Sometimes there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done to keep a small business running smoothly. As an entrepreneur, you are faced with many choices about how to use your time. Remember, it's not how much time you have but what you do with your time that matters. How much your time is worth and choosing activities that are the most important are important skills that will improve your productivity.
To make better use of your time, prioritize your daily task list and keep track of your deadlines with a monthly calendar. A good method to use is to place first priority on what must get done, then what should get done, then things that can get done, and if something does not get done give it high-priority the next day. Everything from pocket calendars to day planners to computer programs and smartphone applications can help you control your commitments and obligations. Consider taking a time management class if you need help creating a system that will work for you. Also, learn to say no, there are many distractions throughout the day that can be handled by the proper delegation of authority or by just saying, "No".
Try to arrive at your office 15 minutes early each day to get organized before your day begins. Make a check your list of priorities and the amount of time you have allotted for each item. If you are most productive in the mornings, maybe you'll want to work at your desk until noon and save sales calls for the afternoon. Adjust your schedule to your own personal preference for maximum productivity. At the end of each day take a few minutes to review what was completed and what had to wait until the next day to get done.
Make it your practice to establish deadlines, but always set back enough time to complete the task at hand. Nothing is worse than the feeling of never getting anything done just because you tried to get 12 hours of work done in an 8 hour day. Setting aside 45 minutes for an hour and a half meeting is a recipe for failure. This goes for the goals and deadlines you set for your employees, also.