Time management is something that many people find challenging in their day-to-day lives, and when you are involved in an online business, this is even worse. With an online business time management is even more difficult than normal, because you often do not have a structured routine and there is no one enforcing what hours you work. It can be very easy to get distracted, especially as you are online a lot of the time. There are some key approaches that can be used to improve time management within an online business.
Create a schedule
Although this appears obvious, creating a schedule for an online business can be challenging, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you will need to do each day. A simple approach that can be quite effective is to block out specific times for working, for non-work related tasks, and for free time.
Over time you will find that you have a better idea of how long things will take and may be able to refine the schedule further.
For myself, I have found it important to keep my schedule flexible, so that I am able to increase or decrease my workload as I need to. This means that my days are often very different, but I still follow the same rough schedule.
Keep track of deadlines
All forms of online business have some types of deadlines. In some cases, the deadlines are strict, such as a particular item has to be posted or emailed by a certain day and time. In other cases it may simply be that you want to get a particular thing completed this week, so that you can work on something else next week.
Keeping a record of your deadlines can help you to ensure that you stay on track within your business and meet your objectives. There is nothing worse than having something important to do but forgetting all about it.
There are a lot of different ways that you can keep track of deadlines. Many people use calendars or planners, as this provides an easy way of visualizing deadlines and objectives. Personally, I use a word document that I update every time I get a new deadline, or something that I want done by a specific day or time.
You might find keeping tracking of deadlines difficult at first, but over time it gets easier. Eventually recording your deadlines will become automatic.
Everyone wants something different from their business. Setting goals can help you to work out exactly what direction you want to go and what you need to do to reach the goals. While ambitious goals can be good, they aren’t very practical. In general, you want to focus on setting SMART goals, which are described in more detail in the video below.
Force yourself to follow your schedule and meet deadlines
With an online business, it is very easy to shift your deadlines or decide to operate under a different schedule. In practice, what this means is doing less work because you are tired, or have something else you would rather be doing. This is a dangerous approach, and one that is very easily to slip into. If you force yourself to follow the plans that you have set out, you will find that your quality and quantity of work improves over time. However, don't forget to take a break if you need to, or if you get sick.