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10 easy ways to get things done RIGHT as an entrepreneur

I'm tempted to start this letter by talking about the modern man's eternal stress and imbalance in existence - but you already know all about that, so let's be concrete instead.

When you start your own business, it's important that you spend time on things that really deliver results. As an employee, you can doze through working life, but as an entrepreneur the time you spend on doing the right things always go hand in hand with the results you get.

Today we'll talk about spending time in a smart way. Here are ten tips:

1. Take care of whatever you don't want to do first
If you do the hardest and most important task when you are still alert, the rest of the day will be much nicer and you will be proud of yourself at the same time.

2. Beware of our time thieves
It's so incredibly easy to distract yourself today. As soon as something becomes boring or tedious, you can always sneak into Facebook or any website and forget all about all the boring and annoying things you really have to take care of. Don't fall for that temptation. If you have to surf the web during working hours, then do it as a reward after you've taken care of something boring and tedious - or even better  - just before a task that is very funny, so you don't get caught up with the Internet batter.

3. Do whatever makes the most impact
What can you do today, right now, that has the chance to get the best, the greatest and the most measurable results? That's what you should spend your time and energy on.

4. Never confuse the words ”productive” and ”much to do”
Ask yourself if what you are doing right now is really worth it. Is it helping you go forward towards your goal? There are lots and lots of people in offices around the world who really believe they have so much to do. That may be true, but they waste their time on nonsense that doesn't really lead them forward.

5. Make a ”Not-to-do” list
Such a list might include things like checking your Facebook, spending too much time on something that doesn't concern you or react too quickly to what everyone else wants from you and none of that is leading you towards your goal.

6. Do one thing at a time and complete the task before moving on to the next
”Being flexible” sometimes means that you lose focus and always feel a little unsatisfied as a person because you work with a lot of things simultaneously. Your heart is not really one hundred percent into the task and you will lose focus instead of getting things done. Make sure that you leave from work every day with concrete evidence of what you've done and clear reasons why it was worth getting out of bed this morning.

7. Stop over analyzing things
Sometimes you just have to do a task without analyzing it so much. ”Thinking carries no water”, is a good saying that exemplifies just that and that's what I tell myself approximately seventeen times a day. Right now, I'm working on a new book and it's so important to me that sometimes I hardly dare to write anymore for fear that it will be bad.

8. Stuff that takes two minutes - do them right away
It's a waste of space on your priority list and in your brain to avoid doing important tasks that take a short time to be completed. Do them directly and you won't have to think more about them.

9. Time your tasks
I like to determine how long something will take to complete and the magic is that it always takes exactly that amount of time to get the task finished. If you are going to clean your garage and give yourself forty-five minutes to do it, you will be ready in that time. If you don't give yourself a certain deadline, the task will take forever to complete. This is a proven fact.

10. Have tomorrow planned out by tonight
It takes maybe ten minutes to prioritize the next day's most important tasks. It's smart to do it at the end of each day, so that you will know what you have to do right away when you get to work. I usually make sure that I do something really hard, but also equally necessary as the first point of the day and it's easy to write down that task the night before because it feels like I don't need to do it until tomorrow. Be a little tough on yourself. It tends to yield good results.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.