More about Time Management

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the number of things there are to do when building an eCommerce Business? Do you feel like there’s never enough time to get all the things done you want to? Are you devoting the necessary attention to each assignment or are other day to day things getting in the way? Is staying organized difficult for you? If your answers are similar to mine, this article may help. Time management and organizational behavior are crucial to success in any endeavor, especially an eCommerce Business.

Effective organization and time management are primary means to a less stressful life. These practices can help you reduce your stress, see better results and also allow you to have more “free time” too. What’s free time for an entrepreneur?

You probably know that effective time management will help you get more done each day. It has important health benefits, too. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimize stress and improve your quality of life.

How do you get started when organizational skills don’t come naturally? To start, choose one of the following time management tips, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. Make sure you record your “small successes” in your Success Journal – it will be fun to go back and look at what you’ve accomplished. As you begin to see positive results, try adding another tip. If you find that the tip you first selected isn’t helping like you’d like, make some adjustments or try a different one.

Here are some suggestions that have helped me:

* Plan each day. Planning your day can help you feel more in control of you life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.
* Prioritize, Prioritize! Like many people, you may be spending the majority of your time on a small percentage of your tasks. Prioritizing will ensure you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.
* Just Say No! (to nonessential tasks). Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.
* Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list. Is there something you can do at a later date? What about forming a team and assigning some tasks to someone else?
* Do a quality job. Taking the necessary time to do work right the first time will help you save so much time in the long run. Errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.
* Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done. This is something I do when submitting to directories. I’m obviously not going to submit to all the directories in one day. Instead, I’ll chip away at it, set a specific amount of time, and then, when that time is up I stop and move on to other projects.
* Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it. Writing articles and press releases can be this way. Once you get started though, things can really start coming together.
* Evaluate how you’re spending your time. Keep a “Success Journal” of everything you do for three days. Make sure you write down everything you do. This can help you determine how you’re spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends. What about that TV time? Is that really helping you make progress with your business? It doesn’t help me but I still seem to waste time doing it.
* Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Improved focus and concentration will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time. If you’re like me, late nights can sometimes be productive; but the more rested you are, the better you can think logically and really see things happen with your eCommerce Business.
* Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn’t have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.
* Don’t be afraid to take a break. Can you say “Burn Out!” Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation.

Let’s all commit to actively do one or two of these things. Let’s use this blog post as a journal if we need to to monitor our progress. I look forward to reading results.

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40 Replies to “More about Time Management”

  1. Great comment Chris! I’ve seen again and again how important managing my time has been. I recently have “changed my routine” and have really had to work hard to figure out what’s going to work best. Keep me posted on your progress.

  2. Thank you for this article Nate. It has really helped me in my every day thinking. I now prioritize everything and make a list and finish it every night before i go to bed. Made a huge difference in my life.

  3. Time Management….this is something I have never really done. It was always done for me, more or less. I went to work, did my job, came home, fixed supper, cleaned up the kitchen and what ever needed to be cleaned, took care of my children’s needs, watched a little TV and went to bed. Since my children are grown and gone, I find that I really don’t manage my time very well. This article was very good for me. I know how to organize things but lack the knowledge on how to really set goals and prioritize. Being new to ecommerce and just starting my business, I have a lot to learn. These tips and comments are very helpful.

  4. I need to work on planning my day again. I used to do it but dropped out of the practice. If I plan my day I can see a whole picture of what the week looks like.
    Sometimes I forget to take breaks because I have certain things I want to get done. I can work more effectively if I take ocassional breaks and rest my eyes and body.
    I have heard and read lately that 20 – 30 minute naps each day will extend your life. Something to think about.

  5. I find myself procrastinating because I do not know how to approach all I the things I have to do. I have printed this article to keep with me at all times and work on implementing the suggestions.

  6. This was a very good article for me. I have attempted to get organized several times in the past and never made it. Let’s see if following your coaching can get it to stick this time well enough for me to continue it.

  7. Thanks Nate I always take to much on and spend to much time on the little tasks,this will help me spend my time more efficient.

