Eleven Secrets to Better Time 
Management for Entrepreneurs

Why is it that the Bill Gate's of this world
are rich and famous? What secret do they
know that the rest of us don't? If you study
their lives closely, you'll discover the rich and famous have certain habits that attribute
to their success. Successful people are very careful about how they spend their time.

No matter how you slice it, we all have 24 hours in a day, so the key lies in learning to
use our time wisely. Below are some ways you can dramatically increase your
productivity through more effective use of your time.

1. Monitor How You Currently Use Your Time

If it seems like your day slips by all too quickly, try creating a log of your daily
activities.  Once you see where you are spending your time, you can identify and
focus on the activities that provide the greatest returns for you personally and
financially. Start your log by writing down what time you wake up, get ready, and
begin work. Calculate how much time you spend on individual activities such as
email, phone calls, and client work.

2. Calculate How Much Your Time is Worth

Time is money. Knowing how much your time is actually worth can help you make
better decisions as to whether you should perform a task or outsource it. For instance,
if your time is worth $200 an hour, you are far better off paying someone $30 an hour
to edit your newsletter. You can "bank" the other $170 per hour by spending your time
on profit making activities. Also take the time to determine how much time a day you
need to spend on billable activities to make your desired profit. I try to spend 1.5
hours a day on money-making projects.

3. Create a Daily Schedule

Don't start your day without a to do list. Make a list of tasks and categorize them into
business building activities, client activities, and personal items. Then break bigger
unmanageable projects into smaller "doable" chunks so they less intimidating and are
easier to accomplish.

4. Prioritize

Have more to do than hours in the day? By prioritizing your tasks, you'll make sure
that you are tackling the items that matter most. Create a system that works for you.
One standard way of prioritizing is to mark items with A, B, and C.

      Ask yourself these key questions:
      What items MUST be done today?
      Which items can be rescheduled?
      What can be delegated?
      Which tasks most closely match my priorities and goals?
      Which items can be eliminated?

5. Learn to Say No

Are you adding one more item to your never-ending "To Do" list? You are in control of
your time. Be strong and uphold your personal boundaries. When you are well rested
and treat yourself and your family to the time off you deserve, you'll feel happier and
more productive when it's time to go back to work.

Before you say "yes," ask yourself these questions:

      Do you really have the time or energy to do that extra task?
      Do I like this customer? Are they good for me?
      Will it be profitable?
      Does it invade on your personal time?
      Does it involve doing something you enjoy?
      Does it fit in with your list of priorities and goals?

6. Remove Distractions and Time Sucks

Time sucks are lurking everywhere like viruses. Think about which activities are
eating up your time. For me personally, these items include email, social calls, and
telemarketers. I "conquer" the email demon by shutting down my Outlook when I am
working. When a family member calls during work time, I politely ask if I can call
them back during the afternoon and remind them of my work hours. Caller ID
valiantly saves me from the "would be" telemarketer time thieves. With one glance, I
can quickly differentiate telemarketers from important client calls.

7. Stick to the Plan

Try not to get sidetracked from your plan. One of my friends has a motto: "A lack of
planning on your part does not constitute an emergency for me." It's a smart one to live
by. Unless it's a true emergency, or you are being paid "rush" time, you probably don't
need to squeeze a last minute request in today. Also, by assigning yourself project
deadlines, you can keep on top of projects and avoid those dreaded last minute

8. Choose an Inspiring Place and Time

We are all "built" differently. Do the tasks which take your most "brain power" when
you are at your prime. Are you a morning person or do you work best burning the
midnight oils? Create an ultimate work haven that is clean, distraction free, and
inspiring. My office overlooks my flower garden and is right in the heart of family
activity. As I glance to the right, our Angel fish "Spike" proudly parades across the fish
tank. In front of me, Monet has a glorious display of peach poppies in a field. Above
me, Monet is painting a vivid portrait of his flower garden. In the living room, my son
is softly singing the Spiderman theme to himself -- music to my ears!

9. Bundle Like Tasks Together

As you work through your daily list, try to chunk your tasks into like activities. By
creating a separate "chunk" of time for answering email, invoicing, making return
phone calls, you'll save time and mental energy.

10. Avoid Interruptions

Trying to do the same thing over and over again with interruptions can be maddening.
Once you start a task, try to finish it to the end. If something comes up that you need to
remember or do, unless it's urgent, simply add it to your list and continue on with
your current project.

11. Be Organized

When things are tidy, it saves you time and frees you to focus on the task at hand.
Digging through a pile of papers and finding a squished Twinkie isn't very conducive
to the work experience. Follow your own organizational style.

Phone Lists: For instance, I arrange my phone lists into groups according to how I use
them: friends, family, doctors, my children's playmates, etc. I also list people in my
phone book that I talk to on a first name basis by their first name alphabetically. For
instance, I list my mom under "M" and my brother under "T" for Troy. "D" has a list of
all my doctors. This works for me, because it's how I think.

Emails: Another time saving idea is to color code your emails. In my personal color
scheme I use one color for clients, one for newsletters, and another for my coworkers.
You can also group your emails using categories and folders.

One Calendar Fits All: Keeping track of work appointments, Brownie meetings, and
committee meetings can be very difficult. My secret to keeping on top of family and
work appointments is to schedule them all on one calendar.

Daytimer Special Section: Create a special section of your Daytimer just for special
interests, hobbies, or kids. My husband keeps one with all his stock info. I have a
special kid section with phone numbers for Brownie leaders, playmates, doctors,
school contacts, bus number and other items.

So, why wait for success when you can literally
schedule it! By mastering your time,
you can accomplish much more with less effort. Be choosy about how you spend your
time. Focus on activities which most closely match your goals. By taking time to
monitor, measure, and manage your time, you will enjoy an abundance of success and

About the author: Speaker, author, and consultant, Kristie Rimmele is an entrepreneurial expert
who has helped thousands of people to start and succeed in their online businesses. She is the
founder of
Webmomz.com, president of Branding on the Net, and author of several books
I Love My Life: A Mom's Guide to Working from Home and a contributing author to
the upcoming book, "Build it Big 2: 101 Insider Secrets from Direct Selling Experts" by Dearborn
Publishing. Claim your
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