One of the most important tools you could ever acquire and master to help with the achievement of your long-term goals is time management. As simple as this sounds, it’s the one great equalizer among all business entrepreneurs – everyone starts out with the same amount of time. It’s how you manage time that determines whether or not you will ultimately achieve success in business. That being so, here are some of the most important time management tips to keep in mind for helping you to achieve your goals in business.

Monitor your time for a week

For just one week, meticulously record how you spend every hour or half-hour of the day, in a journal or on your cell phone. At the end of that time, evaluate whether or not you accomplished what you intended for each day, and how much time was wasted each day. Even this brief glimpse into time management should be very revealing about where you need to improve.

Settle on a system of time management

One of the most popular systems for time management is known as the quadrant method, because it breaks down all activities into four distinct quadrants that reflect importance and urgency. Every activity is either urgent, important, both, or neither. This will help you decide which activities should be undertaken and which should be deferred.

Establish goals the SMART way

This doesn’t mean user intelligence to establish goals – SMART is actually an acronym which means that you should make every goal you strive for Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Important things first

A good habit to get into regarding time management is to tackle the biggest and most important tasks early in the day. That’s when you’re at your freshest and when you have the most energy going to help you accomplish things.

Schedule email communications

If you’re like most businessmen, you’re answering emails and phone calls all day long, and this can be extremely disruptive to effective time management. If you schedule a set time for these kinds of communications, you can minimize disruptions to other important tasks.

Establish keystone habits

In construction jargon, a keystone is the one which acts as a binding agent for all other stones in a structure. As it applies to time management and personal habits, keystone habits are those which are the most effective in terms of task accomplishment. By emphasizing these, you’ll not only be doing better at completing important tasks, you’ll be systematically ridding yourself of bad habits.