5 New Year's Resolutions for Business Owners

Last Updated Jan 4, 2011 5:00 PM EST

It's a new year, and that can mean only one thing: resolutions. For most folks, these tend to be of the "get in shape" or "quit smoking" variety. But if you're an entrepreneur, consider adding some business-specific resolutions to the mix.

So says OpenCal's Darren Negraeff, who recently put together five New Year's resolutions for entrepreneurs. (The post is refreshingly non-self-serving: only one resolution even mentions OpenCal, which, as you may recall, is a slick new online appointment-scheduling service for service industries.)

For starters, Negraeff suggests, keep tabs on how you're spending your time -- so you can make more productive use of it:

If you're an entrepreneur, you've probably got a lot on your mind all the time. But focusing on the right things will get you where you need to go a lot quicker. For me, that means knowing how I'm spending my time while I'm online. I use an app called RescueTime which logs the time I spend anytime I'm at my computer, and at the end of the week it tells me what my efficiency is, and by looking at the data, it's easy to see where all your time disappears. A great tool.
I'll second that: RescueTime is an old favorite around these parts. It's also a great way for managers to keep tabs on employees' computer activities!

I do think Negraeff left out an important resolution: exercise more. As we've noted many times, something as quick and easy as a brisk 10-minute walk can improve your mood, reduce your stress level, and keep your metabolism up. My advice: resolve to schedule at least one such walk every day. Can't find the time? Try exercising at your desk with FitDesk.

Your turn: what resolutions did you make this year, and did any of them involve your business?

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.