Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Business Planning Part 3

So far, I’ve confessed my laziness.  (see post for Jan 14)
And I’ve shared a couple resources that I’ve found helpful. (see post for Jan 28)

Now what?

I’ll start with my home plan because it will lay the foundation for business planning.  My goal:  I wanted a cleaning schedule that was easy to manage, kept everything reasonably clean but didn’t overwhelm my life.  I made a list of every room in my house, then made a list of EVERY cleaning activity necessary for each room.  Yes, I included washing windows, cleaning curtains, even washing walls....but don’t panic yet!  I then assigned a frequency to each task.  Some tasks, like doing dishes, are daily tasks.  Some, like washing walls, are done once a year.  Everything else falls somewhere in between.  Oh ..and remember .. you are NOT Martha Stewart!  It doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.  But you do want to keep the common areas clean enough so if your Mom drops in unannounced, you won’t be embarrassed by the size of the dust bunnies!

Once I had my list of tasks done, I looked at the rhythms of our lifestyle.  Our weekends tend to be busier with social and church activities (and these days, craft shows) so I avoided adding any cleaning tasks to Saturdays or Sundays.  And because they are social, I want the house to look decent, so I made sure that the cleaning tasks involving the common areas of the house were added to Fridays.  Make sense?  I intentionally planned that my kitchen,  dining room, living room and bathroom would be clean and ready for those weekend social events.  Tasks needing to be done 3 times per week kind of naturally fell into Mondays - Wednesdays - Fridays while tasks needing to be done 2 times per week fell into Tuesdays and Fridays.  Thursdays ended up being “light” days for me – and became the perfect place to do some of those less frequent tasks like washing windows.  I ended up doing most of my laundry on Thursdays – so most of our clothes would be clean and ready for anything that came up on the weekend.

The beauty of this plan is that once you’ve laid out your schedule and you implement it, you don’t even have to THINK about when tasks need to be done.  We lived for 6 years in a big, old Victorian house – 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, a massive living room, 3 kids (2 homeschooled) and assorted neighbor kids.  I could do most of my household tasks on Mondays through Thursdays (except laundry) in about an hour per day.  Fridays took about 2 hours – but the whole house was ready for anything the weekend threw at us. 

My point is that before I developed a cleaning plan, I would look around the house and feel overwhelmed at all I thought had to be done.  Before I laid it all out in black and white, then prioritized, I would see EVERYTHING as a task needing immediate attention.  Once there was a basic plan in place, I was free to do only what was actually necessary, being confident that everything would be done in it’s time.  Having a plan did not constrict me ...it freed me. 

So what does all this mean for developing my business plans?  I’ll get down to some business nitty gritty in a couple weeks.