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7 Time-Saving Tricks you Should Know

Although most entrepreneurs already understand basic time management, the demands of starting a business can be overwhelming. Exceptional success requires elite time-saving skills.

Preview and Review Successful time management requires regular assessment. You should prioritize your daily tasks by previewing your agenda each morning. Review at day’s end to note what you did and didn’t finish. This can identify highest priority items for the next day and spot problems by noting what you routinely miss.

Make Time to Learn New Tricks Too many small business owners never take time to apply the time-management tools they have available, for example by taking an afternoon to learn new software. Consider this an investment that pays dividends of productivity.

Maintain in the Morning Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of exercise and rest, but have trouble making the time. Get a full night’s sleep, then work out first thing. You’ll spend the rest of the day more productive. This works like “paying yourself first.” You get what you need, and leave no room for excuses with the remaining items on your agenda.

Leave it to Voice Mail Answering the phone whenever it rings can break focus and momentum. Unless your business relies on immediate customer service, it’s better to let unexpected calls run to voice mail. Set aside two or three blocks of time each day for returning these calls. This will also limit how much time you spend getting information. A message with the facts takes a few moments to listen to, while a live conversation might have required twenty minutes of small talk.

Delegate to Technology Software can simplify and automate many of your “grunt” entrepreneurial tasks, such as budgeting, task tracking, invoicing, routine correspondence and program management. The growing app market introduces dozens of free or inexpensive new tools every week. Stay on top of the newest tech solutions by reading business blogs and tech columns in business magazines.

Avoid Unnecessary Email If you check email every fifteen minutes, or get into long exchanges when one message would have sufficed, schedule limited email sessions. Use an autoresponder to let people know when to expect to hear from you. If you use social network sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, apply the same rule to messages in that format.

The Someday File Small business owners often have more ideas than they have time to work with. For many, this means devoting time to unnecessary projects just to keep the idea “fresh” in their minds. You can maintain a list or file of “someday” projects and review that list periodically. This keeps your focus on immediate tasks, while protecting the opportunities in your new ideas.

Staying on top of your time is as important to your success as marketing and expense control. You should review your time management plan periodically, adding new tools and removing practices that no longer make sense.

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