Time management is important since we’re usually pretty busy each day. We have to find enough time to work in our Internet business.
Ultimately what we really want is to get more things done each day, and do them appropriately.
So that we achieve business success faster and reap the rewards we’re striving for.
As you shall see we may need to make some sacrifices at first, to use our time more efficiently in order to accomplish that goal.
Here are some techniques and tools to help you manage your time better.Table of Contents
Daily Prioritized To Do List
Unfortunately you cannot do every business related task you wish to do each day. Some tasks have to be done some other day.
If you try to do everything you want each day you’ll realize it’s impossible.
So each day you need to have a list of the most important and meaningful business related tasks you need to do. Then do those things first.
Ideally write this list down at night, for the next day.
For me the most important task is writing content. I have about 3-4 hours each day.
So when I turn my computer to work my focus is to start writing content as soon as possible.
I haven’t perfected this to where I turn on the computer and start writing immediately (without checking emails or logging into facebook, or reading forum replies, etc.)
That would be the ideal scenario because when I do those unnecessary tasks I’m not using my time wisely.
And that’s even more important if you have very limited amount of time.
You can write down a list of tasks on paper, on a mobile app or however you like. I personally using a mobile app called Notepad.
Prioritize the list, so you put the most important task first. That’s the task you want to start working on.
This to do list should only contain important tasks you’re definitely going to do.
Any other unimportant task that needs to be done can be placed on a separate to-do list.
As Bob Proctor says in this video, we all have the same amount of time. The key is to learn how to manage the activities we do during that time.
Any complex task on your to-do list can be broken down into several steps so you can perform it easier.
You can also strategize and plan what you’re going to do using mind mapping, whiteboard or however you like.
Knowing exactly what you’re going to do will help you stay focused. You’re less likely to end up scrolling through your Facebook feed forever… : -)
Exotic Time-Saving Ideas
With this ideas you can snatch a couple of extra hours/minutes during the day and use them productively.
Use your common sense with these techniques, you know your limits and what’s healthy or not.
Here they are…
On the bus/train/plane – I used to read when going to work with a bus. I live in Malta. It’s a small island but with a lot of traffic, so the journey still took fairly long, at about 45 mins.
On my smartphone I used to read ebooks. You can listen to podcasts, audio books, read offline articles with the Pocket app, or use your imagination for other productive use of travel time.
A similar tip is to take shorter routes. If you’re going to work, or anywhere else consider planning a shorter route so you save more time.
Even if you save only 30 mins it can still make a difference.
Waiting time – Anytime you’re waiting you can open your smartphone and read, take notes, plan, strategize, etc.
For example waiting at the dentist, on the bus stop, movie theatre, hospital, taxi, etc.
Don’t over do this obviously to the point that you become anti-social : – )
There are more opportunities, it all depends where you go and what you do. Everyone’s different.
For example I like to use a treadmill, twice a day for 20 mins.
Sometimes I listen to some Youtube videos that I download with 4K Video Downloader, for example TedX Talks or some Internet Marketing videos.
Public Holidays – Weekends – If you’re like most of us you like to get lazier in the weekend.
If you don’t work in weekends you should have even more free time that you can use productively.
This also includes Xmas, New Year and other days during the year that you usually take it too easy.
I’m not saying work 356 days each year, but you can take a look at your working habits.
Are there any particular days you don’t usually do much? Or a particular time during the day, perhaps afternoons that you like to chill out?
You might be able to “steal” some extra hours during that time. Maybe you can reduce the afternoon nap from 2 hours down to 1.
Do Daily Chores Quickly – Can you take a quick shower instead of a 30 mins bath? Can you shop online? It’s quicker. Can you use a carwash? Can you let someone else in your family do a certain task that you usually do?
If you cook you should find several time-saving cooking tips with a quick Google search.
Think of all those things you do during your day. How can you perform them more efficiently?
Time-Wasting People – This is an extreme one but it may prove useful. Maybe you can avoid long arguments that are practically useless…
For example I used to talk with my mom about religion and it ends chaotically because we don’t agree. Not only it wastes time but it drains my energy too.
Or perhaps you know people at work, neighbors or friends that for some reason or another they waste your time.
Perhaps you don’t need a relationship with them or limit the amount of time you spend with them.
The Pomodoro Timer is a quite famous technique that will help you stay focused on the task at hand.
It will create a sense of urgency so you work fast and efficient. I personally don’t use this technique although I did try it.
The technique works by starting a 25 minute timer, and in that time you just focus on the task at hand. Then take a 5 minute break and do another 25 minute work session.
After 4 work sessions of 25 minutes each you take a longer break, of about 15 – 20 minutes.
When you start the timer you just work! No time for useless tasks like checking phone or going for a cup of coffee.
Separating each session with a 5 minute break helps you to avoid becoming stressed out with too long hours of work.
The 25 minute work time is ideal, but you can increase it to 30 mins or more if you like. The key is to use a timer to keep you accountable.
A nice overview of this technique can also be viewed in this video:
There are many software, windows/apple apps, smartphone apps, chrome plugins to use this ‘Pomodoro Timer’. Find one that you like the most.
Here’s a list of “The 10 Best Pomodoro Timer Apps to Boost Your Productivity”
Not To-Do List
Your goal is to extract as much time as possible from your day to use productively for your business.
