10 Tips on Time Management
By Linda Francis, Author of Run Your Business So It Doesn’t Run You
Many small businesses find themselves stretched for time in an economy that requires businesses to do more with less to stay competitive. That’s why it’s wise for entrepreneurs to develop good time management habits so that everything that needs to be done, gets done. Here are 10 time management tips to help you work smarter and use your time wisely.
1. Buy a week-at-a-glance appointment book and use it religiously. Write everything that you need to accomplish in this book. This book is your brain!
2. Differentiate between the urgent and the vital. The urgent may be making a lot of noise to get your attention, but it is rarely vital that it be done right now or at all.
“The vital task rarely needs to be done today. The urgent task calls for instant action. The momentary appeal of these tasks seems irresistible, and they devour our energy. With a sense of loss we recall the vital tasks we pushed aside. We realize that we have become slaves to the tyranny of the urgent.” –Charles Hummel
3. The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
4. Keep track of your time by 15 minute increments for 2 weeks to see how you actually spend your time. Compare this to what you should be or want to be spending your time on. It will give you the motivation to make needed changes.
5. Say “no” to the project, not the person. You cannot do everything everyone asks you to do.
6. Learn how to effectively delegate. This means picking the right person, giving clear directions, setting benchmark and due dates, and then letting them do it.
7. Procrastination has a lot of different causes: fear, boredom, perfectionism, an overwhelming task and unclear goals. Identify the reason behind procrastination, so you are solving the right problem when dealing with it.
8. If you earn $10,000 a year, each minute is worth $.09. If you earn $30,000 a year, each minute is worth. $.26. Use these thoughts to help you prioritize your activities and to determine to whom you should be delegating. Any time you are doing work that someone at a lower wage could be doing, you are losing money.
9. Set goals. They help you prioritize your activities and let you know that you have succeeded.
10. There are 1,440 minutes in a day and 29020 days in an 80 year lifetime. Take control of your time and make this year the year you do what you want.