As each day passes, and more and more things need to get done with your business, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed with how much is left to be done. This is nothing new, and a problem that almost every home business owner encounters.
There are too many things to do, and such little time! So how does one get all of these things done without interfering with family and friends time? The answer is simple enough, but not very easy to do. It’s called Time Management. Managing your time to make your time spent during “business hours” the most productive it can be.
There are many distractions when running an online business that many people easily become victims of. Some at home examples are things that consist of your everyday. Things like the chores that need tending to, eager kids simply wanting your attention, the television blaring, dogs barking, errands that need to be ran, and on down the line.
Some classic examples of online distractions are not as easy to identify, but can consume many hours if you’re not aware of this. A good example includes just “surfing” for something, and you get sidetracked and end up reading something that you weren’t even looking for to begin with! Another classic example is how many times you check your email a day, or how much time has passed before you last checked it. How much time do you spend visiting discussion boards or online communities? What about the emails you respond to? How much of your time is consumed by that? These are all examples of distractions that can get in the way of your businesses productivity.
It all boils down to time management. Listed below are some good things to consider when using your time online for business and avoid online distractions.
1. Make a List
You’ve probably heard this before and with good reason! Write the things you need to do with your business down on a piece of paper. List in order the things by two factors. One is the importance, and the second is which of the things you least would like to do.
Once you have your list, put them in order of the things most important and are you’re least favorite at the very top of the list. This way, the more important things that need to be done will get done first, and you won’t procrastinate because it’s written down. As you progress with your list, you’ll find that the last things you need to do will go by very quickly because you’ll enjoy doing it.
2. Set a time Limit
Let’s say you spend on average 2 hours browsing forums and discussion boards on a daily basis. Is this really necessary? I mean, there are a lot of good resources out the on forums, and you get to interact with like-minded individuals.. but is this helping your business?
The best way to stick to a plan is by giving yourself a specific amount of allotted time for each activity you conduct online. If you normally spend 2 hours in forums, and think this is simply taking too much away from your business, set a limit on how much you do it. Say to yourself, “Ok Jason, I will participate in forums for no more than 45 minutes. From exactly 12:15 to 1:00 today, I will spend this time browsing forums and being an active member.” And stick with it!
RELATED: How to Manage Your Time Efficiently
3. Give Yourself a Break!
This may sound a little contradictory, but it’s very true. If you have been working consistently for a few hours online, and find yourself to be slipping into the “dull glare” mode, give yourself a break. Step away from your computer for 30 minutes, and move around. Go to the fridge and grab a nice cold drink, and relax a bit. When you get done, you will feel more fresh and will be more focused on your list that you’ve already made to complete your daily business tasks.
4. Punish Yourself For Not Sticking With It.
This may seem a little weird, but it will work if you give it a chance to. For example, let’s say that you need to get something done by a certain date and you don’t. To make things more productive for you, punish yourself for not getting it done! I personally love those Little Debbie “Star Crunch” cakes. I usually have one every day. One time I told myself, I said, “Self, if I can’t eat a Star Crunch unless I get these web pages uploaded by 5:20 today!”. And when 5:20 came, I didn’t have it done. So I punished myself for not completing the task by the time I set. I didn’t eat one that day.
Let’s say you have a favorite TV show you absolutely love watching. You must complete 3 things on your list before you can watch it. And stick with it! Believe it or not, it actually works! But only if you stick with it.
Having many distractions can make things a bit more difficult with productivity when spending your time online. The first things to do to solve the time management problem is to identify what things are keeping you from being productive in your online business. The next step is to avoid these things at all costs. The hardest part is identifying these distractions. But after you do, more than half the battle is already over! I wish you much success with your business and all your on and offline goals!
Recommended Books to Help You Avoid Online Distractions and Manage Your Time Well:
- Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long
- 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
- Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series)
- Net Smart: How to Thrive Online
- Time Management from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule — and Your Life