every single email that you send to sitters and clients, the applications that come in, etc. and you can have a complete file.

So what I do in my Mac mail program is I flag. I move all the things I need to do that need my attention that I have not yet completed. I flag them, and they’re in that folder. And then I go in and complete them. When I’m done, remove the flag and then delete the email.

You can also create rules inside your email client, where certain emails automatically get sent to these folders, and you don’t have to do it manually. But the goal is inbox zero. You don’t want your Inbox completely cluttered with emails. If you’re not reading them, delete them. Get rid of them or filter them.

12. Do not disturb.

Reclaim your time by hanging a sign on the door or a dry erase board to let others know you’re unavailable. Dedicated work time helps maintain an organized mind, as well as an organized office.

I don’t know what I would do without my do not disturb sign. When my three little children come home from school, they would barrel through the door if I didn’t have that sign on there. I know many of you have issues with boundaries with siblings, not siblings, spouses, or parents living with them, or children living with them. This is how you create that boundary – putting that do not disturb sign up on your office door.

13. Personal Items.

Personal items can crowd your workspace, and that’s okay, but don’t let them overrun you. Designate a specific area for personal items, and this will keep your desk organized and free from distraction.

So my children love to make me projects at school, and they want me to hang them all over my office. And I do too, but I don’t keep them too long. This is the only one I have right now. It says Happy Mother’s Day. And this is a pen in a cute little pot, but I keep this on my desk, but this will go away soon, just because I don’t like clutter.

14. Plan It.

A personal planner or desk calendar will help you keep track of your schedule and deadlines. Write everything down, including birthdays, appointments, client meetings, deadlines, and other helpful notes.

If you are a pen and paper girl, you can get calendars on Amazon that you can keep on your desk. I personally love Google Calendar, and I have a calendar for just my personal appointments. I have a calendar for my kids. I have a calendar for my marketing. I have a calendar for my programs, so on and so forth. I can share them with my students in certain programs or share them with my husband or share them with my team. They all sync from every device, and it truly is a lifesaver. So I personally love Google Calendar but use what you like.

15. Once a Month, Do a Clean Sweep.

Spend one day a month doing a total clean sweep in your office. Put files and supplies back where they belong, clean out desk drawers and file cabinets, shred papers that you don’t need if they contain personal information. Schedule a day to do this.

Every first Monday of the month, I have a business organization day where I do all of this. You know, my desktop, the computer desktop, my office, papers, throwing things away from the filing cabinet, going into my QuickBooks online, looking at the revenue and expenses from the month before, so on and so forth. It is a scheduled day on my calendar where I am doing a clean sweep.

16. Tip-Top Computers.

Computers are the lifeline of an office. Dust it weekly to keep it in tip-top shape, install and use antivirus software and system utilities to keep your computer running well. Also, you’ll want to back up and empty the trash regularly. This was big for me.

I do videos all the time, and I had so many videos sitting in my trash can. It was slowing down my computer so badly, and I didn’t even realize it. Now every week the computer gets dusted and the trash gets emptied.

17. What To Do.

Maintaining a to-do list will help you stay organized. Make it a habit to write down important tasks and cross them off as they’re completed.

Something I teach my students in my programs is called the See It Through Strategy. And a big part of this is taking weekly, either on a Sunday or Monday, you’re getting everything out of your brain, and you’re putting it on your to-do list, and then you’re scheduling it on your calendar.

I love to keep all of my notes on an app called Notability on my iPad, so everything is all in one place. You can use a notebook, you can use a Google Doc, but the point is that you are getting it out of your brain and putting it down on paper to use that brain space for business generating, money-making activities.

If we have everything in our minds, things don’t get done. It causes confusion. We want clarity, and doing this thought download at the beginning of the week of all of our to-dos and then organizing them on our calendar is so important. Again, I use Notability, which I love.

18. Deadline.

No one likes them, but we all need them. Incorporate your deadlines into your master to-do list and keep that handy in your planner. Sticking to a deadline schedule will force you to stay on track. Parkinson’s Law states that something will take for as long as you give it.

So if you say you want to get a website designed and you don’t give yourself a deadline, it could take you six months. But if you say, I’m going to give myself one month to get this done, that is how you increase your productivity. You have to provide yourself with deadlines, or otherwise, it’s just going to eat up all your time and take forever.

19. Ugly Cords.

Tidy up those messy cords with twist ties or rubber bands. I ordered a whole bunch of different colored ones on Amazon.

