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Managing Time Effectively

Date: 04/27/2007 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

Like many small business owners, I’m a sole-proprietor.  Add to that fact that I’m a mom with two small kids and active in my community, and you have one very busy individual who prides herself on having great time management skills. Sure, like everyone else I occasionally have those instances when things fall through the cracks, but I often amaze even myself, colleagues, and friends in what I can accomplish in a day.

Having said this, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t always room for improvement. Recently, I checked out Dan Kennedy’s book “No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneursâ€? from our local library.  I got to tell you that I really like his suggestions.  Sure, a few may seem a little strict, but even if you select a couple of tips and implement them, you’ll find that your time can be even better managed.

Here are a few from his book that I particular like:

  1. Don’t jump when the phone rings.   While you may be tempted to pick up the phone every time it rings, you may want to rethink that approach.  Every time  you answer the phone, you are pulling time away from another project and interrupting your train of thought.  Most calls, even those for prospective clients can wait at least a half a day.
  2. Cut back on the face time.  In-person meetings can take up a lot of your time.  Not only does the actual meeting take time, but driving there and back also takes up time that could be used more productively.  When possible, schedule meetings back to back or opt for a conference call.
  3. Make a list.  When I was younger, I use to pride myself on being able to remember everything.  However, as my business took off and the kids came along, my ability to keep it all straight started to evade me.  So, now I’ve developed a system of keeping track of my projects and deadlines.  There’s also something satisfying about being able to scratch things off your list when their accomplished.
  4. Block your time.  Chances are that you can be more productive if you actual designate time each day for specific activities and stick to that schedule.  For example, you may set one hour aside each day for marketing, two for project development, one for returning calls and emails, etc.  Estimate how much time it takes you to get something done, block out that time, and stick to your schedule.  You’ll be amazed at how much more you actually get done.

No matter how we try, we will never get everything done in a day that we would like.  But chances are you’ll feel a lot better at the end of the day when you know you’ve used your time as best as you could.

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