Once you begin running your online business, you’ll soon notice how much of your time is eaten up by it. It doesn’t matter what it is, the stories are all the same as countless online marketers continuously end up struggling just to keep up. There’s always more to do and never enough time to complete all the tasks.
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If you’re not doing something that helps to track the things you need to do, everything around you will seem overwhelming and eventually create a stressful environment. It will literally feel like you’re doing nothing but trying to catch up.
Basically, all you really need to do is focus. That’s right! You have to realize that everything you do as an online marketer is manageable. But you need to focus on those things that truly matter and take note of them. When you accomplish that, half your battle is won. Successful internet marketers have found that when they start tracking their time, productivity in their venture rises.
Of course, like many things in our lives, it may end up being a hassle. Although, as you begin tracking your time, you’ll be amazed at all the non-productive time that has slipped away while you casually spend time reading Facebook notifications, Twitter posts, or amusing yourself by watching endless videos on YouTube.
Have you ever noticed when someone else mentions how busy they are? Whether you realize it or not, the difference between busy and being productive is simply night and day. Here’s 5 tips that will help you recognize the difference between them and help you reach a higher level with your online business.
What plan do you have?
Or should I say, what goal? I know, you’ve probably heard countless times how setting goals is the most important thing you can do. Guess what? It is one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself. For instance, if your goal is to own a profitable ecommerce store, it would just be common sense to channel a lot of your efforts towards reviewing products, updating your site, and researching trends.
You wouldn’t be spending your time watching endless webinars or YouTube videos. Make it a point to write down your business objectives and goals. Everything that you do should be projected in reaching your goals. Almost everything else is irrelevant and will only end up distracting you.
Maybe your schedule only allows a set number of hours each day to work with your online business due to your offline job. That being the case, let’s say you have 3-4 hours that you can fully commit working online. You should spend 2-3 hours each day building your internet business. Secondary tasks such as reading info products, answering emails, and other things can all be accomplished at the end of your allotted time schedule.
Get yourself a timer or use one of the many timers you can find online to help track your time. This will help you to focus on tasks, but more importantly, let you know how much time you actually work with your business. The timer should be ticking only while working on tasks, and not while taking breaks or surfing social media sites.
Believe it or not, within a short time you’ll discover just how productive you’ve become. And, this is the point where many internet marketers finally realize that out of 8 hours in front of their computer, only 2-3 hours contributed to real work getting done. Realistically, adding more non-productive hours makes it that much harder to reach your goals.
If you can figure out where your lost time is going, you can manage your time more efficiently and start getting more work accomplished.
“What gets measured gets managed” Peter Drucker
Your opportunity cost
Many of us often forget that much of our time comes with an opportunity cost. Take for example, if you work a normal job during the day and work with your internet marketing business at night, this is simply time that could be allotted for family, friends or other activities. Basically, this becomes the opportunity cost of deciding to work with your online business during casual hours.
Of course, the important thing here is realizing that work is still being performed. What is your day job salary or rate of pay? When you look at it, that’s what you spend working on your business. And if you pay attention to the first tip above, you’ll have a better idea of the time you’re actually working on your business.
Now, simply multiply the hours by the rate you get paid with your regular job. This will give you a minimum figure of what your internet business needs to produce to replace your day time salary. Obviously, if you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t expect to be making much.
But, as you progress, your business endeavors should reach a point to help supplement your efforts. Everything you do should be worth something, and when you start adding monetary value of time, you’ll have a better idea of your profitability.
This step is simple to do and involves jotting down the number of hours that you’ll have to work on your business. Is it 2 hours per day, 4 hours per day, 8 hours per day?
When you figure this out, you’ll know exactly how much time is available. From there, you can better plan out your working schedule. Keep in mind, there’s no magical process here and no total number of hours that need to be set in stone. The key is to come up with a realistic time frame that can be allotted to your internet marketing business.
Learn to prioritize
At this point, you should understand how much time is available, what it’s basically worth and what goals you have. Although, when it comes to achieving your goals, some tasks will have a higher priority over others.
The question is, what tasks are considered priority? These are simply the tasks that you really don’t want to do. In fact, it’s a common issue that many people often face.
They worry about doing any of the things that actually matter. It could anything like writing and updating blog posts, making a video for YouTube, or recording a podcast. There are all kinds of excuses that can interfere with your progress. And what you’ll end up doing are the less important tasks just to get out of doing the ones you’re worried about.
What you need to do is set a goal to accomplish the tasks you’re worried about. After you reach these, the remaining tasks and goals should be easy. The important thing is to focus a lot of your time and effort on tasks that will help build your business and make it profitable.
Get to know yourself
This might seem a little strange, but it’s an important tip you need to include. The key here is not to work against yourself. As you continue to work online, you’ll soon notice how many of the experienced marketers and so-called gurus of internet marketing will claim how waking up early [usually between 4 and 5 am] is the best time to get things done. I say hog wash to that. Look, it’s the internet, and it’s open 24/7. The best thing to do is find your own groove. If you work best during the late-night hours, so be it. If you work better in the morning or afternoon hours, stick with it. The time you choose to work really doesn’t matter as much as the focus, attention and productivity you gain.
Getting up early and working while you’re still half asleep could be an acceptable pattern for others, but maybe it’s not right for you. I know, I’ve been there. I hated getting up at 3:00 am to go to work, and even more, I hated going to bed at 8 or 9 at night. Just remember, everyone is different, and if you go against your natural rhythm, you could easily end up struggling through everything. The simple solution is getting to know the patterns where you’re most productive.
Best of Luck
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler