I want to read this blog post right now and to set yourself an immediate target. I want you to be more productive in 2011.
That means – you'll finish all the Internet Marketing projects you started. You'll eliminate all the distractions that hold you back. You'll make something positive happen for yourself in 2011, because if you don't do it, you can't rely on anyone else to make things happen for you.
Certainly, one of my own personal targets this year is to work more effectively, and a big piece of that is to manage my time well. Now, that doesn't mean accounting for every single second of every day. That takes all the joy out of life, and it's just not possible for the average person with unpredictable responsibilities. But, I've spent the past few days discovering all sorts of little tricks which can be used to improve time management, and I want to share three of them which I think will work for you in this blog post.
#1 – Eliminate Distractions When You're Working
Remove all the distractions from your working environment.
Now, this may sound obvious, but it's often easier said that done, particularly if it is your work environment itself which is the distraction.
If you work from home, you need to be able to keep yourself isolated during your working hours. If you allow people to enter your working environment, they cost you time. This is not only the time when they're engaging with you, but also the time it takes you to get back into focus, and to work out what you were doing.
Distractions can be electronic as well. Every time your phone goes off when you're working, that's a distraction. Every time a Facebook chat window pops open in front of you, you're wasting time. And all this time wasted adds up. What should have been a 30 minute task can easily balloon to a couple of hours, and still not be completely finished.
Try and isolate yourself as best you can for the set time when you're working. Keep your environment as free of physical and logical distractions as you can. That will offer you the maximum opportunities to succeed and manage your time successfully.
#2 – Set Yourself Firm Targets And Meet Them
Treat Internet Marketing like a job, even if it's one that you do part time.
That means you need to work to the kind of deadlines your boss would set you.
Now, you're probably marketing online for one of a number of reasons, but I'll just list two of them:
- you just want to make a little extra money each month to help you to enjoy life more
- you want to get away from the day job and work full time as an online marketer
In either case, the end result is the same. You want to be financially independent, and in some ways it's no better leaving a job if you're then just replacing it with one where you have to work very hard for yourself, with no guarantee of success.
Eventually, you want to be able to take yourself out of the equation as far as possible, so that your business ticks over without you even being there (or spending anything more than a minimum amount of time on it).
But, you do have to reach that stage, and that's where your own hard work and determination sets in.
Make sure that you have targets and deadlines that can't slip and by which you have completed whatever task you were working on to a satisfactory end. If the task was writing a report, then you've finished it. Now, these items don't have to be perfect, but they have to be completed within the time available.
The time management strategy has to be to get something 'good enough' ready, by the deadline, and improve it later if time permits.
#3 – Make The Very First Thing You Do The Most Important
Now, you need to make sure that every task you try and complete is short and achievable.
Make the very first thing you work on each day, the most important task for that day. Something that needs to be done, and not something that you necessarily enjoy doing (it's good to get something less fun completed early on).
Some people have a lot of success with doing this task as soon as they wake up. That doesn't work so well for me, but if you're a morning person this might work better for you (and coffee is allowed).
It's important to make sure that this task takes no more than an hour. If you're scheduling yourself early morning tasks that take longer than that, you need to look to break them down into smaller chunks. There is a limit to how far you can get first thing in the day. Having a number of short tasks to complete also makes it much easier for you to put these tasks into some kind of priority order.
It's important that this first task is one that accomplishes something for you towards your long term goals. Don't make this task answering emails, or firing up Facebook. Both of those can wait. Write a chapter of your ebook, write articles for a client, write some sales copy, produce a mind map for your latest video, or whatever will take you one step closer to your long term goal. You'll be much happier once you're getting this task out of the way each day.
Over To You
Do you see any of these strategies helping with your own time management? If so, which of them?
What's something that you're going to do differently for 2011? Is there a new way that you've been managing your time that has worked for you.
Your feedback is highly valued and we'd all love to read it.
Just comment in the box below and share your thoughts with us.
22 replies on “Three Time Management Strategies To Help You To Be More Productive In 2011”
I think the first point demonstrates the TOP #1 reason that we don't get more done. When you get side-tracked you end up wasting much more time than you ever realized. Keeping a little timer on your desk can help you manage those mini breaks to check your email or take a quick break to chat on twitter or facebook.
