Manage your priorities


Starting a small business means you’ve got to do everything yourself. With so many little tasks to complete each day, like running to the bank or sending e-mails, you may often feel like you’re not getting anything important accomplished.

In order to build a business, a new entrepreneur must learn to set priorities. Otherwise, you’ll spend your days putting out fires and completing little tasks that really don’t contribute to growth.

Follow these tips to put your priority projects first:

– Rule of Three. Aim to accomplish three major objectives each week and three minor objectives each day. The minor objectives support the major ones. Your major objectives might include forward-moving priorities such as negotiating a bank loan, calling several prospects or interviewing job applicants.

– Plan each week. Develop weekly to-do lists, sorted by priority. Schedule time to work on tasks that contribute to your “Rule of Three.” Once you’ve created your weekly calendar, step back and review it to make sure you’ve allocated enough time to get the important things done.

– Monthly escape. CEOs of large companies don’t get bogged down doing little tasks. They’re paid to plan, strategize and manage others. It’s too easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees in any new business, so try to set aside a day or more each month to plan the future direction of your business. Escape to your favourite “thinking place,” away from phones and computers, and plan ahead.