by Dave Coyne
One thing that fascinates me about web entrepreneurs and marketers like Joe Vitale, Yanik Silver and Terry Dean is how incredibly productive they are. They seem to create a near constant stream of information products like e-books, special reports, courses, software and compact discs.
On top of that, they juggle all the daily activities required by anyone running a small business.
If you have the resources, you can hire employees or contract workers. But I think most web entrepreneurs prefer to keep their businesses as "solo operations."
But handling everything yourself requires maximum efficiency.
I certainly have my own techniques for time management, but I asked for feedback from other entrepreneurs. Here's some of their solutions.
"I always take about 30 minutes to an hour to look at my emails at the beginning of the day" says Stephanie Hetu
"Then, after that, I try to look at my emails again only every 2 hours or so.
"When I started online I used to look at my emails every 10 minutes, this was very time consuming and counter-productive because you end up spending more time reading than actually BUILDING your business."
However, not everybody thinks checking email first thing is a good idea.
"I always devote the first hour of the day to revenue producing activities," says Bill Hibbler of the RudlReport (http://www.rudlreport.com) "I never check email or voice mail until after that hour is completed.
"If you open your email first and find a refund request or a customer with a big tech support problem, it tends to stay on your mind and distract you from the task at hand."
DETERMINE YOUR PEAK ENERGY PERIOD
One technique I used to help to me reach maximum efficiency was to figure out when my brain was most creative.
For me, that's the morning. During the hours of 9 am to noon, I do most of my creative tasks, such as writing my articles, editing my ezine, working on sales copy, or coming up with new marketing ideas for my website.
My energy sags between noon and about 2:30pm. I use this time to do less mentally taxing activities. Answering email, fixing a typo on a web page or uploading pictures.
Determine when your creative energy peaks. Maybe you're more of a night owl and find this is the best time to work on projects that require creativity. Adjust your schedule accordingly.
GROUP YOUR PRIORITIES
Define which projects need immediate attention and which don't.
Here's how Charles Kangethe of SimplyEasier tackles his tasks:
"I work on the principle that there are categories of things to work on.
"Mission critical - Must be done NOW else the whole thing goes down the tubes - e.g resolving a web hosting issue that stops your site from loading.
"Business Critical - Must be done soon, but can be scheduled -e.g banking, accounts Urgent, and Important - e.g writing the next issue of your e-zine that you promised your list for tomorrow, or replying to List members support e-mails.
"Important not Urgent - e.g Correcting a small hard to spot typo on a web page, or replying to non-support issues on e-mail Others - any other tasks.
"Divide your tasks into some similar categories and be ruthless with which tasks you put into the top categories. Then work down from the list!"
USE TIME BLOCKING TO GET THINGS DONE
Taking the "To Do" List a step further, I block out specific time periods for specific tasks. I break time into 30-minute intervals. Once I have a task scheduled, the more likely it will be completed.
It may look something like this:
9:00 - 9:30: Work on new article.
9:30 - 10:00: Write new copy for web page.
10:00 - 10:15 -Take a break
10:15 - 10:45 - Edit e-zine.
Be sure to schedule a break before moving on to new task. Your brain needs a "breather."
Summing up the key time management strategies: ·Don't compulsively check your email. ·Determine the time of day when you're most creative. ·Do your most mentally taxing work during your peak creative time. Save menial tasks for you low energy periods. ·Create your "To Do" List. ·Categorize the importance of each task. ·Block out time intervals.
But cut yourself some slack. Obsessing over every detail and task will burn you out. You're human, not a machine. Take breaks, go for a walk, or have lunch with a friend. This time away from your computer will rejuvenate your brain and body and will result in a more productive, efficient and happier entrepreneur.
Some Hints in Time Management
The key to effective time management is having
a PLAN. Once you have done that, communicate your plans to others involved
in your life (those nearest and dearest to you), or those people working with
you in business.
Prioritizing Your Day To Accomplish More
Prioritizing is a very important function of being organized.
It is another method that puts you in control of your work
responsibilities. In order to effectively prioritize, learn to
recognize the difference between the important, the urgent and
Quiet Time - The Greatest Technique of Time Management
Quiet time is a very effective tool in your workbox. By
committing to quiet time every day, you are being proactive,
and taking control of how to make the best use of your time,
which is a part of being organized.