Running a small, home-based business can be difficult at times. One of the biggest problems for small business owners is time management. Let me share tips that will be helpful in using your time most effectively.
1. Lists, Lists, Lists
Each morning make a list of 5-6 specific tasks you need to do that day. Prioritize your list by doing the most important tasks first. Don’t include tasks your assistant can do. Keep your list on your desk so you are reminded later in the day what needs to be done. It’s okay if you don’t get the last task done. Just move it to the top priority for tomorrow.
A list is only a guide to keep you from being distracted by the items that pop up during the day. Keep your top priorities at the top of the list so if the day goes sour, at least you have accomplished the most important things earlier in the day.
2. Wait to Check e-Mail, Facebook & Twitter
Watch yourself with e-mail, Facebook & Twitter… or your day may be gone before you accomplish anything. You could easily spend 2-3 hours each day with e-mail and social media. One solution is don’t open your e-mail until late morning or early afternoon. By that time, you have taken care of the most important and productive details of your business that day.
When opening your email (even if not re- plying), you will read concerns that take precious, mental time away from your business. You may find yourself thinking how to respond to specific emails or Facebook messages when you should be completing activities that actually produce a profit.
3. Monitor Your internet Time
Surfing on the computer can be a real struggle. You may find yourself spending countless hours at the computer (and gaining a sore back in the process). If your family income is dependent on the Inter- net, you must spend a fair amount of time on the computer.
However, be careful to reduce the amount of time spent “surfing” the Internet. Instead, use that time to write articles, develop new products, and other activities to drive traffic to your website.
4. Limit Your Chat Time on the Phone
The phone may not be much of a temptation, but some business owners can waste much time answering every call that comes in to the office. If you can’t afford an assistant, buy an answering machine. Use your mornings to accomplish profit-producing tasks. Do not answer the phone while you are finishing these type of tasks. For online, small businesses, profitable activities include developing products, blasting articles around the net for backward links and creating ads to drive traffic to your website.
Take a moment and evaluate your day. See how much time you are wasting on email, on social media, on the phone and on Internet surfing. Use these ideas to improve your time management immediately