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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyYour Most Priceless Asset:
How to Guard Your Time Vigilantly
By Victoria Munro

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Perhaps the 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 whether to:

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:

1. Is this the best use of my time right now?
2. In the grand scheme of things, is what I’m doing now really that important?
3. Will this task help me to reach the business goals I’ve set?
4. Is 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.

(419 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

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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,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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