Do you wish there were more hours in the day?

Are you convinced that if you could work on a project a little longer, it would be perfect?

Do you believe that as soon as you finish a project, you’ll finally have more time for family, friends, and even more projects?

If you answered yes to one, or all of these questions, you’re not alone. Many of us grew up thinking we could, and should, be able to do everything. As small business owners, there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything, and still have a personal life.

Instead of focusing on how much you could accomplish, focus on what you should accomplish. By changing your thinking, you can change the way you work and finally stop feeling overwhelmed.

Start the new year with a clean slate and with a plan that gives you more time to do what you need to do, while leaving yourself more time for the things you want to do.

  • Set a cut-off time for surfing the Web. You know how it goes…you watch one video and then click on links to a related video. Or you read an article that links to another and an hour later, you’re still clicking on links. Set a timer for 30 minutes, click on all of the links you want, and when the timer goes off, get back to work.
  • Learn to say “no.” When you say yes to one thing, you take time away from something else. Before you say yes, make sure that the task or project makes the best use of your time, and you’re not letting anything else suffer. No is a powerful word. Use it often.
  • Dump toxic friends and clients. Do you have people in your life who never have anything positive to say? They’re the ones who take advantage of you, don’t respect your time, and don’t appreciate you. Blocking them out of your life sounds ruthless and heartless, but why associate with people who would rather see you fail than succeed? Instead, surround yourself with friends and clients who want the best for you, and want to work with you, not against you.
  • Chop your To-Do list in half. Take a close look at your To-Do list or at all of the sticky notes stuck to your monitor or laptop. How many of the tasks can you dump? Before you keep a task on your list, or add other tasks, make sure each one is going to help you reach your goals. Focus on the quality of the tasks on your list, not the quantity.

We’re all strapped for time. With To-Do lists spiraling out of control, e-mails coming in faster than we can answer them, and new business opportunities waiting to be explored, it’s no wonder we’re all on overload. When you take the time to focus on what’s important, and block out what isn’t, you’ll have time for the things that do matter, including your friends and family.

About the Author(s)

Lisa Kanarek

Lisa is founder of Working Naked, a website that helps small business learn various aspects of working from home through “how-to” articles, videos and product reviews. She is the author of five books and has been a guest on Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, and Public Radio’s Marketplace.

Founder, Working Naked

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