The story goes like this: I work all day in my job, come home and work even more hours on my internet business while neglecting my spouse and kids. How can I work more efficiently so I don’t lose my mind and become a stranger to my family and friends?
This is a common problem that creates feelings of being overwhelmed and ultimately burnout and quitting. The solution is rather simple, but not always apparent. Efficiency is a skill – learned like any other skill.
It starts with awareness. Become aware of where you are spending your time and energy with your internet business.
For the next week or two, keep a record of all the tasks and how much time spent on each of them. Pay attention to patterns. Are there tasks you could outsource, like article writing? Which activities are making you money and which are just a waste of time?
A huge time waster for many people is incessantly checking email several times a day. A good habit to adapt is to check and respond to emails at set times each day. Preferably no more than 2 or 3 times a day.
Studies have shown that distractions or jumping from one task to another creates huge inefficiencies. Creating a routine and setting aside blocks of time without distractions will make you much more efficient. Have a plan that has you work on the most important things first. Those would be the ones that are money makers. Also, always try to finish a task before moving onto the next.
A good rule of thumb is to set aside at least an hour – preferably 2 hour blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on a task. It can often take up to 20 minutes to get back to where you left off if you are distracted in the middle of a project.
Close your email servers and turn off your phone ringers and let anyone in your home know that this is your working time.
Also, spend your time on what makes the most money for the least effort. This will help you start outsourcing tasks sooner than later. Picture this, you come home from work and have a few hours to spend on your internet business. You notice you spend 2 hours writing articles that generate traffic for your business. It is a money making task, and one that eventually can be outsourced to free up your time to work on other money generating tasks.
You could have someone else write your articles so that you can spend the time you would’ve spent writing the article yourself to syndicating and repurposing those articles to leverage your time and exposure.
When I say re purposing, I mean, that article could also be tweaked into a blog post, a video, an audio, a pod cast, etc. Syndicating is submitting it to video and article aggregators like digg, tube mogul and the like.
If you get nothing else out of this article, remember the two words, Awareness and Focus. Efficiency takes time to get good at, but the reward is so worth it.