Do you own an online business where your profits are directly related to your productivity? Most online entrepreneurs need to be productive with their time and energy to become successful. That just makes sense, right? If you aren’t producing content, you’re not earning revenue. So why do I say productivity is dangerous?
It’s dangerous for our competitors!! The more productive we are, the higher rank we get. The higher rank we get, the more visible we are. The more visible we are, the more people we help. And the more people we help …. you got it. The more sales we earn!! And isn’t that what we’re doing this for? To be helpful, earn trust, and earn income.
We’ve all heard this term before. Productivity. And we probably all know what it means, but do we actually think about it in our daily lives? Do we actually apply a plan to be productive with our business?
When I started my education in online marketing, my day consisted of learning and doing at the same time. The platform I use was great for keeping me on track and following the lessons step by step. It was easy to be productive because I just followed along and did things in a logical order.
But as time went on and I had enough knowledge to be dangerous, lol, I was easily sidetracked by other things I was reading. It’s called the “shiny object syndrome”. And I found myself wasting time that should have been used towards my business.
That’s when I decided to set daily goals, manage my time, set routines, and basically work smarter! This is what I want to share with you in this article. I will share why I do the things I do, then show you an example. The things that helped me, could help you too.
What Does Productive Mean?
I looked up the definition in many places, and they all spouted technical terms about economic values regarding man-hours, machine hours, etc. Doesn’t really apply to us. Then I found the simplest definition and it made me laugh.
Vocabulary.com simply said, “Use the noun ‘productivity’ to describe how much you can get done”. That’s it! How much you can get done. It doesn’t have to be a complicated formula. You don’t have to over think it.
You do, though, need to consider how you spend your time to get the most out of the hours you have available towards your business. Running an online business isn’t rocket science, but it does involve many little timely pieces that need doing to remain successful.
I know a young lady who was born organized. She makes her lists and schedules automatically. For her, it’s a way of life and comes naturally, and my, she gets a lot done in a day. Don’t we all wish we could be like her? I know I do. But alas, most of us fly by the seat of our pants and wonder where all the time went.
I finally decided to make myself a list of daily schedules. A cheat sheet of sorts. And wow, it sure helped my productivity. The only thing that interrupts my day now, is my grandchildren. And that’s allowed!
How To Be Productive With Your Time
Before I show you how I organize my day, there are a few things to consider for overall success.
- Take care of your health
Being organized won’t help you if you’re sick. You need to get quality sleep each night, eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, and exercise. All these things will help you stay focused, and have more energy to get all your tasks done. Myself, I can do 3 out of 4 easily. The 4th, exercise, is usually my downfall. I’m an artist, not an athlete, haha. So I make sure I get up for breaks and walking is exercise, right?
I also believe you need to take time out to do the things you enjoy. Give your brain some time to rest! In this world of online marketing, we can often get obsessed with new ways to create income. We can spend way too much time at our computers, neglecting the more important things in life. That’s not healthy either. This is why keeping to a schedule is so important.
- Find the time of day you’re most productive
For most, this is usually first thing in the morning. But you need to do what’s best for you. I divide my time between late morning and evening. I’m not a morning person. I like to get up, have my coffee, spend time with my grandkids, then do about 4 hours of work. If I’m free in the evening, I’ll put in another couple hours while hubby is watching his sports.
Now of course, this works for me because I don’t have a job out of the home. But many of you do, so just plan your day accordingly. If all the time you have is a couple of hours in the evening, then plan on that. Do the best you can. That’s the nice thing about online marketing. It gives you the freedom to work on your own schedule.
- Treat your business like a business
Are you doing this as a hobby, or do you hope to make a serious income? If you’re planning on scaling your business to earn a passive income one day, then be serious about it. You’ll get there much sooner!
Control all the surrounding distractions when working. I love the ability to work on my business in my own home, or anywhere really, but this usually involves many more distractions than you would in an office somewhere. So here’s what you can do:
- set up an area in your home that you can call your office
- keep your desk clean from non-work material (bills, magazines, etc.)
- explain to those living with you that you don’t wish to be disturbed when working
- put your phone on silent, or in another room
- close all non-work related tabs and programs on your computer
- wear headphones if outside noises distract you (I love the “relax melodies” app to listen to nature sounds)
- Practice consistency
There is lots of information online about how to formulate good habits. Personally, I like to write out my “To Do” list the night before and check things off when completed the next day. It’s very satisfying. You might need to find something that works better for you. But whatever you choose, being consistent will allow more productivity.