20. Reference Zone.

Set up a specific zone in your office for these materials. This could include binders, books, manuals, magazines, dictionaries, and professional items. A bookcase should fit the zone nicely.

I have a giant cupboard over here that I got at an auction. It holds so much stuff, it’s unreal, but this is where my reference zone is. All of my binders and reference documents from any program that I’ve ever joined, or documents that I create for my students is right here, and it’s behind a closed door so I don’t see it. If you can get something where you can close the door and keep that organized, that’ll be great.

21. Fresh Start.

Straighten your desk at the end of each day. That way, when you sit down in the morning, you can start with a clean slate. If you have a priority task that needs to be completed first thing in the morning, leave it out on the desk to help you get focused and ready to go.

If you do this one tip, I promise you your productivity is going to skyrocket. That is something I do, systematizing pretty much everything in my life, but at the end of every day, this desk is cleaned off.

That way, I can sit down with a clean slate, a clean mind, and get going first thing. If I sat down with piles of stuff everywhere, that’s not a good way to start your day.

It takes two minutes. Just clean off your desk, put everything away, and turn it off, shut it down, and head out.

22. Label It.

A label machine is your best friend. Labeling all files, folders, bins, containers, trays, boxes, and other organizational tools lets you know exactly what’s inside.

I used to have a Dymo label maker and stamp printer on my desk that took up a lot more space, so I switched to this because I don’t want clutter.

So label everything, and that way, you know exactly where everything should go.

23. Charge It Up.

Designate a space in your office to charge all of your devices. There are three children and two adults living in this house. We all have multiple devices. There were cords everywhere. Everybody was charging things in different places until I got a dry sink at an auction. And we set up a charging station. So everything’s organized. We have all of the charging cords labeled, so we know whose cord is whose, and everything’s right in one spot.

24. Organize Your Valuable Documents.

Create a special kit for all of your valuable documents, assets, and personal information. I ordered a fireproof briefcase from Susie Orman, the financial guru. We keep marriage certificates, birth certificates and anything about our assets in there.

You have to think if the house were to burn down and you could grab one thing, what would you need? That’s where you want to keep all those documents. It’s super organized.

25. Build a Life Binder.

Organize important papers in an easy grab-and-go binder. Here are some categories: medical, pet, auto, manuals, house, kids, and personal.

Many manuals are kept online now, so you might not even have to keep those anymore—just something to keep in mind. Keep it in your reference zone, and you can pull the binder out, and everything is right there and organized.

26. Utilize Wall Space.

If you have a small space, use your wall space to hang filing systems, calendars, whiteboards, shelving, and more. There’s so much more space when you go vertical.

Before I moved here to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, I had a smaller office at my old house, and I used the wall space. It had all of my calendars and whiteboards and shelving.

Here, I don’t need it as much. I have a much larger space. I like things out of my sight. So I have these two glass cabinets, the big cupboard here, and then the dry sink back here, where everything is organized and put away out of sight. Use the wall space if you have a smaller space.

Keeping yourself and your office organized isn’t difficult after you create systems that you stick to. Following these simple tips will keep your office running smoothly, enable you to accomplish more, and help you feel less stressed.

If you are struggling with organization and clutter, it usually is a sign of something going on up here. You need to learn how to organize your mind, thoughts, and to-dos, and usually, the external physical environment becomes much easier to keep organized.

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Work Family Balance

Work Family Life Balance

One of the members of our community, Emily Lewis, asked me to talk about work-life balance in her pet sitting business. There are two main topics I want to cover.

First is when you have young children, and you’re trying to build your business, and I did a video about this last year. Here is a link to that video: https://youtu.be/302z5z1PikI

Hire a manager.

When I started having my family, having Lucy, that’s when I hired my first manager. When I hired her, I wasn’t expecting to keep her on to work for me.

I was planning to have her come for three months and cover things for me to be a new mom and enjoy my new baby. I ended up loving mothering so much, and she was doing such an amazing job that I decided to keep her on. When Lucy got a little bit older, I realized that I had all this time now because my manager was taking care of things.

She was taking care of all of the administrative tasks for me, which freed up so much of my time to focus on growing the pet sitting business. So that is why I kept her on. The year that I did hire her, I made an additional $53,000. So it was like, “Well, this is a no-brainer.”

Have a support team around you.

When you hear me talk about building your team, I’m not only just talking about building your team of pet sitters. I’m talking about your support team around you. I now have three managers and a virtual assistant that helps me with everything.

