Stop F…ing About: Time Management Tips for Internet Start Ups

July 16, 2007

Do you feel as though you’re working round the clock on your new Internet business but not getting anywhere?  If you’re like many start ups, you probably waste a lot of time f…ing about, because you don’t have the necessary time management skills. Time management can be overwhelming for a start up business, especially if you’re trying to do everything yourself. Internet start ups can struggle even more, as there are so many distractions online  Follow these time management tips, to get you on track:

  • Make a list of every single job you do, from the start of the day to the finish and record how long each task takes.  Don’t cheat – record everything, from posting blog comments, to surfing the Internet for research.
  • At the end of the day, examine your list, and be honest.  Which tasks took up most of your time?  Which tasks will actually bring in more revenue to your business?  How long did you spend just wasting time, because you hadn’t planned anything better to do?  Which tasks could be done quicker if they were automated?  How often did you check your emails?
  • If you checked your emails give yourself a slap, and resolve not to check them more than two or three times a day – first thing in the morning, lunchtime, and last thing in the evening.  Delete all the ones you don’t intend or need to respond to.  If you find yourself answering the same questions, over and over – write automated emails to respond.
  • Mark all the tasks that could have been done quicker if they were automated, and set up a system to automate them.  Is there anything on your list that you could outsource to someone else?  If so, do so.  Content management, design, research etc can all be outsourced.  Try www.getfriday.com or www.elance.com  If you really can’t afford to outsource right now, do so as soon as you can.  Remember, outsourcing can free up your time, allowing you more time to concentrate on work that will bring money in to your business, so it should pay for itself.
  • How many things did you do that were a complete waste of time?  For example – did you spend 2 hours in forums?  Cut back the time you spend in forums right now – and limit yourself to once a day forum visits, for no more than 30 minutes. 
  • Did you reply to 100 blog posts?  Stop right now.  You’d be far better of reading a select few blog posts each day, and making an intelligent comment on each.  Make a small list of blogs you would like to visit, and as with the forum posts, dedicate no more than 30 minutes all in one go to visiting blogs.
  • What things did you do that were a total waste of time?  Cut them from your daily activities right now.
  • Is there an important, long term task that is overwhelming you and you feel as though you won’t finish it – eg. writing an ebook?  Break the task down into small daily chunks, then allocate a set amount of time to that task each day.  In the case of an ebook, you could allocate an hour to writing each day, or alternatively – set yourself a target amount of words per day.
  • Make a list of what you need to do each day, on the previous evening.  Make sure you do the most important tasks first, and if you find timewasters creeping in again, resolve to stamp them out.
  • Finally, please don’t make the excuse that you don’t have the time to do this, and you can’t be bothered to make a list each evening.  These tips will save you a heap of time.  If you really want to grow a successful internet business, stop f…ing about and start managing your time effectively.
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Comments

6 Responses to “Stop F…ing About: Time Management Tips for Internet Start Ups”

  1. Opal: Vegan Momma on July 16th, 2007 6:45 pm

    I like your list. I saw it when I was at Pro Bloggers and decided to check it out. Your list is a lot like mine. I add a lot of details. I like that. I truly wish I only had to check emails three times daily, but a lot of my work is done by email communication.

    I really like your theme. I used to use it also. I loved it.

  2. cathlawson on July 17th, 2007 5:25 am

    Thank you Opal. I really struggle to be brief in lists. With your emails it’s a tough one, and I guess it depends how much work you do via email. Would you offend anyone or let them down, or even lose a customer if you only checked it 3 times a day? Could you set up an Aweber autoresponder to automate some of your emails. Maybe you could give the three day thing a trial – just to see if it works. It’s hard at first, but it will save you a heap of time.

    Thanks for the comp on the theme. I love the colours, although having a custom designed one is on my to do list.

  3. Opal: Vegan Momma on July 17th, 2007 10:13 pm

    You and I have that in common I struggle to be brief. At times it’s impossible to do that. It’s hard try to put all the information in a few short sentences.
    I still have people that email or call me because they didn’t read. They just skimmed the info, lol.

    My work thrives on communication. I wouldn’t be working for myself for long if I did that. I cannot complain it’s lot better than having the phone ring off the hook all day long.

    When I worked in the corporate setting I received, on average, eighty emails per day. I did technical writing, and I worked as a Database Analyst, Sr. Fortunately I enjoy what I do so I really don’t think of it as “work” however, I take breaks throughout the day and let my clients know in advance when I’m not going to be available.

  4. cathlawson on September 8th, 2007 7:49 am

    Hi Nicholas – Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed reading some of the posts and I hope you come back again soon.

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