tips for effectively managing your timeTime is of the essence. Almost every innovation released these days is another attempt at saving those precious seconds in our day.

If you’re a business owner, balancing your time between delivering your core services and marketing your business is a tricky proposition. Neglect one or over-emphasize another and there could be rough times ahead.

The tips below will help you manage your time more effectively and to get things done!

How Long Should Your Marketing Take?

Regardless of your industry or business, your marketing should never take up more time than the day-to-day functions of your business.

Whether it’s emailing, blogging, commenting or sharing, remember that this is an additional function to your core business. The good news is that there are creative ways to shorten the time you spend in front of the screen, for example:

  • Add all your favorite blogs, news sites, etc. into a ‘news reader’ like Google Reader. That way, all of your favorite blogs or and websites are organized in one place and you won’t waste time searching for new updates.
  • Use tabs rather than opening multiple windows in your browser.
  • Employ a social media dashboard to collate data in one place.

With a little practice, you should be able to get your daily marketing time under 90 minutes, which you might even plan to complete outside of regular business hours.

Set Achievable Goals

You know those things you put on your to-do list that are probably never going to get done in one sitting – like “Harness Fusion Energy”, or “Increase Market Share”, for example…

Forget them.

Or at the very least, break them up into a series of smaller, achievable steps. If you’re developing an email marketing campaign, for example, consider organizing the project like this:

Email Campaign:

  • Research email clients
  • Test templates for branding effectiveness
  • Register for product
  • Get familiar with email dashboard
  • Upload a list
  • Create + send a test email
  • Install tracking
  • Upload full lists
  • Create segments
  • Create 1 auto-responder

If you do one of these tasks each business day for a week, you’ll be ready to go in two weeks from the outset. Whereas if you leave “Email Marketing Campaign” on your to-do list you’ll probably ignore it for at least that long before you even begin!

Don’t be a Clock Watcher

clock watcherIn some way, shape or form we all live our lives by the clock. But that doesn’t mean that tracking your tasks by watching the clock is an effective time-management technique.

If you’re thinking about the clock, you’re not concentrating on the task at hand and the quality of your work is going to suffer.

Cover the clock. Ignore it. Stop looking at it!

Instead, ask a business partner, a friend, a relative to shoot you an instant message in an hour’s time. Take the pressure off your own shoulders. You’ll be free to concentrate on the task at hand and you’ll complete what you started.

Get Down to Business

One of the difficulties you’re going to find with online marketing is that the lines between business and personal time are often blurred.
business vs personal time
Can tweeting about the latest movie you’ve seen really be good for your business?

It depends. Devoting time to your own personal network might be a perfectly valid way for you to market your business, especially if you get a lot of referrals from within your circle of friends. The trick is to make a clear delineation – is the activity you’re doing relevant to your business or is it really just personal?

If you’re in doubt, trying logging out of Facebook, close Twitter, and turn off the dancing cats video on YouTube. 15 minutes of concerted effort without distraction from social media can be more valuable 1 hour of frequently interrupted “work”.

Should I Track the Time I spend Online?

Tracking tools aren’t for everyone. If your time spent online doesn’t exceed a couple of hours a day, stick to the basic time management principles. Set goals, separate business from pleasure and outsource your tracking.

If however, your marketing demands 4 or more hours of your day, it might be time to employ third party time tracking tools like Chrometa, Rescue Time or Manic Time.

Is time (or lack thereof) an issue for you? What tips do you use to manage your time more effectively? Let us know by leaving a comment below.