I can focus on marketing and getting new clients, and having our current clients booked more frequently. That’s where my manager onboarding system comes from.

I think it’s important. It is part of a process.

Work Family Balance

 

The manager also helps to free up your time to be a mom as well.

Have an organized household and set boundaries.

My kids are now in school. They’re at school every day until four, and then I can focus on the business. So my suggestion for when you have young children is get a support staff around you, and work when the baby sleeps, and work when your husband gets home from work. That’s what I used to do. I used to hang with my kids, and then when he got home, that’s when I would sit down and get my work done.

Now, if you’re asking about COVID, that’s a whole different ball of wax. If your kids are home, luckily, my kids are in Catholic school. So they are in school full time. They have been since September.

Last spring was not easy, and my suggestion for that is you need to be super-duper, duper organized in your household, and setting boundaries. Ensuring everything’s set up at the beginning of the day, in their specific spots. Make sure they have everything they need. Lunch is made the night before, and have space for just yourself to work in your home.

We have a system in my house when I have a smiley face on my door; they’re allowed to come in. When they have a sad face on the door, that means they are not allowed to come in. That means I’m either doing a Facebook Live, I’m recording a video, I’m on phone calls, I’m teaching. So that’s kind of how they know whether they can access the office or not.

Delegate duties to your manager.

My manager handles all phone calls, emails, scheduling, and keeping track of all of the sitters availability. My hiring manager takes care of the sitter recruiting, the sitter assessments, and the sitter onboarding. Then she manages them as well.

Sue is my main manager that does all of the face-to-face client work. I have my sitter manager and my hiring manager, Jessica. My Online Business Manager is Michael, and he runs both sides of my business, so Pet Nanny and Pet Nanny Coach. He helps with all tech and marketing stuff and organizing all the projects that we’re working on in my pet sitting business.

When you get to a point in your business where you have 2,000 clients to service, that managerial role does become a full-time job and will suck up all of your time. That is when I suggest bringing on the manager and again, freeing up your time to be with your children.

I can go to any school function that they need me, all the sports events, that’s all taken care of because I am not the system in my pet sitting business. I’ve created a business that’s a machine that runs without me because of the amazing support system and the systems that I have put into place. So I can run the business.

Create a miraculous working routine.

So you want to make sure you’re getting up, and you’re doing something positive for your mind. Whether that’s listening to a positive podcast, reading something positive, doing yoga, exercising, something where you are starting your day off on the right foot. Mine includes Peloton and meditation.

Get up and get dressed.

During COVID, people were just kind of lounging around in their sweat pants, and it’s not good for motivation. So get up, get dressed, put a little makeup on, do your hair, and that’s going to help with the motivation.

Have a designated workspace.

So everybody in my home knows that when this door’s closed, a sad face is on the door, that mommy is working, and I’m not to be interrupted until I come out and give them the A-okay.

Now, if they’re very little, obviously that’s going to be different, but my kids are a little older now. So that’s a system that works for us.

Plan weekly.

You want to make sure that you’re doing your weekly planning on Sundays. We call it the see it through strategy where you’re taking everything out of your mind, put it onto paper, and put it onto your calendar so that you know exactly what you’re working on every day.

Then on Friday, you’re going to do the Finish Up Friday hour where you’re going to go through and see all the tasks you had on your calendar to see what wasn’t completed. Then you’re going to put that on the following week’s calendar.

Define boundaries with family and friends.

I used to talk on the phone all the time with my friends during the day. I don’t answer it anymore. I don’t answer text messages until the day is over. I’m taking care of my family and building a business, and now they know that I’m not available to chat about the Real Housewives during workdays.

Meal prep.

I try to plan my meals every week. I use an app called Plan To Eat, which I love. I put the recipes in for the week. It creates a shopping list. Billy does all the food shopping. He has the app, and he knows exactly what we need to buy at the store because I have everything planned for the week. I try to do as much prep work at the beginning of the week.

Chopping the onions or making the ziti, or today I’m making shepherd’s pie. I try to do as much as I can at the beginning of the week.

Design an end of day routine.

When you have a family, you want to turn off your computer, turn off your phone and be present with them. I have a whole routine that I’m shutting down for the day, and then I’m with the family, and that’s it.

Again, that’s from having that support team. You’re not on-call 24/7. Having a pet sitting business for years, I was on-call seven days a week, 365 days a year, and that’s not the way a business is supposed to be. It’s supposed to add to your life, and you need to create these support systems around you so that you can shut it down at the end of the day and be with your family.

