If you haven’t realised it by now, I’m the kind of person that keeps a lot of plates spinning in my professional life. I end up getting excited about things and find it hard to say no, even when I don’t have the capacity to give things the time they deserve. Perhaps because of this overload, and my avoidance of putting a financial value on my work, I have always struggling to get on top of the finances of the business, keep up with invoicing, respond to queries and book things in with enough time to complete everything before the deadline. However, I have relentless standards for my own work, so I try to do everything to the best of my ability, even if it eats into my time out of work (or even my sleep).
Having so much on the go requires a lot of organisational skills, and I know that I sometimes fall short in this regard, so I am very reliant on having a good team around me and particularly a good PA. Thus it was a disaster for me (although fab news for her) when my admin decided to leave Lifepsychol earlier this year and go and bake cakes instead. Worse still, it came at a time that I had two new Assistant Psychologists without prior experience starting in post, and a whole lot of deadlines. I had also concluded that delegating the book keeping to the accountants was not cost effective, as they did not understand the ins and outs of the business, or have access to our files or close enough communication with me to resolve queries. I was starting to panic that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demands and everything would fall apart.
Thus it is great news that I have recruited a new admin/operational manager, who is helping me to get everything organised, and has taken on the finances of the company, along with some of the personnel functions. This has been a lifeline as it has really taken the pressure off me, and allowed me to start chipping away at a to-do-list that has been growing much faster than I have been able to check items off it. It is helpful that there is a central point of contact for the company who is there on a full-time basis, and that is making all our lines of communication easier, especially as I seem to be all over the country at the moment!
Today we signed up for Google Apps for Work to set up shared cloud storage for the company, and a more professional company email, calendar and task-list system. We are gradually working through the state of the finances, and catching up with invoicing. We even sorted out the materials in the cupboards, and re-homed the five boxes of left over questionnaires from the diabetes study, some materials that were ordered in error, and a massive collection of used lever-arch files.
This really pleases my inner OCD, as I really dislike the feeling of disorganisation and clutter in my physical or psychological space. I have high hopes that once we are organised things can tick over in a much more satisfying way.
I’ve also been offered one of 10 UK places to be supported by ImpactHub to scale up one aspect of my business over the next year, so I’ll write more about that in my next blog!