Do you have trouble tracking all the tasks and action items that need to be accomplished in your mom-run business?
An Action File can help you stay on top of those niggly, repeatable tasks that sometimes bog you down and get in your way.
An Action File is a holding area for you to store papers that need action.
There is no right or wrong way to create an action file. Action Files can be designed in any way, for any person of business.
An action file could be a series of hanging folders (great for a #NothingOutStyle), a stadium sorting system (great for an #EverythingOutStyle), a vertical tray that lives on top of your desk, or whatever works for you in your space.
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What is important is that each action be labeled with the required repeated action that must be carried out by the person who receives the file.
Your Action Files should be labeled with action verbs required to process the contents of the files. Easy action verbs such as: READ, PAY, PROCESS, WRITE, CALL, SCHEDULE, etc. – Make an action file easy to interpret and much more useful.
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Another significant approach to action filing is to create files by date or week that you will complete the items within the file. I’ve worked with several real estate agents who had certain actions they needed to weekly schedule per month. For instance week one was devoted to preparing their listings. In week two they had to review their properties that were in the circular. In week three, they had to check in with their sellers and prepare new copy for the monthly listing. This process was cyclical, by week. In this particular case – we set up a 5 weekly Action Files labeled: Week 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively. The client then dropped any and everything into the file folder labeled for the week she had to take action, and voila’ her Action Files were born. She still uses them to this day!
Remember, it doesn’t matter what you name your action files, the names just need to be relevant to the people using the Action Filing System, and trigger the right action.
What works for you?
The most important thing you can do is listen to yourself and observe your CURRENT BEHAVIORS. What do you already do that helps you stay on top of your tasks and responsibilities? Where do you store your back up information? How do you manage your tasks now? Even those who consider themselves the most disorganized often DO have a reasonable system. Just look to your most typical behaviors. The key to success is to develop a simple system that best supports how and when you work.
Your Sanity Assignment
Figure out your Action Filing System today. What do you do currently to stay on track with your cyclical tasks? How do you know what needs to be done, by when?
Please share your Action Filing process with our readers (especially if it’s cool, creative and un-ordinary…)