Advent your Business – Part 1

The countdown is on.

Ok so it’s December 3rd at the time this post is published. The Holiday push is on. Chocolate advents everywhere!

You have less than one month to end the year on an amazing note, and to plan for next years success.

So…… let’s do an advent for business.

Do something each day to improve your business until Christmas! Maybe it’s a skill, a new tool you’ll start using or even revamping your whole website.

Now is the time to get excited and do something amazing! We will be doing a three part series so be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss parts 2 & 3.

Got here late? You can still do the challenge! Go for it!

Take Durham AV Group’s Business Advent Challenge!

Durham AV Group Business Advent Challenge Part 1

First things First:

Day 1:  Learn the Pomodoro Technique

In another Wise Up Wednesday post we told you about the Pomodoro Technique. Have you tried it yet? You will get stuff done. You will put the PRO in productivity. Pomodoro Technique this whole thing!

All you are going to do on Day one is learn this technique. Don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s easy once you get the hang of it, and once you do you’ll want to use it for almost everything.


Day 2 : Assess your situation

Where are you at with your business today? Are you happy? On target? Behind? What are the things you’ve been putting off? What do you really need to learn how to do? Do you have files and paperwork askew? Are you a bookmark hoarder? Write It all down. – you will Pomodoro almost all of it!!!) Prioritize your list and figure out what really needs the most attention (what has been nagging you the most) What is the one thing you need to know or do or take action on to make more money? Write it all down.

TIP: after reading the rest of this post, if your most prioritized “to do” is listed as an advent task here, do that first, before everything else, (so long as it makes sense) 


Day 3 : Clean Sweep

Clean up your files, folders, notes, images and other electronic information. Clean off that desktop. Delete all the things you don’t need. Check your  downloads folder.

Make yourself a real filing system so you are organized.

My method of organization / hierarchy is to have a master folder for my business, followed by sub folders for each part of my business, and more sub folders to organize the files within.

For example:

Master Folder: Durham AV Group

    Sub Folder: Branding

       Sub Folders Within Branding:

  • Branding Assets (master logos, letterheads etc)
  • Social Media Assets (overlays, headers, profile pictures, avatars etc)
  • Ideas

    Sub Folder: Website

       Sub Folders Within Website:

  • Backups
  • Style Guide
  • Website Assets (code and plugins and things like that)
  • Page and Post Ideas
  • In Production (what I am working on right now)

whoo feels great taking the business Advent Challenge

Get the idea? Once you have organized your folders you will know where EVERYTHING lives. Please, please make sure you have backed everything up! (Or have it live in the cloud, or both!)

Day 4 : Now Back it all up

Back it all up! (I mentioned this yesterday…but I bet it took you a while to sort it all out)

#1: Back up your computer:

Don’t be afraid of backing up your computer. Be afraid if you haven’t. Do it now. Do it often.

#2: Back up your files to the cloud:

Amazon S3  will give you 5GB of storage for free. It’s ridiculously inexpensive to use if you go beyond that.


Day 5 : Inbox Zero

Clean up your email, and add a couple amazing tools to your Gmail is a fantastic service even if you just want to use it to unsubscribe to the millions of newsletters you signed up for over the years. You’ll see a huge improvement. Go ahead and do this!

If you sell anything via email, or just need to make sure your emails are seen, check out these two tools:

boomerang – well we talked about this one before. It works really well. Take the guesswork out. See if your emails are being opened, clicked on and more!

Rebump – Just last week we started using Rebump. If your emails are not being opened Rebump will send a custom follow up email with the original attached. What a time saver!


Day 6 : Merry Maid it up

Clean where you work. I mean really clean it. Loose papers and books and coffee cups and things that don’t belong in the office, or wherever you are working, move it.

Zen that space.

It is the space of success now. (go ahead and take a pic and share with us on our Facebook Page – we want to see your Success Space!)

Clean, dust, polish everything. Take out the garbage. Shred unwanted papers. Move the cat off the keyboard.

And lastly, clean off your computer screen, keyboard, mouse and everything else you touch. Isn’t that better?


Day 7 : Paper Party

We didn’t forget about those papers you cleaned up yesterday. Sort those out. Any bookkeeping or accounting paperwork needs to be taken care of accordingly. If you have an ungodly amount of accounting to do we will look at that on another day. Set it aside for now. File everything else away. Go through your notebooks and see if there are things you need or missed. Buy a new notebook if that one is full. Find a favourite pen for your notes. Keep those things together.


Part one of the Business Advent Challenge is finished!

To be realistic, some of these things may take longer than one day, or even a few days. You have other commitments and things to take care of.

This is why the Pomodoro Technique was the very first thing we put on the list. We are doing this Advent along with you, because well, it’s like a reboot for us too!

It’s really refreshing and motivating to do something like this. As each task is checked off there is a sense of accomplishment and achievement. While some of these things may not be fun, once they are done there isn’t a lingering voice in the back of the mind.

The clutter is gone.

We’ve made way for new projects, new goals, can accomplish other tasks quicker and things are more streamlined. It feels good. It feels GREAT. There is a sense of Calm.

Next Wednesday we will post the next set of Advent days to get your business into gear. You’ll have to come back and see what we have planned!

Thanks for reading. I hope you feel excited about the next week and congratulations on completing your first 7 Advents!

Oh, and treat yourself to an advent calendar chocolate. You deserve it!

Posted in Blog, Wise Up Wednesdays