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TITLE - Avoid Perfection Paralysis in Your Pet Sitting Business

Avoid Perfection Paralysis in Your Pet Sitting Business

I had a great coaching call with one of my Multiply Mastermind students, and we were talking about automations. Automations are what I teach my students to create on the backend that will take the manual processes out of their business, so things are happening without doing every last piece of it.

The number one automation we need to get is a lead magnet on their website. That is something you can offer your customer prospects in advance that will give them value, that’s going to add them to your email list, to convert them into a customer.

My student created several lead magnets. A lead magnet for dogs, for cats, one for summer, and one for winter. They were all excellent lead magnets, but she doesn’t need seven of them.

She just needs one.

She needs one to get it up and to run within her automation to get the campaign going.

That is what this lesson is all about. You have to be aware and mindful of the rabbit holes.

QUOTE - Avoid Perfection Paralysis in Your Pet Sitting Business

 

My student is staying stuck because she’s focusing too much on the rabbit holes and perfection paralysis. She was afraid to get it out in the world before it’s perfect.

There’s always plenty of time to get it perfect and add the bells and whistles to make it amazing.

Right now, get it up, get it out into the world and get it running because that’s how you’re going to build and grow your business.

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Get More Done in Your Pet Sitting Business by Creating a Model Calendar

Get More Done in Your Pet Sitting Business by Creating a Model Calendar

Pet sitters struggle with time management, especially if you are still out doing the dog walking, pet sitting, and house sitting. Thus, it makes it challenging to work on the business to move it forward. I talked about this previously when writing about Creating a Container Around Your Time. Today’s lesson has to do with Making a Model Calendar.

Make a Model Calendar

The model calendar is a strategy wherein you get a Google Calendar, then create a structure and routine for yourself.

For example:
– Monday 7:00 am: Plan your week. This is your planning power hour.
– Tuesday to Saturday 7:00 am: Admin work. Check customer emails, respond to customer requests, etc.

Put Focus Time on your calendar.

This is when you are committed to showing up for yourself, to work on and grow the business. If you stick to your calendar, you are going to be so much more productive. But the trick is to show up for yourself. The only person you’re letting down by not following your model calendar is you.

QUOTE - Get More Done in Your Pet Sitting Business by Creating a Model Calendar.png

 

Don’t forget to test your model calendar.

You may find out that you don’t show up for your Monday power hour sessions. So you may decide to move that to Sunday afternoons.

You may find out you need more time for admin work on Mondays and Fridays. So you may increase those hours.

You may find out you’re not showing up for your focus time and implementation time to work on the business at that specific time for whatever reason. Move the time.

The hours of service can vary among pet sitters. You need to test things out to figure out what works for you.

So creating a routine, structure, and framework for your week helps get much more done. Go to Google, create a Model Calendar, and get to it.

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Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business

Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business

Are you still working too many hours in your business?

Every day in my free Facebook group, the Pet Nanny Coach Community, I post a tip of the day to help you grow your pet sitting business.

Last week one of the tips was to get seven to nine hours of sleep at night. It’s not groundbreaking advice, but most of us don’t do it.

However, I was surprised by the responses. Some people said, “Huh, tell the dogs that.” Some people said, “Yeah, right.”

But one specific comment stuck out. A member of our community said that following my advice to hustle and work hard on your business means that she works from 5.00 AM to 11.00 PM every day, leaving absolutely no time to get even seven hours of sleep a night.

I teach working less and making more

And I thought this is not at all what I teach my students.
Yes, I want you to hustle. Yes, I want you to take action. Yes, I want you to implement all these amazing business strategies in your business.
But that does not mean working from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM!  As a lifestyle that is going to cause burnout and most likely is going to cause you to quit.
It’s not sustainable. And I know because I lived it for five years.
What I teach is working less and making more.
The more you work in your business (rather than on your business) the less money you’re going to make because there’s only so many hours a day that you can trade for dollars which puts a glass ceiling over your head.
Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business
But when you leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals that will take exceptional care of your clients’ pets, the sky is truly the limit in how big you can grow your business.
I teach my clients how to get more clients, make more money, and have more freedom.
Freedom is an integral part of what I teach. Your business is supposed to add to your life, to give you a lucrative income stream and provide the time to be able to do the things that you love.

