With all of the hats that an Internet marketer is expected to wear, it can become quite difficult to stay on top of every task everyday. After all, someone has to monitor the web site, organize the product, answer the phone, pack the shipments, make the coffee, and buy the stamps. And, most likely that someone is you!
In order to ensure that every task gets done in a timely manner everyday, you need to learn how to schedule every portion of your day. Scheduling is a fact of life for any business owner. There are only twenty-four hours in each day and there is nothing you can do to increase that allotment. You can however, use those hours wisely.
With a well planned daily schedule you can easily determine how much you can expect to achieve during a given time period, plan the best use of that given time period, and cut down on the stress that you experience when you inadvertently over commit your time. Although your exact schedule will change each day, there is a basic formula you can use to ensure that you stick with your main time management plan and continue to use your time wisely.
Basic Formula for Schedule Designing
- Determine how much work you have to do and the amount of time that you are willing to devote to doing it.
- Allocate mandatory blocks of time to those tasks that are essential to the running of your business.
- Schedule all “high priority” tasks first to ensure that they get done.
- Schedule all necessary tasks such as filing, answering mail, and tidying up so that they do not get pushed aside.
- Allocate free time to dealing with unexpected events and to tasks that consume more than their original time quota.
- Schedule personal time to help separate work from pleasure.
Following this formula, begin planning your time with a monthly master schedule. On this schedule, identify exactly what tasks have to be accomplished during each specific month. Include meetings, product ordering, web site upkeep, and all other tasks that will be required to keep your business running and growing.
Next, estimate the amount of time that you will need to commit to each of these tasks each week in order to complete them in an acceptable fashion. Do not allow too little time because the quality of your efforts may suffer. However, by allowing too much time for each task, you run the risk of wasting time that could be used completing more important tasks. Find the right balance for you and your business needs.
Now, divide those hours by five to determine how many hours you will need to devote to these tasks each workday. Once you have a clear picture of how much time you need to spend, divide that time and those tasks up throughout the week to create a simple schedule.
Be careful about how you divide your time so that you avoid over-committing yourself and losing sight of your schedule. Break bigger tasks, such as revamping your web site, into one or two hour blocks that you can spread out over a three or four weeks. This will help keep you on track without breaking your time budget. Also, assign blocks of time on two or three days each week that you can devote to necessary tasks such as supply ordering. To help you stick with your schedule you can schedule these types of tasks for the same days and hours each week.
Each day, be sure to include smaller time allotments for such tasks as returning phone calls and answering mail. You may even want to schedule these tasks two to three times a day for fifteen minutes each time. On your daily schedule, also remember to include free time so that you can take a break, clear your mind, and take a moment to review your schedule to keep yourself on track. Once you have a solid schedule in place, you can benefit by going back over your schedule and setting some time limits on certain activities.