Most small business owners are faced with so many responsibilities and an unbelievable workload throughout the day. Mainly because of the many different roles that we have to play. On any given day a small business owner must be a customer service representative, collections specialist, marketing specialist, public relations representative, and the list continues. It's enough to drive the average person crazy. But we small business owners are made of a different stock yet still we succumb to normal, everyday pitfalls caused by poor time management. Poor time management can severely negatively impact your business through lost sales and disgruntled customers. A small business owner can't afford either.
First, whatever you are using as an organizer stick to it. A pocketsize organizer or palm pilot can do wonders. But they don't work on their own. They are only of use if you regularly enter your data and continuously review what you've entered.
Once you've decided which type of organizer will work best for you, begin the habit of entering tasks on a regular basis. For example, each Monday you could enter all new tasks that you know of for the upcoming few weeks. As the week progresses you may would add new tasks and remove completed ones. To truly make this system effective, you should begin and each day with a review of your tasks. This helps to keep you on schedule and minimizes the chances that you'll become overwhelmed with all you have to do as a small business owner.
Here are some steps you may want to take when creating and reviewing your weekly schedule: Prioritize: Determine which tasks require your immediate attention and schedule your days accordingly. Break down tasks: To ensure you reach your due dates, break down larger tasks. Breaking down tasks also works for any responsibilities that you may not be looking forward to such as collection or sales calls. Reevaluate start and finish dates (keep them realistic): Enter realistic finish and start dates and work on completing your tasks a little each day. Reward yourself: Rewarding yourself with a break or some other personal incentive can keep you motivated throughout the week.
Set limits: Determine how many hours per day you can devote to your small business. Schedule your daily task list accordingly. Avoid negative thinking: If you miss a due date, it's not the end of the world nor is it a reason to succumb to frustration. Simply, use tips two and three of this list to begin the process again. Also, try to determine what prevented you from reaching your due date so you can avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Remember, with any plan, the key is consistency. Your success solely depends on you. Unlike most people, you don't have a nagging boss telling you what to do and when (one of the many benefits of small business ownership) but it could also cause problems if you haven't learned to manage your time well. So maintain your positive outlook in order to reach your daily goals.
Copyright ? 2005 Rhonda Winn - All Rights Reserved. Rhonda Winn has been helping small business owners since 2000. She is the author of the popular eBook, "How to Live Your Dreams and Achieve Unlimited Wealth in Small Business" Receive the first chapter free, when you join her bi-monthly newsletter today: SmallBizStartupKit.com. Her site contains dozens of free downloads, articles, forums, resources, journals, and more.
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