Let’s be honest, if you don’t produce results every day, your business suffers. How do you balance all of the tasks it takes to run an online business and still have a personal life?
I have had the opportunity to be around and witness very successful entrepreneurs and how they manage their business and personal life. These people don’t do anything special, other than manage their time efficiently.
1. The First Hour is Key
The first task of the day should be the most important of the day. Your mind is clear and you are fresh and ready to work. Employees and customers have not had a chance to beat down your door asking for a ton of help they could achieve on their own.
Open up your email or talk to an employee and you are behind the 8 ball on having a so so day. Jump on Facebook or answer a phone call, forget it.
The magic hour is your most productive of the day. If you must, shut your door and turn off your phones and email. The new digital age of always being able to be reached has some serious downside to it. If working from home for the first two hours of the day helps make you more productive, then do it.
When you get distracted with less important stuff like email, you usually lose focus and you will slip down that slippery slope.
Do the most important task of the day at the very beginning of your day, without distraction.
Facebook can be fun. It’s fun to know what your friends are doing and it’s a great way to keep up with all the goings on. But if you truly want to be successful in your job or business you have to get over your obsession with Facebook. It’s a time sucker (remember last weeks article).
Consider how many hours a day you spend reviewing Facebook and ‘checking in’. I too was sucked in until a year or so ago. One day I realized I had lived most of my life without knowing at all times what every single one of my friends was doing. I could get by without it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends, but I can’t be bothered with every single post about “OMG…laughing so freakin hard at everybody loves raymond reruns #lovenetflix”.
That’s an actual post too.
If you use Facebook for business be careful you don’t follow every guru out there. All that info is enough to make your brain explode.
I’m not saying you have to delete your Facebook page entirely but you DO need to reconsider who you are friends with and how you spend your time on there. REMEMBER: Every second wasted on Facebook is another second you could be using to get better at your job to improve your business and quality of your life.
3. Follow Successful People
I just told you to obliterate Facebook. You might think I am going crazy now. So why follow successful people?
Follow people in your industry who are the movers and shakers and learn from them. Pattern yourself after successful people and do what they do.
4. Don’t Check Email Until 11AM
Don’t give in and check email until your most important task of the day is done. For most business owners, I would say don’t bother with checking it until 3 or 4 hours after you get out of bed. Spend your best hours being your best, not sucked in to some quagmire about a customer who needs a $3 refund for an IP address.
One email leads to another and before you know it, you have lost focus on your most important task of the day.
5. Keep Your Cell Phone Off Until 11AM
Same as email. Text messages, Facebook, Email, Instant Messages all live inside that pocket super computer.
Just because your phone rings doesn’t mean you need to answer it. Today, most people treat a phone call as urgent… when in reality, the phone call is almost always about something that can wait for later. Not all text messages deserve a reply.
I rarely answer the phone unless it is a scheduled call. For the most part, a lot of the calls are from salesmen pitching on buying more pens or a new widget.
Be ruthless with your time.
6. Game Plan Your Next Day
Do you just show up to work with no real plan or strategy? This is a huge mistake and one that will bit you in the ass eventually. With no plan or strategy it is guaranteed you will be checking Facebook, Email, Texting, and Answering Calls.
The best way to generate a gameplan is the last 15-minutes of your work day. Create a task list with your most important task listed as number one. All other tasks are listed in descending order.
This tip alone will turn your productivity around big time. I caution you not to make a huge list. At the end of your work day, create a task list with the THREE most important things you need to get done the following day.
It’s a horrible feeling to not check off your entire list, you feel like a failure. Keep the list short and only full of the most important tasks. On the flip side of the coin, knocking out 1 or 2 important things off your list is huge.
If you are truly working efficiently knocking out three big, important tasks done is enough. Whatever you get done beyond that is gravy. Once you get good at knocking three things off your daily list, you might be able to work up to five daily tasks.
7. Don’t Multitask
You may feel like multitasking allows you to get more done. Multitasking really means you are “screwing around but not really getting anything done.” As a business owner, I am forced to multitask from time to time. Those days usually end up as way less productive than a laser focused, one task at a time day.
Success only comes when you devote your entire being to a single task. You are selling yourself short if you are not giving the task 100% of your focus. This is why email, facebook and cell phones should be banned during your golden hours.
8. Ready, Aim, Fire
Nothing is perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. No time is the perfect time.
Stop waiting, start doing.
The people who wait for perfection get nowhere. Many of my successful friends take imperfect action and without all of the information they could get. Ready, aim, fire is the mantra of the most successful people. They develop an idea and they act.
Quick and concise decision making. No internal arguing and debates.
You have to execute and you have to be willing to fail.
Just like Michael Jordan said in this classic commercial
9. Hire Slow, Fire Fast
I’ve heard this from more than one person. This is one of the most important aspects of your business if you have employees that you manage. Basically, it’s impossible to build a successful web hosting company on your own. There’s just too much to do. That’s why you need to hire good people.
Hire good people then delegate tasks. This allows you to stay on top of your business. When you start doing tasks that should be reserved for an employee, you are in trouble.
Take the time to ensure that the person you hire will be a good fit. Make sure they share your vision and can be trusted. Do a background check, check references, and do a thorough interview.
Please remember that you can’t expect your employees to have the SAME work ethic, drive, or desire to succeed that you have. They never will. It’s ok, too.
If you expect your employees to care as much as you do, you are going to be pissed off a lot.
At the first signs the employee isn’t working out, cut them loose. You must get rid of people who are holding you back and you need to immediately find someone better. If the person isn’t doing a good job, either based on customer feedback, results, or your own impressions they have to go and someone else better has to be brought in.