Are you a solo entrepreneur? If yes, I am sure you know how busy it can be running your business. Do you want to work less hours, make more money and enjoy life in 2015? If this is you, this message is very important to you. I am going to share with you my top 5 time management tips that’ll help you improve your productivity and efficiency so that you can work less and make more money and have more free time.
Since 2008, I have been working from home. It is true I had the flexibility of arranging my time. I could go to the gym in the morning or take my daughter to her piano class in the afternoon.
However, I was busy all day long. I started to work at 10 o’clock in the morning after I had my morning workout. I first checked my email inbox. There were about 20 emails waiting for me. I replied to emails from my students, and then went through other emails. I had subscribed to more than 10 newsletters. I never had time to read them all. Just reading several of them took me a good half an hour. Sometimes, I clicked on the links in the article and who knows where I would end up. Then I checked my Facebook, Twitter and wechat accounts. Each took me about 10-15 minutes. By the time I started to do my work for the day, it was close to 12 o’clock. I was distracted by phones, emails and wechat messages coming in at any time. So I had to work 2-3 hours in the evening to finish what I needed to do for the day.
It got to the point that I felt swamped all the time. I had no time for myself and I did not enjoy working from home. Luckily, my mentor helped me exam how I used my time on a daily basis and make some changes to my schedule. Within a week, I saw the results. I got more done and had more free time.
Here are my top 5 time management tips to share with you:
Time management tips #1: Set up a time block for your most important tasks
Writing is the most productive activity for my business. In the morning, I set up a 2-hour time block for writing only. I do not answer phone calls, nor check emails and social media updates. I focus on writing email messages to my subscribers, writing blogs and eBooks. This tip works best for writing. You can also block a period of time just for replying to emails or making phone calls. You will be amazed how much more you can accomplish in a day.
Time management tips #2: Use a daily calendar
Spend about 10-15 minutes each day to plan for the next day. Write down a list of things you need to do the next day and prioritize them. So on the next day, you can directly tackle those tasks from the more important ones to the less important ones.
Time management tips #3: Be an essentialist
Do you know why people often feel swamped? It is because they try to do too much. They try to put everything in their mind on the calendar and it just doesn’t fit! It’s impossible to get everything done in a day.Do you know usually 20% of your work produces 80% of your results? This is called 80/20 rule? Find out what generates the majority of your results. Then you focus your attention on it first. Remember, work on one project at a time so that you don’t get yourself overwhelmed.
Time management tips #4: Use social media wisely
The personal use of social media can be very time-consuming. If you are the one who constantly check your Facebook or wechat messages, you’ve got to stop doing it. It steals your time in nips. Block out distractions from social media unless you use it as a media of advertising, marketing and customer relationship. If that’s the case, you still need to be very disciplined.
Time management tips #5: Divide your days into Free Days, Focus Days and Buffer Days
I got this idea from Dan Sullivan. He is an author and business coach. His time management program introduces these 3 types of days.
Here is how it works. On Free Days, you do nothing that is related to your business. You get yourself fully rest and relaxed. For example, my free day is Sunday.
On Focus Days, you concentrate on your most important business-related activities. The activities bring you the most results. My focus days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
On Buffer Days, you do catching up, cleaning up messes, reading and learning new skills so that your Focus Days will not be distracted. In my case, Friday and Monday are my buffer days.
We all had New Year solutions that didn’t work. To make the above time management tips work effectively, the key is to get up early and start to work early. Punctuality and discipline are two guarantees to the success of your time management.
If you want to work less hours and make more money in 2015, do not procrastinate, use these time management tips for a couple of weeks. I am sure you will see the difference. Stick to them and make them your new habits. You’ll enjoy a healthy balanced personal and professional life.
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