Business Manual – Day 2

This post is part of a series that began here. By sharing the daily development of my own operations manual I hope to illustrate how you might approach doing the same in your own business. Please follow along and share what you are doing to document your own systems and the challenges that come up along the way.

So, this documentation of my documentation is proving to be a tricky habit to get into.  In the course of a seven-day work marathon, some things fell by the wayside – like the promised daily posts on this subject.

I feel a little bad about that, so let’s see if we can scavenge something good from it and polish it up and turn it into a bright, shiny, useful post.

What happened here, or rather didn’t happen here on the blog, didn’t happen in my business operations manual (“BOM” hereafter) either.  That’s what happens when you get busy with bigger more exciting things.

So, in order keep this thing relevant and reasonably up-to-date, you must make your BOM super-duper easy to use.  So easy that even when you are working towards deadline, you still stop to make a necessary note, because it’s no big deal. You’re in and out without interruption of your workflow. This might mean your BOM is not super neat and tidy, but at least it contains the information you need.

Also, be pro-active. Busy periods tend to be followed by slower periods.  There’s almost always a lull after the deadline to catch your breath (if one doesn’t arrive, make one – you have to pace yourself). Use that lull to add or update the info in your BOM.  Don’t tell yourself you’ll get to it later. You won’t. And even if you do, the info won’t be fresh in your mind, which will make updating harder. Cultivate a habit of finishing the prooject alllll the way through. Put things away where they belong. Make the notes. You’ll thank yourself later. [If this sounds at all bossy, it’s because I’m really talking to myself here. This is what it’s like in my head.]


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Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]



© 2008 Cairene MacDonald, Third Hand Works. All Rights Reserved.

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