My Favorite Time Management Tips

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The most valuable resource in any business is the business owner’s time.  It is the one thing you cannot buy more of.  That is why there are so many time management books (typing “time management” in returned 125,733 results).

Here are the ones that have worked the best for me:

  1. Write every task down. Then stop worrying about them.  I call it write it down and forget about it!
  2. Create a daily “to do” list. Spend five minutes each morning and outline a realistic list of what you will work on that day.
  3. Do the three most important things on your list first thing in the morning while you are fresh and before daily interruptions set you back.
  4. Answer all emails and social media site messages early in the morning and/or late at night. Doing so during the day is a great way to get distracted and lose hours.
  5. Only answer your phone calls at certain times during the day. I usually do it twice a day and then let all calls go to voicemail the rest of the time.  Tell your staff and your customers that this is necessary so that you can get work done on time.  Make sure your staff knows which of your best customers will always be allowed to interrupt you.
  6. Don’t allow customers or clients to just “walk in”. Unless they are one of your very best clients with a real emergency, insist that they make an appointment for later.  If you don’t respect your time, how will your customers respect your time?
  7. Schedule delegation meetings with your staff every Monday so that they know what to work on next without constantly having to ask you.
  8. Schedule times during the day when your staff can bring problems to you. Insist that they research possible solutions and present them to you before you answer their questions.
  9. Ignore a to-do item if pressed for time. If it is really important, it will come back up. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t very important in the first place.
  10. Set deadlines on each project. This is one of the keys to getting work done.
  11. Just keep moving. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t finish everything you wanted to do today.  Just forget it and start over tomorrow.
  12. Delegate everything you can. Always ask yourself, “How can I get someone else to do this?”
  13. Eliminate most meetings. When someone asks to meet with you, beg out and ask what the meeting is about.
  14. If you must have a meeting, try to have it at your office or use GoToMeeting to eliminate travel time.
  15. Eliminate games of phone or email tag. Set up an appointment to talk to the person and/or tell your staff to interrupt you the next time they call.

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