No Excuses List - Sutton Creative Studios

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Its been a few weeks since I shared my time tracking spreadsheet with our readers, and in these weeks I implemented a few new changes for my time tracking. Namely, Im tracking ALL business related activities whether internal tasks or for clients. As a result of this tracking I have become more productive with my time and have begun developing a No Excuses List for my use as well as for the use of our consultants. A No Excuses List shouldnt be hard for anyone to follow if they have implemented various tracking systems. In fact, the first item on the no-excuses list is (Read More)

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  • 1. suttoncreativestudios.com http://suttoncreativestudios.com/no-excuses-list/November 11,2014No Excuses ListIts been a few weeks since I shared my time tracking spreadsheet with our readers (if you havent requested yourcopy, click here), and in these weeks I implemented a few new changes for my time tracking. Namely, Im trackingALL business related activities whether internal tasks or for clients. As a result of this tracking I have becomemore productive with my time and have begun developing a No Excuses List for my use as well as for theuse of our consultants.A No Excuses List shouldnt be hard for anyone to follow if they have implemented various tracking systems. In fact,the first item on the no-excuses list is1. Visible To-Do ListHave one and keep it updated.I cant even begin to tell you how many different systems I have used for ato-do list. While all have worked to an extent for the past few weeks Ihave been using my task list in Microsoft Outlook. This task list hasreceived the most attention, at a constant frequency, than any other to-dolist method I have ever used. Why? Im in Outlook all-day, everydayresponding to emails. Try as I may, I cant ignore its presence.My to-do list includes client tasks as well as internal tasks, and I amsure to include/mark recurring tasks. At the beginning of every day Ireview the list and update any recurring tasks that didnt getcompleted the day before.Yes, it happens. Some tasks dont get completed. However because I am tracking my time I know that I was asproductive as I could possibly have been. With the no excuses list, you have no excuse for not remembering whatwhat on your to-do list.This leads me to2. Track Your TimeHow are you going to measure your productivity if you have no way ofmeasuring how many hours you actually worked?And, no! Im not talking about measuring in way such as, Well I got to myoffice at 9am and left at 5pm so I worked for 8 hours. You and I both knowthis wasnt actually the case. There were restroom breaks, PERSONALsocial media check-ins, personal phone calls from your kids/significantother/other friends/family, doctors appointments, lunch hour, othermiscellaneous breaks, etc. And if you work at home the personal breaksmay be even more frequent/less intentional.Oh! I need to go put some laundry in!

2. There goes another 5-10 minutes.Track the time you actually spend working during the day. Personally, I use my Freshbooks Time Tracker. Its alwaysopen for client work, however if you are not using it for your business, you can get a free version purely for timetracking by clicking here. (Do they market it this way? No. But its free up to a certain number of customers/clients soyou might as well take advantage of it!)3. Your Email Inbox Should Read 0 New EmailsNo, I dont mean you should be monitoring your email 24 hours a day. Howeveryour inbox should NEVER say you have 10,000 unread emails. Unless you areout of the office on vacation, holiday or due to sickness, your unread email countshould always be reasonable.Do you have an email you dont plan on reading for a few days? Delete it!Chances are you wont ever get back to it, especially if you have others you aremarking to read later on.To make it easy Client and other important emails I always take care of sameday. Emails Im not concerned enough about to read today I delete. Voila, myunread email count stays under 20 except for under the circumstances listedabove. Currently my inbox has 7 unread emails, and thats only because myLinkedIn Group updates came in while I was writing this article.With an inbox containing 0 new emails, my no excuses list helps my communication. The only excuse I have for notresponding or following up to an email is if I legitimately did not receive it.4. Calendar Clean-UpDo you have a calendar system that you use and maintain regularly? I use Outlook for my email, however I useGoogle calendar to keep my days in order. If you dont have an electronic calendar set up, go do it. NOW.Following are my top three selling points for an online calendar: Dave (my husband and business partner) does not currently use Outlook, however he has full-viewing rights to myGoogle calendar. I recommend most our Virtual Assistant clients use Google Calendar so that we may view their calendar ANDschedule appointments for them (as needed). I rarely schedule appointments for myself, and its not because nobody wants an appointment. Its because I havetoo many appointment requests and I implemented a system to avoid endless rounds of email or phone tag to find atime that works for everyone. Want an appointment with me? Schedule it yourself using my appointment schedulingsystem, Appointy. This wouldnt be possible if my calendar wasnt kept up updated.Seeing as my productivity has increased, I am working on implementing additional systems for increased productivitybased on the reading I have had time to do . Yes, I have had time to read. Yes, I am developing additional systems tofurther my productivity.What are YOU doing and what is on your no excuses list? Do you have a no excuses list? Part of our BusinessConsulting service includes (upon request) evaluating our clients productivity and business systems. Are youinterested in finding ways you can become more productive in your business? If so, fill out this webform and we willget back to you within 2 business days! 3. With your success in mind,Kim Sutton*****Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer at SuttonCreative Studios, an agency specializing in business consulting, Infusionsoftconsulting, social media management, graphic design and virtual assistance.She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where sheearned her Bachelors Degree in Interior Architecture. In her free-time, Kimcherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her businesspartner), and three children. She also enjoys reading, knitting and writing. Youare invited to follow Sutton Creative Studios by following our blog, subscribingto our newsletter, or following/liking us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,Google+ or Pinterest. In addition, please comment and/or contact us with anyquestions. Copyright Sutton Creative Studios - Built with Passion