Monday, September 7, 2009

Time Management Tips for Solo Entrepreneurs

Does it seem like everyone and everything is vying for your attention all at once? It can be hard for solo entrepreneurs to know what to do first, let alone try to find the time to get caught up. Here are some time management tips that will help you to stay on top of it all:

1. Put your to-do list in writing and prioritize it. Studies show that people who write their lists down are 90% more likely to complete their list than those who do not.

2. Be realistic about how long it takes to get things done. Block out a reasonable amount of time on your planner, especially if it’s an appointment where there’s driving time to consider.

3. Schedule time with yourself, without interruptions. If that means closing your office door and letting your voicemail take
phone messages, then that’s what you need to do. Do this at your most productive time of the day. Are you a morning person? Start your day out with some quiet time by yourself, when you’re the most productive and focused.

4. Don’t multi-task. That’s right! These days, people have found that they’re much more productive when they’re allowed to focus on one task at a time, rather than constantly juggling a dozen different projects at once. Think about it ¬ don’t you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something when you can cross things
off your list?

5. Are you a “yes” person? Learn to say no. Sometimes adding just one more thing to your to-do list means staying at work an extra hour. Ask yourself if you really have the time and energy to handle one more task. Don’t guilt yourself into it, especially if you’ll feel resentful later, for having done it.

6. Do you work at home? Don’t let common distractions sidetrack you. That basket of laundry will still be there at the end of the day.

7. Try to combine like tasks. If you have lots of phone calls to make and emails to respond to, make all of the phone calls first, then tackle the emails.

8. Keep all your contacts in one place, within easy reach. Do whatever works for you, whether you keep an address book in your day planner, in Outlook, or in your Palm. You need to have fast and easy access to phone numbers and email addresses.

9. Use waiting time productively. When waiting for an appointment or traveling, catch up on reading trade magazines, writing correspondence, or jotting down creative ideas for marketing your business.

10. At the end of each day, plan for the next day. Write down tomorrow’s to-do list, prioritize it, and then clean off your desk.

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Will Microsoft Lose The Browser Wars?

Until recently, software giant, Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser enjoyed a relatively unchallenged position as the most popular Web browser in the world.

Despite lawsuits and charges of unfair competition from the likes of Netscape and others, Microsoft dominates browser software with over 90% market share.

Microsoft's dominance of the browser market stems mainly from the simple fact that the majority of computers get delivered with Microsoft Windows as the default operating system.

Internet Explorer (IE) comes standard with all Windows software and, thus, virtually everyone automatically gets the IE browser.

By default, Microsoft owns the browser market because they catch consumers early, get them conditioned to using the IE software, and, until recently, no other software offered a compelling enough reason to switch.

However,with a seemingly endless rash of security problems, consumers started looking elsewhere for alternative Web browser options.

This consumer demand may well spell the end of Microsoft's dominance in the browser marketplace.

In response to severe security vulnerabilities, several alternative Web browsers recently gained significant market share.

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One of the original "alternative" browsers, "Opera" offers a significant number of interesting tweaks over Internet Explorer, including the ability to open more than one html page within the browser, as opposed to one page per window with IE.

The free version of Opera carries advertising messages, but for $39 you can turn off the advertising and unlock additional features.

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Mozilla actually offers two choices for alternative Web browsing. Mozilla 1.7, the current version of the original Mozilla software, includes an email program, newsgroup reader, and even a chat feature.

Mozilla also offers a newer browser called "Firefox" that has many people raving about enhanced features. Both browsers come free of charge and do not appear to carry any third party advertising.

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Netscape, one of the original Web browsers, still offers its browser software free, though you must do some searching on their site to find it.

Scroll to the bottom and click "Download Latest Netscape Browser."

Based on their site, Netscape seems to be in the middle of an identity crisis since they look more like Yahoo! than a software provider.

** An 800 lb. Gorilla on the horizon? **

Online search engine powerhouse, Google, has never shied away from taking on Microsoft.

In fact, they've done something Microsoft couldn't do, namely turn a profit with a search engine.

Based on past behavior, how long do you think it will take Google to release a Web browser of their own?

Despite statements to the contrary, I believe Google willcome out with their own Web browser within the next 18 months.

Look at their alternative, Gmail, at

Google gave away so much storage space they forced Hotmail to make major concessions in their free service.

Google Desktop blows away the Microsoft search utility for your PC.

Don't for a second think Google doesn't have a browser in development and a strategy to release it (for free) if they can cut Microsoft off at the knees.

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