small business advice

By Andy Bailey

You cannot manage time. No one can.

Time is going to pass regardless of what you or I do. Since we cannot control it, we cannot manage it and therefore, time management does not exist. Stop trying to manage time and remove “possesses superb time management skills” from your help wanted ad.

Now that I’ve flipped your world upside down, I have some good news: There is something we can control that is far more important than time — our priorities.

Here are four priority management tips that will help you determine what is crucial for your business and your lifestyle.

  1. Choose wisely: Urgent matters can sidetrack your day every day. To combat this you must remember what’s important. Important items are aligned with your short-term and long-term goals, whereas urgent matters are typically distractions that usurp your time. If you want to reach your goals, don’t be a victim of urgency. Focus on your important priorities and fulfill them.
  2. Narrow your focus: I’m sure you can fill a notebook with everything you’d like to accomplish in your business over the next quarter. Sometimes ambitious goals get in the way of realistic ones. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. To move forward, define and tackle three realistic but meaningful priorities a quarter.
  3. Schedule: Once you have priorities, block off focused periods of time for each of them. Don’t allow yourself to go over or under the allotted time. Flexibility leads to inefficiency.
  4. Measure: Set quantifiable measurements to track your progress towards priority competition. What gets measured gets done.

Andy Bailey is lead entrepreneur coach with business coaching firm Petra, and serves as the Entrepreneur Organization’s global membership director. Visit his blog at for more business and leadership insight.