The Fantastic Flowchart | November 22nd, 2010

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
– Mark Twain

Okay, flowcharts may not seem fantastic, or even remotely interesting. However, a well-executed flowchart can improve your efficiency, no matter how large or small your business.

I always have a daily to-do list on my desk. It includes phone calls to make, household chores, administrative tasks, and work to be done for clients. It’s a pretty simple system. Do the task. Cross it off the list. However, I have a habit of not tackling a large project unless I have the time to focus on it until it’s completed. Not so good when I have a day of meetings, phone calls, and small jobs that need attention. I end up finally tackling the big stuff at 6:00 PM . . . and finish up around midnight or after. Yawn.

Enter the Fantastic Flowchart.

For each large project I have to accomplish, I create a flowchart that breaks it into smaller tasks. It makes the work manageable and allows me to complete the job one piece at a time . . . and before midnight!

Here’s an example. Monday Morning Kick Start takes about two hours per week to put together, and consists of both the blog and an email newsletter. It’s not a huge project, but work for clients always takes precedence, so sometimes it’s difficult to find two hours of free time. So my flowchart looks like this:

Working with a chart like this allows me to make efficient use of my time. When I have 15 minutes between a phone call and a meeting, I can do one or two steps on the chart. I’ve even completed parts of the Kick Start sitting in an airplane terminal.

I also apply flowcharts to my business management. When I’m at Point A in my business, and I want to get to Point B, I create a chart of the steps that I need to take to get there. It becomes a business plan, simplified.

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