Are there times when you miss an important deadline for your business?
Prior to owning a smartphone I missed a lot of deadlines and appointments. Prior to auto-debit online banking I missed a lot of payments. In fact, going way back I remember getting a Hydro disconnection notice for non-payment even though I had enough money in my bank account to pay my bills. The cost was huge in terms of my credit and my bank account paying all that interest and at times penalties.
Being a strategic business owner means taking the time to figure out what you need to do when and actually putting those tasks into some form of calendar that will prompt and remind you to take action. Those items can be bills due, employee performance plans to complete, tax returns to file and even an annual vacation to book because you know if you don’t write it down, chances are it either won’t happen or will happen late.
Identifying What Needs to Be Done
The first step is getting everything into the calendar is simply identifying what needs to be done. I use a simple guide that I update a few times a year and on one sheet write prompts for:
- What I need to do daily
- What I need to do weekly
- What I need to do monthly
- What I need to do yearly.
If “Pay the company hydro bill” is on the monthly list, then I either put a recurring reminder in my calendar to physically pay it or I stop and set up an auto pay system so I don’t have to think about it and it’s done.
Today (almost) everything that happens more than once has a scheduled system. Perfection is not the goal here. The result is no more late payments or missed appointments. No more wondering when the GST is due or when I need to renew my industry credentials – I have a system and it’s written down. It helps a lot.
Tame Your Recurring Tasks
To make it easier for you to set up your system, I’m including my quick and easy cheat sheet. It’s a small step with powerful results. From this one page checklist you will be able to see items that can be delegated. It’s also a great prompt to determine the systems for things you do regularly.
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