Yep! I said it. In big bold letters, and I mean it. There will never be enough time to get everything done you think you need to, or you want to, get completed for your business.

This is one of the basic facts about time. Knowing this you can see why you will never get caught up, another fact about time. It is also a fact that we all have the same amount of time. Knowing this, why do some folks seem to accomplish so much, and others are in constant motion but never seem to make progress against their to do list?

This is why managers and small business owners need to learn time management tools and use them.

As we move into the end of the year holiday season and anticipate the return of our neighbors who have been vacationing up north, the workload will continue to increase.

Knowing we all have the same amount of time, there will never be enough time and we will never get caught up, we need to look at some of these time management techniques to help us use our time wisely and efficiently.

Effective time management starts with a to do list. This list is very important because it puts in writing all the things you feel need to be accomplished to make your business successful. But, now that you have that list how will you complete everything knowing there is never enough time. We need to organize the list and plan on how to best use our time to complete what is important.

Focus on results, not action, consider the quality of the outcome, not the quantity of what’s completed.

Review your list and prioritize the tasks based on how they will impact your business.

Use Steven Covey’s habit number three, “Put First Things First.” First, list what is urgent and important. Then list what is not urgent but still important. Next list those tasks that are urgent but not important. And finally, those that are not urgent and not important.

Focus your attention on the first list, urgent and important. This is where your actions will be most effective in the operation of your business. Monitor the second and the third lists frequently. Tasks on those lists could become urgent and important over time. The fourth list is just time wasters.

Now that you have prioritized your tasks, which to do first. Brian Tracy says, “Eat That Frog.” Take on the biggest or the most difficult task first. If you’re faced with more than one “frog”, Mark Twain says eat the biggest or ugliest one first.

Once you’ve completed that, the day gets easier knowing you have already completed the worst.

Another tool to make better use of your time is to schedule certain times of the day to check emails and answer voicemails. Use the same system as above to prioritize the use of your time. Always set aside 10 minutes in your day to do nothing.

Recharge your brain and your body and prepare for the next series of tasks.

Hopefully some of these tips can help you make the most of the time you have, even if there is never enough.

Let me know your thoughts at eddavis@scorevolunteer.org.

For more information on time management tips, starting and growing your business, or to request a mentor from Port Charlotte SCORE go to www.portcharlotte.score.org.

Volunteers provide confidential one on one business advice to meet the needs of both start-up and existing businesses at no cost. To learn how you can become a SCORE volunteer contact Don Benjamin at donbenjamin1937@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter at @charlottecscore.

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