Are you managing your time effectively? As entrepreneurs we’re bad about falling in the trap of counting every hour at the computer as “work time”. Be honest with yourself here for a minute. How much of that time is spent browsing through LinkedIn, checking the latest Reddit posts or going down the rabbit hole of “research”.
We’re all guilty of it but to be more profitable and productive we have to manage our time effectively. While the ideas below will take some getting used to, the end result will be to spend less time at your desk and more time away from your computer doing the things you love to do.
Make A Plan And Break It Down
Start by figuring out what you want to get accomplished. What’s your next big project and what ongoing tasks need to be taken care of on a daily or weekly basis.
If you’re working on a new coaching program, that might involve outlining what you want to teach, writing the training course, editing and formatting, creating worksheets and slides and figuring out how you’ll sell and deliver the program.
In addition you may have daily or weekly tasks like blogging, emailing your subscribers, interacting on social media sites and forums etc.
Figure out what you need to get done over the coming weeks and write it down. Knowing what you should be working on to be more profitable is half the battle.
Write Out Daily and Weekly To-Do Lists
Next it’s time to write out your to-do lists. Start with everything you’ve written down in the last step and break it down into daily or weekly tasks. Use whatever method works best for you.
Use a weekly list if you prefer working on larger tasks or projects all day long, or try daily lists and break larger projects up into manageable chunks that you can accomplish in just a few hours or less.
You can jot down your to-do list on a piece of paper and cross things off your list as you get them done. Or use an app for your smartphone. Remember The Milk is a simple and easy to use list app that allows you to create tasks, assign dates, priorities and even make the tasks recurring (great for reminders to write those blog posts).
Set Aside The Time And Get Down To Work
The tasks on your to-do list will take as long as you allow them to take. To stay productive use a timer and get them done. Pick an item on your list, estimate how long it should ideally take you to get it done and then set that timer.
Remind yourself that if you work hard and fast, you can be done for the day and go play. Train yourself to work faster over time, but don’t forget to take breaks. 25 minutes of intense work followed by a 5 minute break seems to work well.
Continue to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Do more of what’s profitable and fun and try to get it done in the shortest amount of time possible – without sacrificing quality of course.