You're either directly responsible or overseeing all functions, and you’re overwhelmed by the details. Rather than focusing on the important you seem to fight the fires and at the end of the day you aren't sure if you've really invested your time in the best way. Long-term your time management skills will either make you or break you, so it’s time to improve those skills before it’s too late.

When you’re solely responsible for everything in your business it’s easy to get caught up in firefighting and micro-managing. It’s actually easier to respond to interruptions and crisis than it is to focus on the important. But that’s a success killing habit that you’ll want to break now. In order to develop good time management skills you’ll need to set aside time outside of your normal business hours to de-clutter and sort through all the stuff you’ve allowed to build up. This is the piles of paperwork you have in and under your desk and shoved into drawers and cupboards that needs to be gone through to determine relevance. Quickly sort through this stuff creating piles or boxes for: needs action now, needs action at some point, reference, and throw away.

The reason you have poor time management skills is because you aren’t sure what actions you should be taking at any given moment. Gather up all the stuff in your needs action now pile and identify all the actions you need to take making one list so you have everything in one place. When you have to search through files, folders, your calendar, and your computer to find what you’re supposed to be taking action on you forget, and you just won’t take the time to hunt through everything.

Good time management skills come from knowing when to take action on the right things. As you look at your list of actions the next step is to prioritize, delegate, or dump each action. Start by crossing off anything on your list that you or anyone that works for you shouldn’t be doing. Then get tough with yourself and challenge yourself to find as many things that could be delegated to someone else so you have more time for the business of running your business that you can. Don’t overlook opportunities to outsource things to virtual assistants, employees, or even volunteers. Did you know that some senior citizen centers want work like addressing envelopes, and will have their members do this work for donations? Now you still have a lot of stuff left on your list that needs to be prioritized, but I only want you to select the three most important things for you do to one day at a time. Do not prioritize the whole list just prioritize and commit to taking the required action on one to three actions each day.

Good time management skills are inspired by the desired end results. As the owner it’s up to you to develop the higher level big picture that you want to accomplish and that you need to focus on. With that big picture in mind decide on the actions you’ll take and when, based on their alignment with what you’re trying to accomplish. See how else you might improve your time management skills by taking the free time management analysis.

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