To continue last week’s theme on time management, I don’t know about you but at times it would appear that there are more things to do in our everyday lives (both working and personal). An important part of having a successful online business is to be able to be organized and know how to maximize your time efficiently. If you happen to be someone who is not skilled at this, then you will probably not be able to accomplish what you set out to do on most days. Read on to see how you can improve this skill and maybe learn how to be more efficient in your business and your day to day life.
What you need to do is to take a look at the big picture and decide what it is that you want to accomplish with each one of your tasks. This typically doesn’t take much time and as a result it saves you about a third of the time it usually takes, you should check last week’s blog post on this topic for more ideas.
Now that you have decided on your outcome, it helps to encourage you to stay on track and obtain your goal. As you are completing the task, think about how you would like to handle your next task. If you didn’t get your end result, figure out what went wrong and how you might be able to correct it so that you can get the outcome you wanted.
Another way you might use to keep your focus and better manage your time, is putting up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign. Only use this method when you totally cannot have any interruptions while working on a certain task. People need to respect that you cannot have any distractions unless it is a dire emergency. It’s a healthy way to set boundaries as sometimes we let others take our time and nothing gets accomplished. When you get down to it, it’s your responsibility to set those boundaries and get the job done.
Another method is to use blocks of time to sort out and get your tasks completed. For example, you shouldn’t be checking emails and answering phone calls while you are trying to get tasks done. Rather than trying to multi-task and having so many tabs open on your computer such as emails, Skype, Social media etc., TURN THEM ALL OFF. This helps you to keep your mind focused on getting the job done. You’ll be thankful for it later. Remember that you can’t be available to everyone all the time (clients included) so don’t worry as most understand this since they too are running a business.
Sometimes it’s tempting to check your Facebook, Instagram & Google accounts when you hear that little ‘ding!’ and you realize that there is a message waiting for you, whether it’s from friends and family or your colleagues. But, you need to assign a time for you to reply to them. Of course, there are exceptions, such as something urgent relating to the job you are currently working on, where you have no choice but to answer. So take that time, but don’t let it roll over into something that’s going to lead you astray from your task.
You also need to realize that you may not complete every assignment every day. If you can’t complete all your tasks designated for that day, don’t worry. Look to see if you took on too much, or where there are too many distractions. Did you delegate tasks to your staff or did you decide to take it all on yourself? This helps you to see where you could have improved in your overall time management.
To summarize, be sure to always recognize what outcome you want and turn off all distractions. Then concentrate on your tasks and get in the habit of working in blocks of time. Don’t forget to delegate to your staff whatever keeps you from moving forward and after awhile you will know how to maximize your time and be better able to complete your tasks.