Time management is the ability to get work done. If you are not able to manage your time effectively, you will not be able to put the business-building pieces together. Not only will it affect your ability to build a business, but it will also affect your mindset and ability to be productive in all areas of life.
The ability to get work done has become an epidemic. If you are weak in time management, many areas of your life will suffer. If you are strong in time management, many areas of your life will prosper. Time management will truly be a life-changing lesson for some of us.
Your Most Limited Resource Is Time
There is only one you and you only have one life to live. We all have 24 hours in a day so unfortunately there is no way to get more time than you have right now.
In the big picture, you can sort of get more time by living a longer life. The way to that is by having the habits and the lifestyle that lead to a longer life.
Eat right and take care of your body. Even then, only a small aspect of that is within our control. Ultimately our lifespan is not within our own hands.
So it comes down to making the best use of the time that we are given. In other words, it comes down to time management.
From a business-building perspective, these are some important ways you can make the best use of the time that you are given.
|(1)||Identifying the best use of your time|
|(2)||Leveraging systems and people|
|(3)||Being intentional in your use of time means creating structure|
|(4)||Taking time to care for yourself|
|(5)||Take time to plan your time|
|(6)||Protect your time from leeches|
|(7)||Develop habits that are conducive to deep work|
|(8)||Creating an environment conducive to deep work|
(1) Identifying The Best Use Of Your Time.
Time management starts with this because if you do not know your priorities, your time management would not matter so much.
Identifying your priorities can be difficult. Our life is so busy and full and usually, we have many important and valuable uses for our time.
We have family, faith, hobbies, health and fitness, friends, a job, a business, or both. In our society, it seems the pursuit to make money becomes a priority for most people and all the others take a back seat.
That’s why we must have a vision for our business and life. Your vision will dictate your goals which will then help you order your priorities to meet those goals.
There are so many aspects of running a business so when you first start, you will be wearing many hats. You will be doing all sorts of roles such as salesman to the secretary.
Therefore, you need to establish priorities so that you can make the best use of the time you allocate to the business.
You’re in business to make money and so certain activities result in money coming in. There are other activities related to running a business that doesn’t result in money coming in.
Non-income producing activities
Some of the activities which might take a lot of your time but will not necessarily produce income are :
- Checking your email
- Building a website
- Creating a product
- Organizing things
All those things may be necessary for our information business model but the time you spend doing those things does not have a direct correlation to your income. You can do all those things and make zero income.
Two income-producing activities that you can do.
Well, it would be web traffic and making sales. The successful people in this business spend most of their time on these two income-producing activities.
Getting web traffic.
- As it relates to time management, buying traffic is ideal because it is the least time-intensive traffic method. Web traffic brings income.
Create promotions and marketing campaigns.
- In other words, selling! Selling brings income. Sending promotional emails and promotions through other marketing channels brings income.
So, once you get through the nitty gritty phase of setting up your business just realize that your top priority is to do income-producing activities such as getting web traffic and promoting your product.
Once you start making money, it will become clear what makes money for your business. So when you see something making money for your business, focus on that.
(2) Leveraging Systems and People
As you build your business, there are two directions that you can go.
- Build a business that is largely dependent on yourself.
- Build a business that is not dependent on you at all.
In the classic book, The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, he explains that most business owners work in their business rather than on your business. In other words, the business owner is focused on doing the work rather than building the business.
Automate your business with systems
The information business model is different from a traditional brick-and-mortar business. In this business model, you can fall between the self-employed and business owner spectrum.
For most of us, as we are beginning to build the business, we are the ones doing most of the work. Building this business does require work and if you like the work, it makes it easier for you.
But your goal should not be about building a business that you are a slave to. Even if you enjoy doing the work, you need to put in as many systems as possible to minimize the dependency on you.
Treat your business as the first of many franchises that be replicated by anyone using the system that has been put in place.
What can you automate?
- You can use systems in the information marketing business model to automate lead acquisition systems, traffic generation, and customer acquisition.
- These are systems that you can set up and leverage the power of the internet to do the ongoing work for you.
- Leveraging systems is important to free up your time and so is leveraging other people’s time.
How can you automate?
- Generally, the way to leverage other people’s time is to buy it. You hire them, you give them money for their time.
- A good rule of thumb is to focus on your strength and outsource everything else, especially the things you don’t enjoy doing.
- Another great thing about this business model is that most of it can be done by virtual employees.
(3) Being Intentional In Your Use Of Time
You’ve established your priorities. You’ve systemized and outsource what you can. Now, what are you going to do with the time that is left?
If you are not intentional about it, most likely, it will be wasted. This is about creating structure. Unstructured time gets wasted.
That is not to say all of your time needs to be structured but the more of it that you do structure, the more of it that you will use well. In practical terms, this is called creating a schedule.
