Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
Most Priceless Asset:
How to Guard Your Time
By Victoria Munro
greatest single challenge in business today is a sense
of "time deficiency." When you feel
overwhelmed with too much to do, try the following:
list all your activities for a day or week and assign
each one a high- or low-payoff status. Next, decide
Delegate it –
Understanding when, how and to whom you’ll delegate
tasks and responsibilities can be challenging. Be creative
as you find ways and language to motivate others to
accept more responsibility. Think about hiring an intern
from a local college or engaging a virtual assistant
for five to ten hours a week.
Dump it – It’s
just not important enough; all busywork must go. Busywork
can be a welcome escape allowing you to avoid challenging
projects you don't like to do. Learn to let go of those
time-consuming, comfortable activities that won’t
mean much at the end of the day.
Do it – Schedule
it and get it done. Know when your most productive time
of day is and block out this time in your daily planner
for those vital, high-payoff activities.
Beware of time stealers
Taking phone calls, checking email, attending meetings
and dealing with unplanned interruptions can easily
erode your precious time. When faced with a deadline,
and you need to focus on an important task, turn the
phone ringer off and close your email editor. Declare
a meeting moratorium and schedule times later to deal
with those who need to talk. When you attend meetings,
make sure the agenda, goals and action items are well-defined.
Life will always bring unexpected
emergencies, many of which won't make a significant
difference in the long run. When running a business
that requires you to wear many different hats, it’s
easy to get derailed by immediate pressures and react
to the urgent instead of focusing on the important.
Take a few minutes during each day to stop and perform
a time checkup. Ask yourself the following questions:
this the best use of my time right now?
the grand scheme of things, is what I’m doing
now really that important?
this task help me to reach the business goals I’ve
this a revenue-generating activity or busywork?
If you answer no to any of
these questions, consider delegating, dumping,
or rescheduling that task, and switching your attention
to a high-payoff activity. Time
is your most valuable asset— invest it wisely
and guard it vigilantly.
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
with tips to help you with your business, sign up for
their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,”
and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get
More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics
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