  8. Just call me Mr. Overwhelmed. Realistic & effective organization and time management are primary means to a less stressful life. Any means of reducing stress will reward us tenfold. Becoming “More Organized” is one of my top priorities.

  9. Thanks Nate for the tips on Time management – I have always been pretty good about managing my time; but again I always did a to do list daily. In the past few months have not been as diligent with my to do list as in the past. This reminder just reaffirms it’s importance.

  10. Time management…..this is something I need to get implemented quickly into my present life if I’m wanting to soon become successful in a internet business. Being I’m retired without having my former regular 8 hour a day JOB, my days scheduling have become very lax.

    Organization and time management are two strong factors that I need to get put in place ASAP. And I know this will take allot of immediate ACTION on my part since I tend to bounce around from one task or project to another quite often.

    I need to utilize Nate’s above list of necessary rules. This will surely be a big part in changing my present poor bad habits to becoming a more Focused and organized individual.

  11. Thanks for the tips Nate. I think I realized how important breaking things down are over the last couple of weeks when I felt that I was doing lots of parts of things but not really finishing any of them!!

  12. Great posts! In answer to Sam’s questions about the priorities, here’s what I’d have to offer:

    1. Get content on the pages of your site. Content can include but is not limited to the following: a) Information: answers to questions visitors might have about the things you are marketing, fun facts, tips, top ten lists, etc. b) Pictures: of products, of yourself, of clients using the products, etc. c) Positive feedback about the products, testimonials, your opinion of the products

    2. Get products on the site. Remember the “three click theory” rule – if a client has to click more than three times to make a purchase, they’ll probably go somewhere else. Make the path to the check for products easy to follow. Products are not limited to your catalog pages, they can also be on the home page as “Featured Products”, specials, or whatever. See dance bags at http://www.ClogOn.com.

    3. Get your name out there on as many other quality sites as possible. The best way to do this is via a) article writing b) press releases c) submitting to directories (free, paid, niche, and local) d) blogging (on your own and on other peoples blogs) e) link trading with other site

    There are definitely other things to do but this is a good start.

  13. Managing your time is essential in this business. A to do list is also a great idea. I think my first priority for my to do list is to figure out what I need to do. That is the big question for me. Once I answer that then I can move on to the larger tasks.

  14. Hi Nate,
    This is a terrific article and so important, especially to me! I tend to take on way too much to do in one day, a lot of which does not get me any closer to my goals. I will work on learning to so “no” more often to things that are not really necessary and will ultimately take me away from my own success. I am following your advice and picking an area to work on for a few weeks, until I master it. Then, I will move on to another area. Thanks again for all your great advice and direction!

  15. Time management is a skill to be learned for many people. I took a time management course and when at work for an employer, I was able to budget my time to complete my tasks. My problem is that I left those skills at the office, not incorporating them into my other life.
    Now, I am the employer. The tasks have not been predetermined for me. I need to determine and prioritize what tasks are to be completed, in what time frame; a very tough assignment.
    I have copied both the articles on time management and plan to place them after my goals, in the front of my daily resource guide (new idea). I make a commitment to review my guide at the beginning of each day as well.

  16. I have not been doing well in managing my time this past month so this was a much needed article. I deffinately am going to work on breaking large time consuming tasks into smaller ones and Practicing the 10 minute rule. I also need to incorporate more exercise into my daily life. I copied this article so I can refer to it on a regular basis. Thank you!

  17. I agree by writing yourself a list to do in one day could be a long list, you may only get one thing done. But “Small Success leads to Big Success”.
    I like the idea of the lists, but I don’t always write them down, but I still get them done,mostly, theres always exceptions to the rule.

  18. Yes, I totally agree, That TV monster has ruined more than one person best intentions. I see where I can change my tasks from a thinker to a doer in alot of things. It would be much easier for the list to get lost, but then you would not get anything done. But, there are times you can’t say NO to that question, whatever it is, to interrupt your list of things to accomplish. I once knew a man who made himself a list everyday to accomplish the things he set out to do. If he did not finish his list that day whatever was left, went onto another list with the undone things on top. After awhile he had so many undone things he quit making lists and started doing more, instead of think about it, do it then or it will not get done. That man, when he passed away was worth well over $50 million because he quit writing and started doing. So I agree with your assessment of time management, be a doer.

