Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Art of Planning

In order to create a successful day, you must plan and prepare for one. Imagine getting into your car and driving without a defined destination. How would you know when you have arrived? Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? However we often start our day without a clear destination or plan of what needs to be done. How often have you started your work day with whatever projects that are currently on your desk or spent the day reacting to so called emergencies from an email, employee or memo and ended your day not accomplishing what really needed to be done? So you leave the office annoyed, stressed and feeling very unproductive. If you do not plan your day, this vicious cycle will continue.

You must utilize a planning tool: a calendar, notebook, electronic hand held device, or blackberry. It doesn’t matter the planning tool used, what matters more importantly is the use of one tool to document your appointments, meetings, tasks and deadlines. You must plan your day the night before or make it your first task every morning. Once you began to create a daily map of your tasks, you will begin to create a successful day and discover the art of productivity and you will have the habit of planning your day.

As a Business Coach & Time Management Strategist, I teach female small biz owners to get it all done daily, by using quick & simple time management tips & tools and by developing the art of planning.

© 2008 Bridgette Boudreaux
Bridgette Boudreaux is a Time Management Strategist to female small biz owners & independent professionals. Get a copy of her FREE report called “39 Quick & Simple Time Saving Tips” at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Five Organizational Myths

You Must Have A Personal Planner
A personal planner is used to organize your personal/business appointments & activities. It is very organized to have all your information documented in one place for a reminder, planning your day or to prevent double scheduling. However, you can use a tablet, a 3 ring binder, online calendar or a desk calendar to document your information. Just make sure to document your information in one place and house it in the same place each time within arms reach to prevent losing it and allows easy accessibility.

You Must Operate With A List
This works like a gem for some but if you do not like list, especially the “to-do” list, because it seems to get longer daily, don’t create a list. Write down your goal or intended outcome, and then make appointments with yourself to complete the action.

You Must Follow A One Size Fits All Time Management System
Time Management is self management, managing you around time. We are all given the same amount of time, 24 hours in a day, but we differ with peak performance levels. You may be a morning person and find that you tend to focus and accomplish tasks well in the morning; someone else is better focus during the noon time hours. We each manage our time differently therefore this is no one solution to time management that will fit everyone. You must learn the tools, change any negative mindsets regarding time (ex. there just isn’t enough time in the day for me to get it all done), work efficiently, prioritize and make it all work for you.

You Must Always Maintain A Clean Office Desk
A spotless desk with no clutter is wonderful for any business owner; however, there are times when the cluttered office desk happens. During those times, make sure projects do not get mixed together, put loose papers in files and label the files, so if it needs to be on your desk it is an orderly pile. If possible, designate an organized cluttered space a distance away from your everyday space, for example, do not have it near the telephone so that you are not tempted to read over information while speaking with a customer/client.

You Must Have A Digital Organizer
Everyone is not techie compatible, so it is okay to have an offline organizer. I love my Blackberry, but I also love my Franklin planner. Electronic hand held devices are handy and offer many features, however use an organizing system that works best for you. If you do decide on a digital organizer, always have a backup system just in case you have any technical difficulties.

© 2007 Bridgette Boudreaux


Monday, April 21, 2008

Are You Living Fully Or Just Existing?

There are people who spend their lives being controlled by circumstances, excuses & a victim’s attitude (Why Me?) and there are others who plan, set goals and actively take steps to create their desired outcome despite their circumstances. Needless to say which group is considered successful. According to Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, “The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.”

Which are you?

It’s easy to determine your status. If you have not written down your short / long term goals for the year accompanied with an aggressive action plan to achieve your goals, you are not creating your ideal life. You are passively participating in whatever comes your way. Your days are driven by emails, family needs & desires, time wasters or numerous distractions that lead you farther from your ideal life. Nothing will change until you decide to use your most valuable resource TIME wisely. Stop spending days reacting to unexpected circumstances, instead take control of your life and become proactive.

In order to grab control of your life and destiny, you must first decide to make a commitment to manage your time to include activities that will bring you closer to your dreams and desires. Once you’ve made the commitment to yourself, the next steps will be easy to implement into your daily routine.

