One of the most common challenges I hear from small business owners is that they do not have enough time to focus on what's really important in their business. In order to solve this problem you first have to determine why this is a challenge. Once this is clear, you can look at strategies to help you manage the little things better and free up more time for what's important.

What's important is unique to each business and is usually related directly to the core business activity and why the business owner started the business in the first place. Personal satisfaction and achievement, pride in the job and a flexible lifestyle are generally valued higher than wealth creation.

Here are the top 7 reasons you don't have time for what's important:

1. You are spending too much time on "X" - Replace "X" with one of your top time wasters. What is it that you always seem to get stuck on for hours at a time? For important but often repetitive tasks like replying to email inquiries or submitting proposals, create and save templates that can be used over and over and modified when needed.

2. You don't follow a schedule - If you start your day by sitting down at your desk wondering what you will do today, you will not be productive and likely not accomplish anything important. End your day by creating a to-do list for the next day. You will have focus and know what needs to be done.

3. You have too many clients/commitments - This seems like a good problem to have, however, it's better to have fewer clients that get your full attention than more than you can handle. With too many commitments the quality of your work can suffer along with your good reputation.

4. You have trouble saying "no" - Make it a rule to never promise what you can't deliver. This means sometimes having to say "no". Your clients, family and friends will respect you for your honesty and will trust your word.

5. You are unorganized - Your work area is a disaster zone. Papers strewn across your desk, no set schedule and you've misplaced your day timer. Before you jump into your work day, take 15 minutes to clear your desk and clear your mind saving you more than the 15 minutes you invested.

6. You have bad habits - You know what you're doing wrong and you know how to correct it but you're stuck in the habit. I'm sure you've heard the quote by Tony Robbins, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." Start by replacing one bad habit with a good habit.

7. You need help - You are doing everything 'right', the problem is that your business has grown to the point that you cannot continue to do it all and still maintain your high standards. You've heard about outsourcing and are ready to look into this further.

Identify what challenge has the highest impact on your time and then focus 100% of your effort on that one thing. To make the change successful, keep it simple and do not overwhelm yourself. A change will do you good!

Author's Bio: 

As a Business Support Specialist to small business owners, Jennifer Hazlett provides technical and administrative assistance specializing in planning, implementing and managing various internet marketing strategies. Jennifer combines her current work experience with her extensive corporate background to create programs and services that help the small business owner get their business going, growing or back on track. Sign up at Jennifer's website, Alternate Admin for your complimentary report "101 Ways to Boost Business with a Virtual Assistant" and receive her free monthly ezine "Home Sweet Home Office" full of practical tips, tricks, tools and resources for the small business owner.