There are probably several tasks you do that could be avoided, eliminated altogether or limited as much as possible.
They cost you time that can be otherwise used more productively in order to build a successful business.
Make a list of such activities. Everyone’s different so you have to look at each activity you do.
Then decide whether you can eliminate it, replace it with something better or reduce the time spent doing it. So you can use that time on more productive tasks.
You may need to become more self-disciplined to do this one.
Here’s mine as an example:
- Playing video games
- Watching movies instead of documentaries or business related videos…
- Listening to music instead of business/motivational related audio.
- Using entertaining and other time consuming “worthless” mobile apps instead of more useful apps like Ted, Pocket, Adobe Reader, etc.
- Reading non-fiction books instead of business related books
Here’s an important not about specific types of activities that we do…Instant VS Delayed Gratification Instant gratification activities give you pleasure while you do them, and then it’s over, e.g. watching a funny T.V. show, playing games, listening to music, going out.
Delayed gratification activities may not be so pleasurable, but they will give you much better and permanent rewards in the future e.g. working to grow your business.
Reflect upon the activities you do each day and consider replacing some instant gratification activities with delayed gratification activities.
Using your time wisely can become a habit.
You’ll eventually start to enjoy doing productive things associated with your business instead of random, less important tasks like playing games.
Because you know those productive things are going to help you build a successful business.
You’ll stay focused on what really matters to you, what’s going to make a difference in your future.
This is not to say you shouldn’t do anything apart from working in your business – or you should avoid recreational activities.
However building a business is not an easy undertaking. More time and work is required especially in the early stages of building a business.
If building a successful business is really important to you then you can also eliminate or at least reduce the time spent on certain recreational and other less important activities.
But never sacrifice physical or mental health by becoming too anti-social, or avoiding exercise..
Plan Your Day
If you plan the tasks you’re going to do for the day you’ll be able to find spaces that can be used productively.
You’ll also get rid of stress, worry and other negative feelings associated with being late.
For example if you want to go to piano lessons and then to church you can write down the exact time you plan to do each activity.Exact Plan At 4pm I have 1 hour piano lesson, then I have to go to church at 8pm.
This means at 5pm the piano lesson is over. I arrive home at about 5:30pm. It takes me 15 mins to walk to church and 30 mins to prepare (shower/dress/eat dinner).
That’s a total of 45 minutes. Church starts at 8pm so at 7:15pm I can start preparing to go.
This means I can do other tasks between from 5:30pm and exactly 7:15pm.
Now you know exactly the time you have to do use for other tasks. You know exactly when you can start and when you have to stop.
You won’t have to use your gut feeling. You can put your mind at ease, knowing that if you stop at 7:15pm you’ll have enough time to go to church on time.
That’s much more efficient use of your time. You won’t have to rush.
Your mind can stay relaxed and focused on your productive work without any stress or worry that you might arrive late.
Change Your Sleeping Habits
Consider sleeping a bit late, even if it’s just 1 hour late.
Or consider waking up a bit earlier, especially if you like to work in your business in the morning.
These particular times are probably best useful for learning, i.e. reading, listening to podcasts, videos, etc. Because you might be too sleepy to write ads or create content.
I sleep at 11pm and wake up at 5am.
Some motivation/high-performance gurus suggest we sleep only 4-5 hours each day.
I personally don’t recommend less than 6 hours a day. But that’s something you can research and decide for yourself.
Time Saving Gadgets
Dragon naturally speaking – this software transcribes what you speak, so you can basically write articles, emails, forum replies or any other content without typing.
Money Manager can keep track of all your expenses quickly and easily.
Audio Notes – there are many apps that you can use to take notes without typing. The app records what you speak and it can transcribe it as well. It’s a faster way to take notes.
Voice Search – in Google search box and your own personal computer (e.g. Cortana or Siri) you can make quicker searches or perform other tasks just by talking, without typing.
Automatic Backups – EaseUS ToDo Backup can automatically backup your computer files to an external drive.
Updraft is a WordPress plugin that allows you to backup your database and other files with a click of a button. Both tools are free.
Outsource And Delegate
I used to spend 1-3 hours trying to edit a photo or messing with css files to fix my website. I could have paid someone $10 to do it.
Take a look at the tasks you do in your business that can be outsourced.
I’m not talking about copywriting, traffic generation, building content and so on.
Those are the important tasks that you should do.
But there could be some technical tasks like graphic design (unless you’re a pro) or fixing problems with your website, etc., that can be quickly outsourced.
And obviously when your business reaches a certain level of growth you can hire a virtual assistant.
Search for or be on the lookout for shortcuts that can be used in your business e.g. swipe files, templates, checklists, software, etc.
Learn also useful keyboard shortcuts for various programs you use often e.g. email, browser, windows/apple, etc.
I hope I gave you quite useful techniques. At the very least you should know be very conscious about time. Perhaps now we can use it wiser!
Saving time is just one more rather simple modification you can make to see better results.
Overtime these techniques will become a part of you. They form habits. Maybe you won’t even have to use the pomodoro timer any more.
So are there any other time saving techniques you’d like to share? Or any questions? Leave them in the comments below.