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Do you feel that there at not enough hours in the day to get everything done? It’s not surprising if you do since your plate is probably overflowing with things you need to do to keep your spa or massage practice humming. You not only have to manage clients and staff, you’ve got to keep on top of inventory both back bar and retail, pay bills, deal with any equipment problems, negotiate with suppliers and other vendors, and keep marketing efforts going to build your business.

If you find that too many things are slipping, it’s time to take stock of how you are managing your day. There are many ways to be more efficient and productive and not feel bogged down. Plus you’ll be more prepared for any unexpected challenges that come your way.

Get the most out of your day

Make a ‘to do’ list: You’ve probably heard that before, but it actually can help you be more productive when you set aside 10-15 minutes at the beginning of each day to decide what things you need to get done, such as check retail inventory to prepare for a big event or work with your web developer to update the website with new spring skin care treatments.

Don’t get sidetracked: Don’t let small tasks get you off course from the larger projects you need to focus on. Unless something is an emergency – a real one and not a fire drill – stick to you ‘to do’ list and try to delegate small tasks to someone else on your team.

Set times to check email: Checking email can be a real time sink. Set aside times each day to check email – that goes for voice mail as well. Experts offer a range of suggestions on just how often you should you check email throughout the day. Four to five times seems to be about right. Figure out what works for you in terms of getting the things done you need to and stick with it.

Learn to say no: You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t. You probably get requests for things from your staff to do things that they should be able to handle on their own with a little guidance from you.  Or maybe you’ve filled up your extracurricular time with too many volunteer tasks and responsibilities. Learn to say no to avoid spreading yourself too thin.

Set deadlines: Try to set deadlines to get tasks done. Sometimes by imposing a deadline, you get things done even faster.

Don’t multi task: Contrary to what some believe, most people are not efficient at multi-tasking. According to Dr. David Strayer, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah, who studies attention, only a fraction of the population might be true multi taskers but for most of us, the brain can’t handle the overload, writes Kevin Loria in “Only 2% of People Can Actually Multi-Task – This Test Will Tell You If You are One of Them.” (You can take the test here.) As a result, when you try to multi task, you become distracted.

Take a break: In order to be most productive, you need to stay alert and focused. Even small breaks can help your refresh. Go for a short walk, have a cup of coffee or just sit and listen to music for a while on your mobile device.

To run an efficient business, you need to be as productive as possible and not feel overwhelmed. Some of these tips and others you may learn from friends and other business associates can help get you through demanding days.