Step One
Get a notebook and pen and write down everything you desire in your ideal life. Do not concentrate on your current status or sabotaging thoughts that may enter your mind like, I can’t afford it or I don’t have the education or skills to do it, just jot down what it is you want. Once you have written them all down, pick one that you would like to accomplish within the next 3 - 6 months and another within the next 1- 3 years.
For example, your list may look like this:
Lose 10 pounds
Get my MBA
Write a book
Buy a new car
Buy a house

From this list, the 3 to 6 month goal would most likely be to lose 10 pounds and the 1 to 3 year goal would be to get a MBA. The other goals are important however you must get the ball rolling by picking a short & long term goal that you desire the most.

Step Two
Write each goal at the top of separate sheets of paper. For each goal, list all the tasks and activities needed to accomplish the goal. If you are seeking a MBA, some tasks would include: research universities offering MBA programs in your area, purchase the GMAT Study Guide, hire a tutor, schedule an appointment with an academic advisor from the School of Business, schedule the GMAT exam, etc. Include all tasks big & small that you will need to complete to achieve your goal.

Step Three
Prioritize tasks & activities in order of importance and sequence, for example, you wouldn’t schedule the GMAT exam without any prior study periods. Decide which tasks should be done first, second and third until all tasks are listed. Your prioritized task list may change because you are in control of your time and how and when you want the tasks completed.

Step Four
Get out your planner because it is now time for you to make appointments with yourself. Block time on your planner to create uninterrupted time to start each task. Also set self-imposed deadlines for completion. Tasks without deadlines usually never get done.

Set Five
Take Action. Planning is great; however without taking consistent action, even the best plan is worthless.

Now you are ready to live your life fully, pursing your purpose and making your dreams a reality. Go out and create the life that you deserve and want.

© 2008 Bridgette Boudreaux

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How To Get Out The “Busyness” Syndrome

I know you are wondering, what is the “busyness” syndrome? Let me explain. Its 8:00 am, Monday morning, an online health food home based business owner is in her office busily working. She has spent about three hours reading and responding to emails, answering incoming telephone calls and returning telephone calls, reading industry related updates, creating her grocery list for tonight’s dinner and perusing web pages on the internet. She decides to file a stack of invoices since it is consuming most of her desk. After filing, she decides to read an article about the benefits of organic supplements from a health journal, (she missed the opportunity to read last night). Currently, it is 11:00 am; she must leave her office to attend a health fair at her community’s health center for 11:30 am. She will be giving away samples of a new line of products which is an excellent opportunity to get new clients and opinions about her new product. However, when she returns to her office, she is annoyed because she failed to bring all the product samples to the health fair and she forgot her business cards. Her morning was so busy; she could not find time to efficiently prepare for the fair.

Yes, the business owner above did have a busy morning, but she spent the morning working on mundane tasks that were not very productive or in line with her goal for the day: attending a health fair. Does this business owner sound like you? Do you start your day without an objective or targeted goal(s)? Are you busy just being busy without any productivity? Do you see results? If so, you are wasting time because you are not working towards anything in particular, just whatever comes your way.

To get out of the “busyness syndrome”, stop spending your day working on low priority tasks. Now, you may be thinking, “What are low priority tasks?” and “How will I know that they are low priority?” Well this is it in a nutshell: Any task that is not consistent with your goal is a low priority task. Let’s look at the above example again: The online healthy food business owner goal for the day should have been to prepare for her booth at the community health fair, so if she had planned her day and defined a goal for the day, her first three hours of her day should have looked something like this:

Today’s Action List
Goal: Prepare All Items For Community Health Fair Booth Setup
1. Prepare All Sample Products
2. Create a Sign-In Sheet for Booth Visitors
3. Pack Business Cards
4. Pack Company Brochures
5. Pack car with all the above items at 10:00 am
6. Leave For Health Fair @ 10:15 am
7. Send Follow Up Correspondences To Booth Visitors From Sign In Sheet

Now it’s your turn, create a goal for tomorrow and write down all the tasks that are required to complete the goal. Depending upon the deadline of the goal, tasks can and should be distributed throughout the duration of the week. Block time in your planner to complete each task and do not allow any interruptions during that time. You will be amazed at your productivity. Your action list can also serve as a checklist. Do not discard the action list that you have created for this project. It can later serve as a Check List whenever this projected is required of you again. Create a folder and file the steps from your Action List. For example, the above Action List can be filed as Health Fair Booth Setup Checklist. You now have created a system to adhere to whenever you attend this type of an event.