Grow a pet sitting business that serves you

Freedom comes from team building and creating systems and processes in your business, which is what I teach in my Multiply Mastermind program.
My tip today for you, my friends, is to start thinking about how you can work smarter and not harder.
How you can get out of the day-to-day grind, trading hours for dollars, and how you can grow an exceptional, awesome business that serves you, serves your life and gives you the freedom to enjoy your life. Because that is what I want for all of you.

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How I Raised My Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

How I Raised My Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

Growing my pet sitting business while growing a family

As a business owner who is also a Mom, I get asked the question so many times, “Colleen, how did you build the business you did at the same time you were raising the kids?”

So I thought I would share my experience of growing my pet sitting business while raising a family and dealing with all the hundreds of tasks and responsibilities which come with both those jobs.

It almost started by accident when I was pregnant with my first baby, Lucy.

I really wanted to spend the first three months with her completely and not work at all in my business doing any pet sitting or managerial duties.

Working while the baby sleeps

So I hired my first manager with the plan that she was going to leave after three months, but I fell so much in love with my daughter and with mothering that I decided to make the manager permanent.

Having someone to take care of the day-to-day running of the pet sitting business freed me up, during the quiet times when the baby was napping, to work on business growth strategies and marketing the business.

The result: I ended up increasing the revenue by $53,000.

And that was when I realized just what a powerful tool it was hiring someone to manage the pet sitting team.  The more time that you take to work on your business and stop working in your business, the more quickly you’re going to be able to scale your businesses.

How I Raised my Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

 

Then, when our family grew to include my two boys, I still made business growth a priority.

The kids would go to a babysitter for a few hours a day so that I could still continue to work on the business. But that also meant that during the second half of the day I could completely focus on them.

And now, everyone’s at school until 4 PM, so unless I’m doing a coaching call at night that’s when I stop work.

I get to work from home, so whenever they’re sick, they get to stay home with me. We never have to worry about that. I’m at every school function, and I get to be with them during school vacations.

Hiring a team let me focus on my priorities

My pet sitting business has given me the freedom and flexibility to enjoy my family.

So that’s how I did it, guys. I had already hired my team of sitters before starting a family, but hiring a manager really made the difference in allowing me to focus my time and energy where the business, and my family, needed it the most.

That’s my advice to you,  you need a team to do the client work and a manager to do the administrative work so that you can have the time to grow and multiply your business.

With that strategy, I raised these three little kids (see video above) all the while growing a company that I love.

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How to be More Productive in Your Pet Sitting Business

It’s time to get focused on our pet sitting business growth plan. The plan starts by identifying and eliminating our productivity time sucks so that we can accomplish great things in our businesses. Below are my 7 tips on how to be more productive.

#1. Take a Pause Between Tasks

There are some days when I wake up and realize that I have a never-ending list of tasks to complete. I frantically write them all down in my notebook and then jump on trying to get them all completed. This is NOT an efficient way to manage your time or your tasks.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Prioritize what is immediately necessary.
  2. Take a quick pause between tasks and ask yourself, “does this really matter,” or “is this moving me closer toward my pet sitting business goals.”
    • If the answer is no, then move onto the next immediately important task.
    • You can go back to the previous tasks when your more important tasks have been completed.

Tip: Trust me on this one. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried barreling through my tasks just to realize that my day was gone, and I had gotten nothing of actual importance completed. Prioritization is key!

#2. Steer Clear of the “Perfectionism Predator”

According to communication expert Anett Grant: “Perfectionism is the predator of productivity.” This is another point that I have great familiarity with. I suffer from something called “perfectionism paralysis.” This characteristic can be defined as aspiring towards impossibly high goals. The thought of or the inability to reach certain perfection sets me on a procrastination and paralysis cycle where I look for any reason to not release a product or program for fear of criticism that the project is not perfect. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I catch myself doing this quite often. I really need to keep myself in check with it.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

Here is some advice for you that my mentor once told me, “good is good enough. Get it out there! You can always go back and make changes after it is released.”

pet sitting business

TIP: Read Getting Things Done by David Allen

#3. Beware of the Social Media Time Suck

The problem with social media is that you can log in to send out some work tweets or business Facebook posts, but then you check your news feed and then next thing you know two hours has passed, and you have gotten nothing of substance done.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Set specific time blocks per day for using social media for business.
  2. Save your personal social media time for after business hours.

You can also use it as a distraction. Every time you receive a notification that a picture was posted of you, or that you were tagged in a post, your immediate reaction is to go check it out. Am I right? These distractions are eating up valuable time in your day and keeping you from accomplishing your pet sitting business goals.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Turn off all notifications from your social media outlets.
  2. Set specific times to check for updates.

