Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 12 Action Plan

Congrats! You’ve made it to Week 12 of the Start Small Win Big entrepreneurial challenge.  For the final step this week (April 9), read the April 2012 issue for Step 12: Track your time/demand a larger return. Then check your inbox for the April 9 Start Small Win Big newsletter.

This week’s assignment is about preserving your most precious asset– your time. We’ve all had those days where you look up, it’s already 5 p.m., and you’ve barely touched your to-do list. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just figure out why you had one of those days.

For this week’s exercise, think of the last time you had one of those time suck days (maybe it was today!) and figure out why it happened.

  • Sleep pattern disruption– Did you get more or less sleep than usual? Is it a Monday after a particularly busy weekend? Allow yourself the rest and wake up recharged for tomorrow’s productive day.
  • Procrastination– Is there a large project you’ve dreaded starting? Identify a small task you can accomplish now for the project and get the momentum started.
  • Social butterfly syndrome– Have you spent unmeasured time checking email, Facebook and Twitter? Choose certain times of day to monitor those accounts and set time limits on these activities keeps you from wandering.
  • Running in place– Have you been everywhere and done nothing? Carefully schedule and map off-site meetings– the 20 minutes you take to map your routes and group adjacent meetings together will save you valuable time (and money) on the road.
  • Before committing to time-suckers, ask yourself whether that time could be better spent. After a while, it’ll become a pattern and you’ll make better choices.

Join the conversation and share your worst time-suck day. How did you adjust to prevent it from happening again?

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Tory Johnson is CEO and founder of Spark & Hustle, a weekly contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a contributing editor of SUCCESS magazine.

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