Being a small business owner or a solopreneur can sometimes mean an endless list of things 'to-do' - either things to market your business, grow your business, manage your business or even just run it.

If you're like me, you probably have put yourself and your business to the bottom of your own to-do list more than once.

I recently made the decision to put myself right at the top of my list, and that has meant making many changes in the way I do things ... just to keep myself accountable for the things I need to do to keep myself up there at the top of my own list. After all, how can I help my clients manage and grow their businesses if I am not managing and growing my own business?

So I got wise and started treating myself like my own client. It's important to set yourself up for success, and to put a plan in place to help you get it done. Here are a few tips that I am using. I hope you will find them useful for you as well!

1. Make a master list - put together a 'laundry list' of each thing you need to do. Don't leave anything out. If there is more than one component to any single piece, break it down on your list. (ie instead of 'redo website', indicate the smaller parts of what you want to do, and use THOSE as your to-do items ... do you really need to rewrite all of your content just to add testimonials? probably not. Break it all apart!)

2. Prioritize your list - score each major item on your list from most important or urgent to least important. Do the same for any subtasks. Be realistic here. Make sure that you are prioritizing by what really needs to be done, instead of what you think might be easy or fast to do.

3. Get out your calendar - Set realistic deadlines for each project by checking your calendar. Don't be too ambitious, but try to get into the routine of doing something small every couple of days to keep your momentum going. And remember as well, that if you have something large like 'clean out email folders' on your list, you may want to set several shorter deadlines to manage the task, and then have a final deadline for when you want to have it all finished.

4. Schedule it - On your calendar, write down the things you need to do each day. You can do this on a paper calendar or on a Google calendar, wherever it makes sense for you (I have mine in both!). Aim for 15 to 20 minutes of work per day. Any more than that, and you might be overscheduling yourself. It will be a big chore instead of just a quick task which is manageable.

5. Hold yourself accountable - Make sure you have someone who will help you stay on track with your goals and deadlines. I have my VA, but you can have an accountability partner, a spouse, a friend, anyone at all that you can check in with. Hold yourself accountable too. Check off the things you do when you are finished. It feels so good to cross an item off of a to-do list! I know!

If you set yourself up right, you will find that doing things a little at a time is much more manageable than trying to 'take all day Saturday to clean up my computer filing system'. How daunting! Who wants to do that? But if you break it down, to maybe one folder at a time ... and you do it for just a few minutes ... you will find that you will get things done much more quickly, and you will actually enjoy doing it!

Setting deadlines for yourself is just a smart thing to do too. If by the end of the week you haven't made all of your deadlines, you know you have tried to do too much. Look at your calendar and make some revisions to it - keep at it and if you have to push something back, do it in a realistic manner as well.

The key is to try to do a little something every single day. Pick your time of day and then just schedule a task into your work day. By managing things on a daily basis, you will soon find you are looking forward to working on your own to-do list, and you will be getting a lot more done!

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D’Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey’s free ebook “3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!” at www.yourvamentor.com