September 19, 2008

Top 3 time tips to manage your small business

Small business owners have so much to do every day - the business of your business (or what you're actually paid to do), marketing, administration (emails, voicemails, etc.), bookkeeping.

The list goes on and on...

And that's only one part of your life!

In order to have a balanced life, you need to manage your time correctly otherwise you'll be stressed out, burnt out and frazzled!

Here are the top 3 things I do to make sure my small business runs smoothly:


Every day decide on a maximum of 6 things to do. Before you even put them on your list, ask yourself if they bring you closer to your business goals or not.

Then do the most important task first. It often seems like that one is also the most difficult task. Once that is out of the way, your day gets better and the rest is a breeze.

This way, even if you don't finish your 6 items, the most important tasks will always be done. I use this method for responding to emails too.


Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

Many times we don't know how long something will take so we allow hours and hours for simple tasks. If you genuinely don't know, then start keeping a time log for tasks you do routinely, like writing a weekly Ezine, daily blogging or posting to forums.

Once you have an idea of how long regular tasks take, set a timer when you do them in the future and aim to complete in that set time, every time.


For anything you do more than once (or plan to delegate to a virtual assistant), make a list as you go along.

My monthly checklists have accounting and computer back-up, my weekly checklists have article submission and blog planning, and my daily checklists have checking web stats.

This is so that you don't waste time having to rethink your steps of action every day, week or month, or worse still, you forget to do something important. I have a whole system for automating your business (Business Control Journal) as part of my Organise your Business system that is definitely part of my arsenal for business success.

I suggest that you also have some self-care items on your lists. I read every day for pleasure and aside from a 20-minute planning session for the week ahead, I take the weekends off.

If you start implementing these 3 tips on a consistent basis, I guarantee that you'll free up at least two hours a day.

I'd rather spend an extra two hours with my family; wouldn't you?

Marcia Francois is a time management and organising coach who empowers small business owners and other busy professionals who want to make the most of their time. You’ll get simple, practical organising and time management secrets to help you work less and enjoy life more! Get your free Organising Success Pack.

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Kendra said...

Great GREAT tip on the daily, weekly, and monthly lists. I got bogged down my list because they're all mixed up. And as a business owner, it can definitely become overwhelming. Thanks so much for that simple tip! I'm off to do it right now!

Herman Thompson said...

That’s true. As business owners, they really must learn how to manage their time wisely, to ensure that they are serving all their business needs, and finish all the important tasks on time. Particularly on the bookkeeping part, which really needs a lot of time and attention to manage. Some opt to hire a professional to make it easier for them. But there are some who still prefer to do it by themselves, and take different training programs to gain all the necessary knowhow to do so. Anyway, thanks for sharing! This would serve as a great reminder to all.

Herman Thompson @ AccountAbility Plus