Use the Mini-Day Schedule for Small Business Success

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Plan your day for small business success

Plan your day for small business success

Having trouble getting everything done?  Everyone has the same 24 hours available every day.  When working in my small business consulting capacity helping small business owners reach their success point, I have discovered that many successful small business owners manage their schedules in very similar ways.

First of all, success comes when you are at your peak energy and creativity when you are working.  If you work best first thing in the morning, schedule most of your most mentally-demanding work time then.  If you are a night owl, then your work time should be late in the day.  When you schedule against your natural rhythms, you will be less effective.  Oh sure, you’ll still get things done, but it will take twice as long and be more mentally and physically draining.

The most effective schedule for your small business success is to set up what is called a mini-day schedule.  A mini-day is basically a period of time set aside to complete a specific type of task.  Your work day would then consist of several mini-days.

The first step is to identify your vital tasks and determine how much time per day or per week you should spend on each task.   Keep a journal for at least 3 to 5 days and write down every task you do and how long you spend doing it.  For most people running a small business, your list of tasks will include things like returning telephone calls, replying to email, sending Tweets, writing letters, developing ads, reviewing reports, managing staff, and dealing with administrative tasks.  You also need to set time aside to think about strategy and write down goals and plans, and research new products and processes.

Once you have tracked your activity for a few days, sit down and group your activity into specific tasks.  For instance, you may have spent time returning telephone calls and placing phone calls, but at different times.  Lump those like-activities together and see how much time you spent on the phone.  If you are the type of person who checks email every 20 minutes and has to respond to each Tweet as it comes in, you will notice that you are actually wasting a lot of time.  It is more efficient to schedule a time and only check your email at specific times and only respond at a specific time.

Once you have grouped all your activities into similar tasks, you then need to schedule time for each type of task.  For instance, your Monday work schedule may look like this:  2 hours making telephone calls, 1 hour replying to and sending emails, 3 hours managing administrative tasks, etc.  Then Tuesday may include 2 hours of correspondence, 1 hour of review of data and reports, 2 hours of planning, etc.  The more detailed your journal of tasks, the more detailed your schedule can be.

The key to success is to stick to your mini-day schedule.  If you have scheduled a two hour mini-day for telephone calls, for you should spend two hours making telephone calls.  Do not stop at 30 minutes.  If you have called everyone on your list, go back through your customer base or stack of business cards and call more people.  What ends up happening is you start to get ahead of the curve on some projects, while keeping up to date on all others.  But what if the opposite happens?  What if you don’t get to call everyone on your list?  Stop after your designated 2 hours and move on to your next scheduled task.  Keep those remaining contacts until the next time you have telephone calls scheduled.  If you stick to the schedule, then you will be making progress on every vital task and are less likely to neglect a key element of your business.

Creating a mini-day work schedule can be beneficial not only in reducing the number of hours you work, but it makes your work time more productive, reduces stress, and helps you maintain a passion for your business.

If you have a schedule tip that works for you, I’d love to know about it.  Leave a comment here or email me at SuccessPointConsulting@hotmail.com.

See You Next Time

See You Next Time

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