Well I may not be working on online marketing these tips can help me when I'm working on my own type of tasks. It always seems theres one daunting task that needs to be done but you don't want to do it. I try to do it near the beginning so I can get it done and over with. I find that doing a few small task first however help me lead up to the more challenging task done as I feel better about checking off my list.
These tips will not only help me with my internet marketing but it will also help me to manage my personal tasks. I have a struggle last year on meeting deadlines and so I wasn't being productive. Thanks for these tips. I'd just have to apply them to be productive!
"…first task is one that accomplishes something for you towards your long term goals."
This is my 2011 main goal – that each thing that I do has a result that leads to my objectives. It has been my greatest challenge to follow through from beginning to end. And I feel excited to begin this year and actually do something and accomplish my long term goals.
For 2011, I intend to minimize the distractions that I allow to get me off track of accomplishing my goals. Also, I see the need to set up "doable" daily "to do list", one that keeps me moving in the direction I desire to go.
I think in 2010, I overloaded myself with a lot of different "internet marketing projects" and spread myself so thin that I was unable to produce the results I desired. This year, the key is "NO OVERLOAD".
This year I am really going to take IM serious. I know last year I used it mainly as a way to make a few bucks. I think in 2011 I am going to step out of my bubble and take it on head first. Thank you for the tips I will use them for sure.
Meeting a target was the hardest thing for me to do in 2010. I know that with the new year upon us I can really foucs on getting my goals made and most importantly I can follow through with them. Internet marketing has been hard work for me but I have appreciated every minute of it.
Thanks for addressing breaking up your tasks into manageable time bits (1 hour) I felt that all to often I would spend 3 hours on one thing and then have no time to get anything else done. I will most certainly manage my time better now. Thanks for the post.
Great Post, it was an awesome read and I am looking forward to what 2011 has to bring for in regards to Internet Marketing I can't wait to apply this techniques to my campaigns. Thank You.
I am the king of getting sidetracked so this is the post I needed to read, it really gets me pumped up for what I can do(only I can do it too, I have work for it). Can't wait to hear more from this year. Cheers.
Hi Thom, Happy New Year to you. A great list, thanks for sharing. Distractions are a biggie. I run two offline businesses so the phone is a great problem.
Enjoy the journey.
Anther spot on post that anyone who is serious about running a legit and profittable online business should read. I much like the other commentor fall into being distracted by just about everything. If I stick to your pointers about limiting these distractions I am sure to have a very succesful and hopefully profitable 2011.
What a great way to start out the New Year, this is just what I needed to read for me to really take Internenet Marketing seriously. I am with the other commentors in saying thank you for posting such great advice and help for us all. 🙂
#3 is the best strategy for me. I will really work on making the very first step the most important, thanks for the suggestion of doing it in the morning this is my best time of the day. Thom your blog is awesome keep up the good work.
Turning off my cell phone for two hours (yes it can be done people) to work was the best decision I have made in a long time. I couldn't believe how focused I was when the distraction was eliminated. I was able to get some real marketing work done and afterwords found out the not having my phone for 2 hours isn' the end of the world. 🙂 Great Post.
This post was brilliant, I am one of those who upon turning on my computer in the mornings checks his email and facebook account first thing. Then before I know it I have wasted 2 or more hours and gotten nothing done.
I am going to take your advice and first thing in the morning do something that will better myself and my IM business. I have the whole rest of the day to read email. Thank You again Thom for the sound and great advice.
It is so easy to get distracted and waste time. These tips should help me stay on track and be more productive.
Make the very first thing you do the most important! Real good advice. I tend to put off the most important (hardest) things until later.
After reading this post I'm a lot more motivated to move forward with IM in 2011. I am positive that with a few changes (like removing distractions) I can make some money this year. Thank you.
This post was just what I needed today. Last year wasn't the best for me in the Internet Marketing Universe but after your tips I am sure I will have a lot more success this year. 🙂
Distractions seem to be not just my main problem but others as well. It is so nice to read a blog where everyone seems to be honest about their situations in Intermet Marketing. I only wish their were more great sites like yours Thom. Thank You.
The first thing I will tomorrow morning before I start working on some of my Marketing campaigns is turn off my cell phone. If only for an hour, I know that if I can start here I can make some real progress in 2011. Thank Thom.