The most dangerous is #4, responding to daily developments rather than focusing on strategic goals. It's really easy to get caught in a cyclical crisis management trap.

4. You let daily developments drive you. Putting out tiny fires throughout the day is a big misuse of time, Allen says. Rather than thinking about strategies to expand your business, you're bogged down dealing with every issue that comes your way minute-by-minute. 

For the past few months I've been thinking this is one of my biggest problems, but I'm loathe to take on additional help, even a temp. I don't know if there are any Girl Friday's around but as time goes on and my snail mail pile grows ever larger it's beginning to look like a good idea.

1. You overload on administrative work. If you've spent three hours reconciling a bank statement, you're making poor use of your time. Too often, small-business owners waste time on tasks they don't like or aren't even good at. What's more, they often expend energy avoiding such tasks and then spend more time than necessary doing them, says Cathy Sexton, the St. Louis, Mo., productivity coach who helped Berry. "If we just hired it out, it would be less expensive," Sexton says of tasks like bookkeeping and website maintenance. "It's looking at your time and putting a value on it."
AuthorDean Birinyi