Getting Organized As A NursePreneur

A good portion of your success will be directly tied to your ability to be organized, so this needs to be set up at the start. There are 3 critical steps that you need to address before going any further.

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1. How much time do spend on tasks?

The first thing you need to do is become aware of how much time you actually spend doing various tasks.  We all have the same number of hours, minutes and seconds in a given day, but the difference between people who are successful and those who struggle comes down to your productivity in those given hours.

And yes you need to account for tasks in your personal life as well.  It still takes time to get the kids to school, do the laundry, makes stops at the bank, the dry cleaners and the grocery store.  It is also helpful to know how much of your time is consumed with friends, family and watching TV or surfing the internet.  I’m not suggesting you don’t spend time with friends, family and your internet provider, but it might come to a surprise to you how much time is taken up with those activities relative to how much time you spend working on your business.

 Account For Work And Personal Time

Of course there is an app to monitor your time, both work and personal that you can utilize.  Software such as Harvest (www.getharvest.com) or Toggl (toggle.com) can help you manage your time and allows you to see things that are “time creeps”.  You may think it only takes 10 minutes to run into the store, but using something like Harvest can show you that those 10 minutes really take 45 minutes, or watching TV for an hour, really means 3 hours.  It can also show you that the truth about what you are really spending your time on.  Spend a few days and get a real sense of what you spend your time doing.

Once you know what you are spending your time on, then you can make adjustments that will have an impact on your time.  Make sure you account for time spent in domestic duties as well.  It’s important to note work, personal and domestic activities.

2. Set Up Project Management for Yourself

The second thing you need to do is set up a project management system for yourself.  You can set up something like Trello (trello.com) or Basecamp (basecamp.com) to organize the various parts of your life – work, personal, domestic, social.  You can name the categories whatever you want.  But Trello in particular allows you to set up cards and make lists of things that need to be done under each category.  You can share these cards with anyone.

For instance, you can hire a domestic helper and have him/her review the cards of what needs to be done.  You can communicate with your team on a project and assign sections to individuals.  Try doing an immersion trial.  You can set up a free account with Trello and it is pretty intuitive.

Having a project management system in place is essential.  It will provide the broad overview of what needs to get done along with the many tasks that need to be accomplished in order to remove that particular card from your list of things to do.

Without a broad overview you run the risk of working on items that are either non-essential or not moving you forward in a productive way.  There is no point in doing a bunch of tasks for a problem you are not ready to address.  You can prioritize your issues and problems and focus on the things that need to get done now.  This will vastly improve your productivity and help you from becoming increasingly overwhelmed.

 Focus on 5 tasks for 5 focal points of any project to stay organized.

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3. Learn to Delegate

The third thing you need to do in order to get organized is to learn to delegate.  You may think it’s less expensive and easier to do everything yourself.  But if you are serious about starting a business, this myth couldn’t be any further from the truth.  The more time you spend doing tasks that are non-essential or could easily be delegated out is money out the window.  Only you can start your business, but there are thousands of people who can help you to clean the house, deliver your groceries, pick up your dry cleaning, automate your bills.  Many grocery stores will deliver for free to your house.

These are the time “creeps” you should identify with Harvest or Basecamp.  Again, once you are aware of them, you can delegate them out.  What is time better spent – 5 hours cleaning your house for “free” or 5 hours building your membership site that people will pay for?  Ultimately which one costs more?  Part of this mentality goes back to declaring your intentions to yourself and to everyone around you.

When you declare that you are serious, part of you responsibility is to let people know you are serious.  Your own friends and family may try to derail you from starting your business.  They may be well-intended, but their influence may not be in your best interests – a topic we will talk about it in another post.

It is absolutely not a waste of time to streamline your responsibilities and delegate out anything that is a time suck in your life.  It’s important to identify these areas and figure out how to free up your time.

Ironically, you will find that delegating tasks will become easier and more accepted as you make it a routine in your life.  You will also discover lost hours that you can use to work on your business.

There are many ways that you continue to become organized that we will continue to talk about, but these 3 are what I consider the most critical to grabble with in the beginning and establish the boundaries you need to be successful as a NursePreneur.

Catie Harris

Catie Harris, PhD, MBA, and Registered Nurse is the NursePreneur Mentor who has empowered hundreds of nurses to monetize their knowledge and skills in business, while inspiring them to change the way healthcare is perceived and delivered. Through her intensive mentorship programs, Catie shows nurses how their nursing knowledge can transcend the hospital system into a profitable business.

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