  19. How has everyone been doing with their Time Management goals? I’ve been working at things but it’s not as easy as some make it sound. I read a really good article today from John Wesley that really struck home. It talked about a weekend without television and how productive that can be. So much more can be accomplished. As I read the article, I thought about my daily routine when I get home from the office: I walk in, say hello to my wife and kids, and then plop down in front of the TV to “veg” for a while. Is that “Time Management”? (Is that a dumb question!?) So, bottom line, we could probably all do without a little of the tube. Just food for thought. Thanks for the great article John Wesley.

  20. I am choosing PLAN EACH DAY as my first tip. I do this from time to time but not on a consistent basis. Each night, the last thing I do is a doctor prescribed respiratory treatment that leaves me “hands free” so I could use that 15 minutes EVERY DAY to plan tomorrow. I will use the second tip “PRIORITIZE, PRIORITIZE” in planning my days. I have a hard time keeping on track. There are so many things that I don’t do that I should do and I then get bogged down and basically do nothing productive. In conjuction with my daily plan, I will, on the opposite page of that journal, keep track of how well I followed my plan. This will help me plan better by allowing more time for somethings, less time for others, and possibly eliminating some of the non-productive work that I am now doing. Thank you for writing this article.

  21. I have a really hard time managing my time…so this is a great challenge for me. I am definitely a night owl, and feel that’s when my ideas really come to me. However…when the morning comes, I am so tired! I feel that I am trying to do too much with the time I am given. I need to take a step back and really look at what is important! Thanks for the ideas!

  22. This is a great article. I find myself often stretched too thin, trying to do too much and I think some of these tips will help. Planning and prioritizing on the top of my “try-it” list. Thanks!

  23. We are going to keep the Time Management ‘Tips’ posted in clear view so that we can be reminded each day to practice at least (1) of the (11) tips on a daily basis. As we practice each of these tips they will eventually become a part of our daily life helping us to free up plenty of time. Thanks for the article!

  24. Great article with marvelous suggestions to get myself organized. I am going to start my success journal and evaluate how I spend my time. Plan each day and prioritize my tasks so I get the most important ones completed first. The 10-minute rule should be a great help for me in doing the tasks that I am not sure how to approach, so that I don’t procrastinate getting them done. I will apply this suggestions because I am a Successful Entrepreneur!

  25. Great article, I especially like breaking large tasks into smaller ones and the 10-minute rule. I always procrastinate when I have to do something and I’m not sure how to approach it. By combining these two ideas, the hard to do tasks won’t seem so overwhelming.

  26. Having been a time management instructor myself in the past and today, this article tells it like it is!!! We all need time management in this so called “Hetic World”. Making a to do list gears the mind toward success and the body follows right along. As each task is accomplished a sence of “Power” comes over us which guides us toward the next task.
    Thank you for the re-mind(er) points and I will continue to use the help that is out there for me which make my job much lighter. There will always be time and how we use it is of upmost importance. What I learned the most from this article was; making sure that we have time for ourselves, exercise and most of all vacation, which I never can get enough of!!!
    WHAT TIME IS IT? IT’S MANAGEMENT TIME!!!!!

  27. I have printed out this article as it’s so relevant to me. I tend to do everything urgent and nothing important. I’m going to try to break things down into little pieces and use the 80/20 rule to sort my daily/weekly tasks. I find also that planning the next day just before bed really helps. Writing down everything on paper gives me a idea of where all my time is going. My children are always reminding me of what’s really important. Every parent will know what I’m talking about here!

  28. Great tips. It is a great idea to take a time management course. It has helped me out a great deal.

    Amanda

  29. I think that time management is an area that most of us could work on. I also think that its an area that most people don’t put enough priority on. Personally, whenever I’ve taken the time to really plan things out I get a whole lot more done. These are some good tips!