Many of us struggle with managing time. The reason being that we have demanding jobs and
- We have turned to using online marketing to build a second income, or
- We use online marketing to create another marketing arm to our existing business.
This often means we have time demands that are being added to our already busy schedule.
To help with managing our time it is important to understand the difference between time management activities that are PRODUCTIVE or activities that are simply being BUSY. Being PRODUCTIVE is about using our time EFFECTIVELY to produce results, whilst being BUSY is about using our time EFFICIENTLY to get activities done.
It is important to understand the difference between PRODUCTIVE and BUSY because being productive gets results whilst being busy may-or-may-not get results.
What Time Management Activities Do They Focus On?
BUSY people are committed to their online business and they aware of how much time they are putting into our online business. These efforts are very good but their focus is not necessarily on meeting their business goals.
“I can get it done … just work HARDER” is not necessarily the best strategy.
PRODUCTIVE people have a sensible plan and a clear end goal in mind. They focus the majority of their time and energy on the important activities in the plan that is going to reach their goal:
- Activities that will make the money they aim for
- Activities to promote their website and get sales
- Take time to master a source of new traffic
- Take time to create an email list
- Getting a new article on the website to attract more traffic
“I can get it done … just work SMARTER” is a better strategy.
Are They Completing The Activities?
BUSY people do get activities completed but they are not necessarily focusing on the relevance of the activities. Then at the end of the month the important activities (the activities that move the project forward) may not necessarily be completed. With all that effort, how much do they have to show for their busy energy?
PRODUCTIVE people have a clear end goal in mind and create micro-ambitions to achieve that goal. That is, they make a plan and then make a TO-DO list of the things that will make the most difference to their project. At the end of each week and end of each month they can experience and measure a real difference.
To-do lists do work because they help you order your priorities and keep you focused.
Which Activities Do They Choose To Do First?
BUSY people tend to start each day with lots of energy and get activities done one-at-a-time. But the larger, difficult and unpleasant activities tend to take up a lot of time and energy, and tend to conflict with this strategy. For example, they follow the training and then focus on smaller and easier activities because they are the easiest and it seems that things are getting done. Then they tend to delay the dreaded activities, or do they just avoid them. “Everything else is in good shape after all” they can argue.
If you see a task that is consistently skipped over or moved to the next day, take a second to ask why: Is it an unimportant task? Is it and important task that you just can’t do?
PRODUCTIVE people do the dreaded activities first. They do the large, difficult or unpleasant activities at the start of each day. They focus on tough activities like getting a call to action on a page, attracting traffic or writing that article. Then they do the easier activities later.
Research proves that doing the dreaded activities first frees up their energy and allows them to shift their focus on the next task, and as a result a lot more productive work gets done.
Productive people may clear their diaries first thing each day so that they can schedule time to get the dreaded activities done.
Can They Say No To Some Activities?
BUSY people tend to enjoy getting activities done, and may NOT say NO to those unimportant or irrelevant activities. Because they are so efficient they may take too much time to attend to helping other peoples’ goals. They may also spend too much time attending to distractions like social media or internet browsing.
If you find your to-do list is filled with activities that aren’t going to achieve your goal then your priorities are way off.
PRODUCTIVE people can tell the difference between
• irrelevant or non-essential activities, and
• activities that will make a difference to their project.
They can also tell the difference between
• getting down to their own goals and
• the goals and needs of others.
Therefore, they can focus on getting priorities done and are able to budget time for helping other peoples’ goals. They believe: “My goals are important”.
Productive people have a plan or strategy on how to deal with social media and incoming emails.
Productive people ask questions like can it be outsourced or delegated. Can someone else do this? Can I recruit support to help me get this tough task done?
This article supports the tried-and-tested strategy:
- Have a clear goal in mind
- Develop a sensible plan to achieve the goal
- Do the time management activities that will support the goal and plan.