Prioritizing specific long-term goals for time management skill-building may be one of the best things you can do for your business. Managing your time effectively reduces stress, makes work more enjoyable, improves your image with clients and may contribute substantially to your success. The ability to define long-term goals and manage your time to achieve them comes from skills you can build over time.


Setting long-term goals can pay off throughout the life of your business. Making plans -- including your overall business plan and writing down specific long-term goals -- guides your daily activities and helps you keep your focus on the most important aspects of your business. With clear goals, such as to increase revenue by a certain amount within one year and to expand your client base by a specific number, you can map out the actions you need to perform to succeed.

Time Management Skills

Turn each specific long-term goal into a list of tasks with time estimates and deadlines for each one. Put the tasks into your schedule and allot a reasonable amount of time for completion to ensure that you manage your time to complete your goals on schedule. Prioritizing the projects that will have the most impact on your business success and working on those first helps you improve your efficiency and effectiveness. Learning to recognize and cut short any habits of procrastination can help you maximize your productivity to succeed at your long-term goals.


A key to using goal-setting effectively is to review your goals regularly and adjust them as your business grows. Having measurable goals lets you see your progress. You can create a graphic, such as a thermometer with sales or revenue goals, and keep it where you'll see it every day. Tracking how you use your time can help you cut out time wasters, such as checking email too often or socializing during work hours. Try making a note of how you spend each hour of your day for at least two weeks.


Making a regular review of your long-term goals and your time log will help you notice problem areas and troubleshoot ways to improve your time management. If your top goal is to double your client base and you committed to spending half of your time making contacts -- and your time log shows you spend less than an hour a day on it -- you can choose to cut lower-priority activities. Allowing enough time to complete each task, with a time allowance for unforeseen delays, allows you to run your business with less stress and a lower risk of the kinds of errors that occur under rushed conditions.