How we manage our time every day is vital to our success as a network marketer, and also to our success as a parent and spouse. For me, it has been one of the absolute hardest things to conquer. I am a red personality and for those of you other reds out there, I am sure you feel me on this. We get a little over-dedicated with our business, we become workaholics, we are fully motivated by the challenge and the money, and we do not manage our time well at all. We live and breathe work and neglect other things in our life. (If you don’t know your personality color and the characteristics that go with it, you can take the quiz here.) I used to struggle with this quite a bit, and still do at times, but have learned a few things along the way and I just wanted to pass them along.
Now, regardless of whether you are still working outside the home and building your business part-time, or if you are now full time in your business; the truth is that it doesn’t matter. I have done both. I have worked a full time job while running my business and I have been a full time work at home mom running my business. I found that without effective time management, I still did not get what I needed to done and I wasted time regardless. So having more time does not guarantee that you will use it wisely, or that you will grow your business because you have more time. It’s how you use the time that matters.
If you have ever felt like you aren’t using your time in the best way, this may help you. These are things I have done that have helped me manage my time better.
- Prioritize on paper. You need to write down your priorities in order of importance. In my home it looks like this. God, Spouse, Kids, Business or Job, Charity/Mission work. Putting it on paper is the first step to figuring out how much time needs spent on each. At that point, you determine how many hours a week you can realistically put into your home business.
- Set a schedule. This is HIGHLY important. I used to just do whatever and do you know what I discovered? I didn’t get much at all accomplished. It didn’t matter if I only had an hour or 8 hours, if I did not have a schedule to keep me on track, I was much less productive.
- Find out where you are wasting time. Write down everything you did from wake up til bedtime for the last 3 days. How much of that time was wasted? Was it on Facebook scrolling for hours? (I’ve been guilty of that too) Was it organizing emails, making spreadsheets, rearranging your desk drawers? Or any other activity that is not an income-producing activity? We have to determine what will move our business forward, and get rid of the rest of the distractions.
- Set time management goals. This is about changing your behaviors. For example, set a goal that for one week you will only go on Facebook 30 minutes a day only for prospecting or for the purpose of placing an ad or responding to messages about business. Any other scrolling, commenting on random stuff, or just browsing needs to be stopped for the entire week. This helps to develop discipline. So whatever your time-wasters are, set goals to eliminate them as much as possible.
- Use time management tools. There are apps specific to tracking time. Also use a calendar on your phone, such as Outlook or Google calender to set appointments and to schedule time for specific work activities.
- Delegate/Outsource. Now this normally only applies once you have grown your business to a certain level. At this point, you can outsource certain things to help you free up time to work on more productive things. Things to outsource could be daily tasks such as answering emails, sending newsletters, blog posts, placing ads, posting on social media, etc.
- Stop procrastinating and just do the damn work that will grow your business. I say this out of experience. I have been the one who procrastinates and puts off the things I don’t really like to do, such as making phone calls. I used to absolutely hate calling prospects, and I would find anything I could to do so that I didn’t have to make calls. Do you know what this did to my business? Seriously hindered it’s growth! The fortune is in the follow up. If we don’t follow up, we lose sales. Bottom line. Just do it!
I hope this was helpful. There are many other ways to manage your time effectively so that you don’t have to work all the time, but these are a good place to start. Life is short. Savor every day with your family and friends. Schedule your time to do your business, whether that is 1 hour a day if you still have a job, or 6-8 hours a day if you work fully for yourself. But set limits. Either way, set the times you want to work, and work those specific times. Don’t let your business own you. Live your real life and experience it, don’t spend it behind a desk all the time.
To your success friends!
Online Marketer and Home Business Owner