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All of us have the same amount of time and busy small business owners are no exception. Some entrepreneurs manage to accomplish more than others within their similar time constraints. How do they do it? They simply have better time management skills. These skills can be learned and mastered over a period of time, similar to driving a car. Let’s take a look at some of the tried and tested time management strategies.

Planning helps to gain control over your time – Planning is best done first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Writing down tasks that are to be done makes them more specific and concrete. Don’t make the mistake of keeping all your tasks in your memory. You are likely to forget some very important tasks.

Prioritize – All tasks are not equal. Some tasks are more important than others. Concentrate on completing the main tasks before the less important ones.

Have a daily schedule – After creating a personalized daily schedule, you do not have to think of what to do next. But remember, keep adequate provision for unexpected delays and interruptions. Doing the same thing at the same time everyday leverages the force of habit. You require less self pushing to do the task.

Do the important tasks in your most productive period – Evaluate what time of the day you are most productive. Allocate the most important tasks during that time period. Ensure you are not disturbed or interrupted during that time.

Conquer procrastination – It is a common human tendency to keep delaying unpleasant, boring or complex tasks. Try to break the task into smaller digestible bits. The alternative is to get started on the overwhelming task even if it is in small time intervals. You may find the task not as overwhelming as expected.

The 80/20 rule – According to this rule, 80% of the business comes from 20% of the customers. It makes sense to concentrate on that particular segment of customers.

Effectiveness vs Efficiency – Effectiveness means doing the right thing while efficiency means doing a thing in the right way. Effectiveness should be given a higher priority than efficiency.

Technology as an ally – Using the latest gadgets and processes will definitely help save time. For example, current smart phones can be used to send and receive emails, record appointments and contact information.  Apptivo has developed many software applications to boost productivity.

Take a quality Time Management course – A good course is well worth the money and time spent. In the long run, applying the up to date time management strategies and techniques will increase your productivity. You will also get the opportunity to share time saving tips with other participants and become better at time management.

Develop discipline and will power – Of course these two qualities are not acquired overnight. But if you start small, gradually increase the effort over a period of time and persevere, you will definitely succeed. Then you will have the will power and discipline to be able to stick to your plan and achieve your ambitions/goals.

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