Stop Playing Catch-Up! Master Your Time Management
Written by Stephanie
September 20, 2022
Is your lack of time getting you down? Do you feel like the clock in your head and on your computer looms bigger and bigger as the day goes on? Don’t feel bad, because you are not alone! Millions of people in every walk of life battle with their time management.
Lack of good time management can be especially prevalent amongst those who run their businesses online. Why? Because, as you probably know, ‘running your own show’ means having less external controls dictating how you use your time. Even being more ‘controlled’ doesn’t guarantee anything – studies have shown that office workers waste up to 30 days a year simply browsing their emails. Yikes!
It’s time that you master your time, so that you can become a productive wizard and Yiper! Read on to get some invaluable tips on how to master your time so that you can optimize your business potential.
Time As Enemy Or Friend? You Can Choose!
It’s a simple truth – time can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The great news is that there are simple ways to making time your friend. For example, you can do is undertake a time audit. This self-audit works best if you break up your day into different categories, such as emails and other online chores, doing actual work, commuting, stopping for breaks, etc.
Doing a time audit forces you to critically analyze how you spend your time – and it will surprise! You might even find that you yourself are causing many of your so-called ‘interruptions’ throughout a working day. Oh, and don’t feel bad if you’ve never done a time audit, since 49% of people haven’t either.
Let Your Online Business Be Your Friend
Did you know that your online presence can itself be a time-saving device? Well, consider this: how much time do you waste trying to drum up online business? That is probably a leading reason why you’ve become a Yiper or are seriously considering being one! Having a presence on a genuine platform for your online business goes a long way to securing clients and, in turn, saving you time.
Allied to that should be some form of schedule that is synced with your appointments with clients or allocated project times, and done so preferably through your principal email server. Getting advance notifications about pending appointments, deadlines or web chats can order your time.
Crucially, optimizing your business website, LinkedIn profile, social media account or whatever online channel you use to punt for business can also save time. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an excellent way to achieve this. There are numerous ways in which your SEO can be time-saving devices, For example, long-tail keywords have become very effective in generating search traffic to websites with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced voice assistants.
Your Time Management Checklist
Here is a timely (if you pardon the silly pun) checklist that we’re sure you’ll find very helpful in organizing your time:
- Compile a to-do list every single morning before you work – make it as precise and chore-focused as possible
- Organize your list in descending order of importance, i.e. from most important to least pressing
- Keep checking back to your checklist throughout the day and tick off items that have been done
- Make sure your workspace is always as uncluttered as possible
- Keep tabs on your productivity, using an app such as Toggl or Clockify, for example, taking note of:
- when during the day you are most productive;
- with which projects or chores you are most productive; and
- conversely, when during the day you are typically least productive
- When needing to be especially focused, try to get rid of all unnecessary and avoidable distractions, for example:
- switch your phone off or to silent;
- have a glass of water and even some healthy ‘nibbles’ at hand to keep you hydrated and keeping your hunger pangs at check;
- avoid distracting websites and social media at all costs, using apps to do so, if needed; and
- keep your daily checklist at hand, to remind you of your day’s items
- Say no to multi-tasking – it wastes more time than you think!
- Take needed breaks – regularly – schedule them if needed and do not feel bad about them (oh, and see below)
By the first two items on the checklist above were first suggested by Leon Battista Alberti, an Italian and scholar, back in the 15th century. That’s right – people were thinking up ways to prioritize time six centuries ago! And no doubt people were doing so many centuries before that.
Finally, Be Kind To Yourself!
Surely the checklist above should have been the final item, right? Well, we believe that being kind to yourself is so important that we left it for last. You absolutely owe it to yourself as an online entrepreneur/business owner to know when to switch off.
Your ‘switch off time’ can be spent doing any number of things, from reading a book or watching a movie, to simply going for a walk. Better still, try to have a nap during the day. There is no curative like sleep. Studies have shown that even a 20 to 30-minute ‘power nap’ can be amazing in restoring your focus and boosting productivity. Or simply do nothing for a while. That works too!
Time is precious. We all know that. In the words of Jim Rohn, the American entrepreneur and time management guru: “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” How true is that!
It’s time you make every hour count – even if it’s to do ‘nothing’ or even sleep in order to recharge your batteries. Stop letting time rule your business! Instead, let it be your friend and ally. The good news: it’s easier than you think.