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Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
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time management

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Simplicity, Productivity and Growth


Use these 10 tasks to give your business a digital and physical cleanse for a fresh start to 2021.

  1. Organize your work space so it works for you. Are you bad at organizing? Bring in a professional or delegate to get things where they should be, and then bring them back once a month to keep the office maintained.


  2. Dump old files, emails, folders in your office, and old files on the computer.


  3. Back up your computer files in multiple locations. Crashes happen. They do. So plan for them.


  4. Trash your marketing materials from 10 years ago. I know, those flyers and brochures were expensive to print.  I know you still think some of them are cool. Trash them. You are never going to use them again and those boxes are just taking up space.  You may find that you need to trash your marketing materials from last year, too.  Markets have changed.  Your marketing needs to stay current.


  5. Update your website. A good website is expensive and it SHOULD be.  If you are not sure if your website is doing what you need it to do, get five  friends who might be interested in your products or services to give you an honest assessment.  Run Google Analystics.  Hire a professional.


  6. Use your white board. Take a picture of what is there now, make notes of what you want to do moving forward, and ERASE the board and start over.  Make a list of everything you thought was important for last year, and as it turns out, those projects that didn’t matter.  Throw that list away and feel good about not having to think about those projects again.


  7. List your new squirrels. New ideas are fun and exciting.  Make a list of everything you want to do with regards to your business.  Now categorize everything you want to do by priorities A, B, C, D, and E.
    A…Things that make the most profit with the least amount of effort. DO THESE FIRST!
    B…Things that make good profits with the least amount of effort. DO THIS NEXT!
    C…Things that make the most profit with lots more effort. MAYBE do these.
    D…Things that make good profits with a lot of effort. OUTSOURCE these.Things that don’t make much profit and probably won’t. STOP doing these activities. Right now. Your time is worth more. Stop it.  Stop it right now.


  8. Assign deadlines and people. On the white board, list every project you should do in  the new year.  Assign deadlines to the projects you really want to do. Create a list of action items for each of the projects.


  9. Delegate, outsource, and contract with others. Delegate everything that you possibly can to someone with a lower opportunity cost.  Every minute of every day has an opportunity cost.  Opportunity cost is the cost of everything else you could be doing with your time.   If you are spending the day skiing, it is not just the cost of renting the skis, the boots, the helmet, buying the new ski pants, the lift ticket, and the ski lodge.  It is also the cost of what you could be making if you were delivering pizza. Opportunity cost is everything that you could be doing with your time. As an entrepreneur, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.  If you want to make $500 per hour, you have to stop doing things that you can pay someone else $20 per hour to do.


  10. Have a strategic retreat with people who will push you, challenge you, and advise you to become even better. A mastermind group is great for this.  Allocate a time and a place where everyone is 100% focused on the strategy and planning.  From that time, get laser-focused on what you need to do in the next 30 days, 90 days, and 365 days.  Map out the action steps to make it happen.

Understand that a plan to get the right things accomplished is far more powerful than a plan to get 1,000 things accomplished that will never happen.

Stop wasting time. 

Focus on the right things for your business.

Let the rest go.


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