Primarily start your day working on tasks that support your goal. Delegate mundane tasks or schedule them throughout the week to be accomplished once your priority tasks are completed.

Unleash yourself from the “busyness syndrome”. Remember being busy is not the answer to productivity but being busy getting the right things done will get you the results that you desire and skyrocket your productivity.

© 2007 Bridgette Boudreaux

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is here and so are your resolutions for the year. As you review your list, observe how many times you’ve transferred the same resolutions into the New Year with a promise that this year you will keep them. Make a real difference this year, don’t commit to keeping your new resolutions; commit to achieving your new resolutions. Implement the following guidelines and you will be on your way to accomplishing your
goals once and for all.

Set Realistic Measurable Goals
Setting realistic attainable goals that are measurable is an important key to achieving goals successfully. If you set goals that are unrealistic and are impossible to accomplish within 12 months, you will be setting yourself up for failure which will lead to disappointment and a lack of motivation to conquer any goals. Goals must be measurable so you will know how much you have accomplished or need to accomplish to achieve your goals. For example, losing weight is a popular resolution; so if losing weight is your goal this year and you lose one pound in January, I guess you’ve met your goal; but would you be happy with the results? Probably Not! However setting a measurable goal to lose 20 lbs. and walk 30 minutes daily will allow you to track your progress and allocate tasks to reach your desired outcome.

Write It Down
Take it out of your head and put it on paper. Writing down your goals makes them
real as oppose to dreaming about doing them sometime in the future. Written goals
are specific and concrete and it allows you to create steps to reaching your goals.
Your written goals should be placed where you can see them consistently. Post them
on your wall, on the refrigerator, in your wallet or in your journal, do not put them in a drawer or notebook where they will be forgotten. Seeing your written goals will serve as a reminder to your commitment to attain your goals.

Take Action Consistently
You’ve decided what you want to accomplish, your goals are specific, realistic,
measurable and written down, What’s Next? You must now take action, consistently.
Start today with one task and continue to complete the task consistently even if you
do not see immediate results. Your desired results will began to take form with
consistent, persistent action. Consistent action becomes habit and it will become
a part of your routine effortlessly.

Visualize The Desired Outcome Daily
Take a few minutes daily to visualize the desired outcome of your goal. Create a
mental picture of what emotions you will experience once your goal is met. If
your goal is earn a six figure income this year, visualize your bank account statement displaying $100,000.00 profit. What does it feel like? Your mental pictures will one day become your reality and you will be prepared for its arrival.

Celebrate Your Efforts
You don’t have to wait until you lose 20lbs to celebrate your success. Celebrate
the completion of daily tasks. If you complete a 30 minute walk today and didn’t eat
the usual late night snack, celebrate. Any tasks completed, self-discipline exercised or time taken to visualize your desired outcome will bring you closer to your goals than you were the day before so celebrate.

Start Over If You Get Off Track
If you get off track (hey, we all do), do not use this an excuse to stop pursuing your goals. Forgive yourself, determine what caused you to derail, improve the
circumstances and start over again. Don’t become paralyzed with past mistakes,
or lack of self-discipline, just keep moving. Each day is a new day to work towards
your goals and get closer to achieving your dreams, so don’t let one day pass
without taking full advantage of the opportunity to become better than the day before.

© 2008 Bridgette Boudreaux

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Quick Organizing Tip

Everything has a home! If your office desk is covered with papers that you are currently not using, create a file(home) for it. Whether it is on your desk, in your closet or the trunk of your car should be placed in its own housing when it is not being used. Once everything has a home, you will eliminate clutter and it will be easy to find the item whenever you are in need of it.

Remember: Everything Has A Home!

Always Soaring,
Bridgette Boudreaux
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