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December 27, 2010

It seems the airwaves are full of people commenting on piles. Many are talking about the piles of snow along the East Coast. Some are discussing piles of gifts under their tree that need to be put away. Some are facing piles of holiday shopping receipts that need to be recorded.  It doesn’t take much for one or two innocent inches of snow, presents or receipts to create havoc by growing in size. Although women entrepreneurs are talking about these subjects too, we are probably more focused on the piles of client folders, customer invoices, reading materials, correspondence and bills all stacked on our desks waiting for action.  

With some luck on my side, the piles on my desk didn’t stop me this week from answering a request by Central New York Magazine to send them a summary of Women TIES success in 2010 for an upcoming edition. I didn’t have to look through piles of information on my desk to find the data I needed; instead on my computer with a summary of attendance records, management task lists and an extensive database which helped me assemble the information quickly.  After compiling the data, I realized that Women TIES brought over 1,700 women together at 25 events across the state this year. The enomority of the figures amazed me. Wondering how I ever accomplished this feat working mainly by myself with some part time staff support, I quickly realized my saving grace had been my extreme attention to detail and my favorite organizational tool – timelines.

 Timelines are in essence piles of information listed in order of task, importance and deadline dates. If I didn’t use timelines, the piles of information to accomplish all those multiple overlapping events or the detailed communication needed to plan and promote them would be a crippling mess on my desk and in my mind.  By “compiling” the timelines, a sense of order and calm is what is needed to do everything well and to do it on time.  So often when I am asked how I accomplish so much, I admit being extremely organized has been the key to achievement.

Today’s blog is meant to inspire you to consider creating a new way of organizing yourself, your materials, your responsibilities, your staff and your business by taking the piles of information and documents that have piled on your desk and in your mind into workable plans and timelines.  I guarantee you the weight of stress that moves from your mind to the paper will lighten you up and give you a sense of peace as you face a new year full of promise and projects.

Remember today’s piles easily become nothing when taken apart, put away, and organized.  Soon the snow will melt, the presents will be put away, the bills paid, and a new, organized, woman entrepreneur will arise from the heaviness of her duties.  Embrace 2011 with a timeline in hand and I promise you, you’ll be more calm, effective and successful.

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