In this section are a sampling of my published articles and links to media appearances.


Ten Business Trap Busters

by Deborah A. Bailey

It’s the end of the day and you’re feeling overwhelmed because you haven’t accomplished everything that you set out to do. Not to mention the fact that now there are more things to add to your “to do” list for tomorrow. If you’ve had this experience—and who hasn’t?—then you know how frustrating it can be. Where did the time go?

Even though we all get the same 24 hours in a day, we might not be using that time as efficiently as we’d like. A friend of mine, who’s also an entrepreneur running a home based business, says she only gets a couple of hours of sleep a night because she’s trying to get everything done. It’s not unusual for her to go to bed at 5 a.m., only to have to get up again at 8 a.m. to start working again. Though we can have good intentions when we start out, it’s so easy to get sidetracked with time wasters. If you find yourself wondering why you’re not getting things done, it’s time to change how you’re managing your time …

• Don’t answer every call as it comes in. Screen your calls and return the lower-priority calls at a later time.
• Close your e-mail program. Reading and replying to e-mails all day long is a major time stealer. Choose two or three times during the day to check your mail.
• Make a list of things to accomplish for the day before you turn on your computer and get sucked in by e-mail.
• Take time for breaks in order to keep your energy level up. Working for hours without clearing your mind will make you less productive.
• If you work from home, establish boundaries. Don’t get stuck on the phone with friends or family who feel that if you’re at home you’re not working.
• If a potential client contacts you, arrange a time to meet or talk by phone. A consultation that you think will take 15 minutes could end up taking a large chunk of time out of your day.
• Get as much information by e-mail to potential clients as possible, including Frequently Asked Questions. If you can solve more than 50 percent of their problems without ever talking to them, you’ll have to do less work when you do.
• Create systems to handle repetitive day-to day tasks.
• Create e-mail signatures for responses that you find yourself writing and re-writing. This way you can drop down the signature of choice when the same question comes up.
• Automate any payment transactions through PayPal or other systems.

If you plan out your day and create systems to stay on track, you’ll be able to accomplish more. At the end of the day you can look back on all the things you’ve completed and not be frustrated by what’s been left undone.

Copyright © 2008 Deborah A. Bailey


This article was originally published on Ladies Who

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