You can also improve your habits with simple tools. One of mine is having a notepad on my desk for those great ideas that pop into your head while you’re working. Sometimes, as I’m writing, I’ll suddenly think of the next brilliant blog idea. Since I don’t want this to distract me, or more likely forget about it later… I’ll write it down. Then I can relax and keep working on my primary task.
If you like to structure your tasks into time blocks (which is a very good idea), you might want a timer. I use my phone (oops…I said to put that away, didn’t I). There are multiple apps you can use on your computer screen for both timers and daily block schedules.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people
Even though my darling husband supports me 100%, I don’t think he fully understands what I’m doing. And that’s OK, but sometimes we just need the advice and encouragement from other successful marketers. Having a sounding board for new ideas, or asking what works for others, can be so important.
I am part of an incredible online community of over 1 million members. It’s live, instead of a forum, so I can talk to other members any time of day or night. This has given me great support because I can get my answers almost immediately. Who wants to wait when you have a business to build!
Determine What’s Most Important And Get It Done!
I plan on four hours work per day, five days per week. Well, mostly….:) I have been known to work on the weekends, but really, I like to reserve that time for family and friends. If, though, I’ve written a blog on Friday, then I’ll publish it Saturday morning. I like to have my post sit overnight to publish the next day. That way I can fine tune it with fresh eyes.
I divide my time according to five categories:
- Writing – Most Important
- Traffic – Most Important
- Media – Important
- Email & Comments – Less Important
- Community – Less Important
- Education – When time permits
Content and traffic are the most important aspects of my business. Without that, I can’t earn income. So I make sure to block these two categories each day. Researching and writing blogs take up the most time on writing days.
I choose to use social media sites to help drive traffic, but I limit my time because they can be a BIG distraction. Be strict with your timer. To save time, there are plugins such as “NextScripts” that will automatically publish your blogs to various social media accounts. But I would still recommend you spend time commenting to show engagement.
I then leave comments in various forums like Quora, and on other authority blogs. This is a great way to build quality backlinks to your site. Finally, I might spend time building more PPC campaigns and ad groups.
The next important block is the media category. We always need to create new material for our blogs, course material, free giveaways & newsletters etc. for our email lists. So spend time researching, writing, making videos, etc. Once your revenue builds, you might consider outsourcing these things with companies such as Fiverr to free up your time.
My less important block is taking time to answer emails and respond to my blog comments. I can call this less important because I often find time to do this on my phone, in our car. We live about 30 minutes out of town, and I’ll frequently tackle my emails while sitting (yes, sitting in the passenger seat, not driving, lol).
Personally, I always try to find time to talk with other members of my community in “live chat”, comment on profile pages and help out those who are asking questions. Because I enjoy this, I’ll often do this in the evening if I didn’t have time in the morning.
And finally, when time permits, I like to learn something new. Technology is always changing, new algorithms coming out, new sources of traffic, better plugins, etc.. There is always something new to learn, to improve your online income!
Here’s an example of a quick planner I made using Canva and saved it as a PDF on my computer screen so I can type in my schedule for the next day. Currently, I use two. One for my writing day, and one for my publishing day.
I enjoy using Canva to create. That’s the artist in me. I change them up often, just because… Of course, you may schedule your time any way you wish. Use your calendar or a notepad, whatever works for you. The important thing is to schedule your time and stick to it. It’s made such a difference in my productivity, and I know it will for you too.
One thing I want to point out though… don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done that you planned out. Just start over the next day and try again.
Life can get in the way sometimes, but that happens with offline work as well. We get sick, we go on holidays, or we just need a day off. It’s OK. Do your very best, and one day soon, you will reap the rewards of your hard work.
If you are just starting out with online marketing and would like to learn how productivity is dangerous for your competitors, and about all the things I’ve mentioned in this article, then please come and see where my community lives.
It’s an amazing platform that provides training and all the necessary tools to build your business online. I highly recommend it. Click the button below to read my thorough review.
How do you schedule your time? Are you a list person like me? Let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear what you do.
And please share this post with anyone you know who’d like to start their own business.