One reason many of us become Internet marketers is that it allows us a lot of flexibility in our time management. We can work when we want to and where we want to. And the best part about Internet marketing is that the content we put on our websites works for us when we’re far away from our computers.
But Internet marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. And having a wide-open schedule can become something of a trap in itself if you don’t manage your time effectively enough to get things done.
With that in mind, I’ve got several tips to make time management easier for people like me who are making their living over the Internet.
The first thing you need to do is to make a list of all of your priorities, including any that have specific schedules—for example, you know your kids get home at 3 pm every day.
Now it’s time to manage those priorities and make them fit together. If you’re in charge of the kids until your spouse gets home, you’re probably not going to be working on your Internet marketing business from 3 p. until she or he arrives. This gives you the choice of working your Internet business in the morning or in the evening after you’ve handed off the kids.
Go through the same management process for all of your priorities, making sure that you’re including a specific chunk of time in almost every day for your marketing business. How much time you need to spend on your business is up to you.
When you’re new, you’re going to need to spend more time up front with your Internet business than you may need to spend later on. And of course, if you want to be a top earner, you’re going to need to spend more time on your career as well.
This doesn’t mean you have to work your Internet marketing business like a 9–5 job. It does mean that you need to manage your time so your other priorities don’t put your business on a complete back burner.
OK, so once you’ve gotten your weekly schedule together, how do you manage your time when you’re working? Working from home can have a whole set of distractions: The dishes that didn’t get done last night and your home phone are 2 examples.
But you’re your own boss now, remember? That means that you’re in charge of your time, including the things you allow to interrupt you. The way I manage my time while I’m at work is by not allowing outside interruptions except during my scheduled breaks.
If the phone rings, it can go to voice mail. The dishes can wait until I’m done working. If I’m really busy, the delivery driver can leave a note on the door, and I’ll call to reschedule. And unless I have one of them on for business reasons, all of my instant messaging accounts are turned off when I’m working on my Internet business.
Time management is a huge responsibility for Internet marketers. New marketers coming from the corporate world are going to learn quickly how easy it can be to lose track of their time because their new schedules are so free and open. But if you keep it together and make your online business a priority, you’ll get through this challenge and excel.