Create a working schedule
When it comes to building your business, obviously you need to schedule time to work on your business. Perhaps the most important principle to keep in mind when scheduling your work time is that you want to work in focused uninterrupted blocks of time.
Most people start building their online business part-time and therefore time management is even more critical.
The less time you have, the more important it is that you manage it wisely. You must become productive with each minute that you spend with your business.
Here’s a tip:
- Rather than scheduling 3 hours of work time where you will tend to be distracted by phone calls or email, it is much better to schedule 1 hour of uninterrupted time and schedule those interruptions for another time.
- Many successful people found that getting up early is a good time to get stuff done. There are naturally fewer distractions when everyone else is in bed. If this works well for you, then do it.
(4) Taking Time To Care For Yourself
- It is also important to schedule enough time to take care of yourself. Sleep is an extremely important part of your life that will help you function optimally. If you don’t have enough sleep, you are not going to get through the day as productive as you should.
- Fitness is also another part of your life that needs to be scheduled consciously. If you feel healthy, your mood, behavior, and motivation will be so different. As a business builder, you must incorporate health into your schedule.
- Finally, mental health is an often overlooked area. Building an online business is a journey. A marathon. Sometimes, it may seem that everything that you are doing is not working and this will frustrate you.
Other times, you might be so overwhelmed at being lost in putting the pieces together. It is easy to break down. It is always important that you do what you like to do to release stress and take time to take your mind off the business.
(5) Taking Time To Plan Your Time
To some, this may sound counter-intuitive. By doing this, you get to plan your time more productively.
Some successful people talk about how planning their morning before they go to bed is a huge key to success.
When planning your time on this micro-management level, always remember to prioritize your income-producing activities.
Here’s a tip:
- The first thing in the morning is the worst time to check your email. It sorts of starts your day on the wrong foot by taking away your most productive work time and derails your focus in a different bunch of directions.
(6) Protect Your Time From Leeches
What are leeches?
Leeches are people and other things around us that want to use our time all the time. They want to suck your time.
Again, you need to know your priorities here, after all, people do matter. For most of us, other people are high on the priority list. But remember that time is your most valuable resource. It is the one thing that you cannot get more of or take back once it is gone.
So you need to be careful about who you give it to.
Learn how to say NO.
Successful time management and successful business building require you to say NO. If you say yes to everything, you will fail at time management and business building.
(7) Develop Habits That Are Conducive To Deep Work
Habits. What does this word mean to you?
Good habits or bad habits or both. I think it is safe to say that we all have some of each. From a mindset point of view, a fixed mindset says “I’m stuck with the mindset and I cannot change”, while a growth mindset says “I can change my habits”.
Time management is self-management, that is what it comes down to. If you have habits that prevent you from working deeply and effectively, you can break those habits.
On the flip side, you can develop habits that will enable you to work better. There are thousands of books and millions of articles written about habits.
There’s plenty of advice about how to develop good habits and break the bad ones.
(8) Creating An Environment Conducive To Deep Work
You need to create an environment where you can do your best work. It is a physical place where you can perform your work well. It is a place where as few distractions as possible exist.
This process of eliminating distractions may require some significant work on your part but it is essential if you want to restore your ability to work and think deeply.
Your ultimate goal is to work productively and get stuff done. You don’t want to be busy, you want to be productive.
If you are going through the day and realize that you have not been productive, reassess the situation and make radical changes to your priorities.
(9) Working Efficiently
Not only are you getting things done, but you are also getting work done as quickly as possible without wasting time and resources in the process.
Should You Multi-Task?
Generally speaking, it is not efficient to multi-task. It is better to focus on one project at a time and one task at a time for that particular project.
Switching between projects and task kills your focus and drastically lowers the efficiency of your work. Small interruptions ruin your focus resulting in a major loss of efficiency. That is why you should not check your mail while you’re working.
There are many productivity tools and hacks that help you work more efficiently. However, these alone will not make you an efficient worker.
Here are 10 free productivity tools for every digital marketer
- AWEBER : Free email marketing tool
- Answer The Public : Long tail keywords
- Canva : Design anything
- Google Trends : Find trending topics
- Omnisend : Boost your email open rate
- QuillBot : Rewriting Tool
- Buffer : Social media manager
- Keyword.io : Keyword research
- Evernote : Organize your ideas
- Portent : Content idea generator
If you want to achieve time management, you need to develop the habit of deep work. Unless you are already a time management wizard, read and learn about managing your time effectively.
Understand and most importantly know your priorities. Write them down. Start to structure your time by creating a schedule to work on your business and then plan your time each day.
Finally work on creating an environment, habits, and lifestyle that are conducive to deep-focused work. This is an ongoing process and it will become much easier over time as you develop good habits.
Leave your comment below and let me know what is ONE most important thing that you do to manage your time effectively.