#4. Meditate for Massive Growth in Your Pet Sitting Business

Don’t run for the hills just yet. Meditation can be off-putting to some people. I’m not sure why, but it most definitely scares some. Don’t be afraid!

Meditation has been proven to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, increase emotional intelligence, improve creativity and your overall health. These are all pretty awesome things, so why not give it a shot?

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

Download the HeadSpace App. This free app will get you started on a simple and easy meditation practice, and all it takes is 10 minutes per day. That’s it! I challenge you to give it a try.

#5. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is trying to do more than one thing at a time and can be one of the worst productivity killers. In the age of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, email, facetime and social media, it is so easy to multitask without even realizing it. And here’s a newsflash, our brains are not wired to work that way. Researchers found that when we attempt to multitask, the brain “bottlenecks” the information and quickly moves its attention from one thing to the next, instead of addressing the items simultaneously. Rather than becoming more productive when faced with multiple tasks to accomplish at once, this suggests we only become more frazzled—and thus less able to handle the challenges of a high workload.

Citation: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24516634

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  • Find a distraction-free place to work. I suggest the library.
  • Block out distractions by shutting off all of your devices.
  • Set a timer and work in two-hour time blocks without distraction.

Tips: Just in case you don’t trust yourself to block out all of the distractions on your own some apps can help you out. Check out:

  1. Dark Room, a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Dark Room is just about you and your text.
  2. Anti-Social is an app that makes it easy for you to target and block any distracting website so you can be more productive.
  3. Rescue Time is an Internet tool that tracks what users do all day so they can learn where they’re wasting time, get better at self-management, and make changes that amp up productivity.

#6. Get a Grip on Email

How often do you feel swamped by email? My guess is pretty often. Pet sitters receive email all hours of the days and night with requests and changes from current clients, new client inquiries and emails from their staff. It is endless! I honestly feel like I can write an entire mini-course on this subject, but for today, I’m going to give you some quick tips.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Do not check email continuously throughout the day. Set specific times for when you will check and answer emails.
  2. Set boundaries and expectations with your clients by setting an autoresponder that clearly states your office hours and when they can expect to hear back from you.
  3. Create templates of often used replies so that you can quickly cut and paste.
  4. Unsubscribe from any emails that are polluting your inbox. (I hope they’re not mine, but if so, I get it. ;))

Tip: You can always create a Feedly account and subscribe to the RSS feeds from the writers who content you want to read. This way you’ll still receive the updates, but they’ll be neatly organized.

#7. Set Aside Time for Yourself

Taking time off is one of the most difficult things for a pet sitter to do. For whatever reason, you are expected to be on call 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. An expectation that I will never quite understand. This is not a healthy lifestyle and is most certainly a recipe to spoil your productivity. You need time off to clear your mind and recharge your engines.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Schedule your time off at the beginning of the year and alert your client list, so that they can plan their trips accordingly.
  2. I would also suggest hiring another pet sitter to cover your visits or contacting another local pet sitting business owner to cover your workload during your time off.

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TITLE - Create a Container Around Your Time

Create a Container Around Your Time

This post is written at the time of COVID-19, where many of my students and pet sitters are locked inside their homes. This allows them to work on their businesses. Here is the problem: they are having a hard time creating tangible results for their business.

QUOTE - Create a Container Around Your Time


Most of the time, the issue is with Parkinson’s law: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Whatever time you allow yourself to work, you will find enough work to fill that time.

For example, if you give yourself seven days to complete a project, you will find enough work to fill that time. If you give yourself two days to work on the same project, it’s going to take you two days.

Remember, work does not only expand to fit the time. It also contracts to fit the time you allow for it. It’s best to decide how much time something is going to take.

How do you do this? By putting a container around your time.

Utilize Your Calendar

What results do you want to create by the end of the week? It’s not about watching a video or completing worksheets. It’s completing the worksheets and implementing strategies that are going to get you results. By putting a container around your time, this leads us to the next tip below…

Give Yourselves Deadlines

You can’t have loose, haphazard time parameters or it’s going to fill up that time. If you don’t give yourself a deadline for let’s say, building out a full hiring system for your company, it might take you two years to finish because you didn’t give yourself a container.

If let’s say, you give yourself two weeks for the same work, that work is going to contract and you are going to produce that result in two weeks.

The best way to grow your business is to work on your time management skills, creating a container around your time, and to utilize your calendar to complete your deadlines.

Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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