Like many self employed people, I struggle to keep focussed on the tasks at hand. But as anyone who works from home can tell you, the distractions are numerous; especially if you’re a social media consultant who spends much of the day online.
I’ve accepted that this will be an ongoing struggle.
There are gazillions of self help books and productivity improvement e-books out there, but like most things, it takes repeated exposure for the wisdom to sink in. So consider this another brain poke.
Is it possible to schedule your day to 20 minutes blocks of time?
According to the entrepreneur self help pundits, it’s what the successful guys do. So the day before you fill those 20 minute pockets, visualize your day and allocate your tasks accordingly.
The key to conducting a successful meeting is to start on time, end on time, and keep the meeting short.
3. Manage your emails
Avoid getting sucked into constantly responding to and sending e-mails, which delays you from finishing projects on time.
I use GMAIL. I like that it’s web based and so I have access to my mail no matter where I am. I use folders and filters extensively to organize mail by senders, topics, companies, subscriptions and priorities.
Now the trick is to not treat every email as a priority.
4. Never stop selling
Always cultivate new business. Not only shouldn’t you wait until a project is finished before looking for a new one, you may find that the one you’re working on now may suffer a premature expiration.
Always have something on the back burner.
This also helps you stay focussed by minimizing the chance that you will take on panic projects that pull you off your business trajectory.
5. Take care of yourself
Whether it’s getting up at dawn to run or taking a break in the day to get to the gym, physical activity keeps your idea factory in shape and the brain department on it’s toes.
You are your business. There is no understudy to step in the last minute to save the show.
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web.
A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus.
His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social".
Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.
I love these business tips especially no. 1 tip. Plan tomorrow's work today. Planning needs time and doing it just right before you start it will end up inefficient and unproductive. As a business owner, I always want to organize and at least properly set up the things I will do tomorrow so that when I go to be, everything will be on their proper place.
Excellent post Ray.
Ray, are you preaching to me? :P
My gosh, I've always had a hard time with all of these. Is it fair to say that this is twice as hard when you in the social media industry? I need an excuse.
Seriously though, you're exactly right. The days that I've planned the night before have been way more productive. Same goes for closing your emails.
Good post, something we all really need to adhere to.
Hi, Dave - Yes, it's even more difficult when you're in the social media industry (Hmmm, will people get upset if we call it an industry? note; post idea) See how easily distracted I get.
Sorry for the delay in response but I'm having an issue with Disqus. I get a code error on my dashboard so uninstalled it for awhile. The error went away, but I prefer Disqus and apart from that, it doesn't seem to affect anything else.
Oh, where was I? Right. Thanks for the comment. :)