Time is money in your online business, just as in the offline business world.
Problem is, the typical Internet entrepreneur is in a race against time: Often snowed under with many things to do, trying to achieve maximum results (income) within the precious, very limited time available.
Especially if you're holding down a full-time job while trying to launch or expand your Internet business in your spare hours, you've got precious little time to waste.
If care isn't exercised in the way we spend time online, our personal and family life can suffer, not to mention bad financial consequences.
To add to that pressure, family members may resent the amount of time spent on our venture, versus the limited income it may initially earn.
As the author of an audio program on time management, I'm going to share with you some proven time management tips, which have been adapted to running a business online. I can't promise you more than 24 hours in your day, but I'll share practical tips to help you work smarter and more profitably online - instead of longer or harder.
Two primary keys to making the most of the time we spend online are:
A) Being selective, and
B) Staying focused.
We must be SELECTIVE, because there are an infinite number of things we can spend our online time on, which will not yield productive results.
We must stay FOCUSED, because any of an infinite number of things can easily distract us from getting more important things done.
That brings us to the first step of effective online time management...
1) Set Goals
If you don't know what your final destination is, how can you ever take action toward getting there? Hence, the need to set goals.
The goals you set for your online business will vary, based on which stage you're at and which direction you want to go from there. It helps to write your goals down and periodically review them. Many feel that this better enables your subconscious mind to help you work toward your goals.
2) Keep and Use a Prioritized To-Do List
Keeping lists may seem simplistic, but the most productive top-achievers are typically methodical users of To-Do lists.
Be sure to rank each task on your To-Do lists by priority, such as high, medium or low. As you tackle the items on your list, always tackle the highest priority tasks first, and those of lower priority as time allows. Obviously, your highest priority tasks will correspond with the achievement of your highest priority goals.
I've found that a 3-ring binder kept near my computer is a good place for organizing To-Do lists, project notes, and other frequently used online information, within easy fingertip reach.
Once your goals are set, you'll know exactly where you're going (and what to stay focused on), and when you use a prioritized To-Do list, you'll have a step-by-step plan for reaching your destination.
3) Exercise Self-Discipline
The best time management system in the world is worthless if we don't exercise self-discipline.
It's so easy to log on to the Net, just planning to "check your email," and before you know it, get distracted by other things and end up spending much more time on things we hadn't planned, and wonder where the time went.
I know, I know: It's easier said than done, but exercising self-discipline will help us stay focused and avoid wasting time or getting distracted on less important activities. If you can stay focused on the most important tasks (which you've identified by setting goals and prioritizing your To-Do list), you'll see greater results from your time and effort.
4) Automate Where Possible
I have written much more on this topic than the limited space in this article allows, but let me mention a few tools that aren't new to online marketers, but whose time-saving value is often overlooked:
Autoresponders are very useful tools for automatically filling your prospects' requests for information on your products and services, non-stop, 24 hrs of every day of the year.
The "filters" feature of good email programs such as Pegasus and Eudora Pro make the automation of many email activities a snap. If you're not using them, you don't know what you're missing.
~ Pegasus: http://www.pmail.com/
~ Eudora Pro: http://www.eudora.com
5) Periodically Analyze Your Business
In our quest for more value from the time we spend in our online businesses, it helps to stand back and periodically analyze which activities have been working - and which haven't.
From there, we can give more attention to expanding what's been working, and tweak, change, or eliminate what hasn't. We can thus progressively see more profitable results from the time spent online.
If you want to get maximum benefit from the limited time you have to accomplish things in your online business, or any other area of life, you must manage your time well.
When you do, you'll achieve more, and you'll look back on your work with the satisfaction of knowing that you got the most important things done, instead of looking back with regret.
As Benjamin Franklin said: "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."
About The Author
Marty Foley is a successful home business owner and the founder of http://ProfitInfo.com/. His Internet marketing techniques and resources have helped set the standard in e-commerce, and have often been imitated by other famous Internet marketers. They can truly help you succeed online: http://ProfitInfo.com/