1. OutsourceThis might be the most important time-management tip of all. The reality is that most people are great at one or two things, and less good at everything else. While you might have twenty things that need to be done, you probably are only good at two of them. Eighteen of those tasks could be done just as effectively by someone else. Why not outsource those tasks? That’s the real “secret” of time management. If you don’t set up your business to run without you, you will always have to be there to make it work. Otherwise the operation will come to a crashing halt. Learning to replace yourself with others is one of the most critical things you will ever do.
2. PrioritizeIt’s amazing to many people what they spend their time doing when they start keeping track of it. Checking email, forum and social networking browsing, and blogging about nothing in particular all take time without accomplishing anything. These are the activities many people do to fill time when they don’t set priorities. That’s why you need to set a “to do” list the night before. Stick with that no matter what. Most people just know that they have twenty things that need to get done. They place equal importance on those things. Instead, some things are much more important than others, and you want to focus on those.
3. Set short deadlinesOnce you have a list of things you need to focus on, set immediate deadlines to force focused action. Most things will swell in time to the amount of time you allot them. So if you give yourself all day to do something, it will take all day. This is because you know it doesn’t have to be done immediately, and you will not stay focused. Remember when you were in school? You probably kept putting off those papers that were due months off, because they didn’t have to be done. However, when you had something that was due the next morning, you were forced to stay much more focused. Do the same with business. When you implement these three tips, those forty to eighty-hour work weeks can be shortened to almost nothing. You can then spend your time doing the things you love. And even if you want to spend your time with your business, it will enable you to focus on the parts of it you enjoy more, and less on the parts you don’t.
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