Lately I have been feeling really overwhelmed with all the things I have going on.
I have to manage my time better. I have had to change the way I work to be more efficient and to make better use of each minute I spend online.
I have started to group activities together, to multitask and to make notes as I go along.
Stay Focused on Your Main Goal
We all know how easy it is to get side-tracked when we are working online. We all spend too much time on activities that are unimportant or simply a waste of time.
It’s really important to just stop occasionally and ask yourself, “What is my goal? Is this the fastest way to reach it?”
As for me, I have a day job (where I work on a large scale eCommerce site) so subtract 8 hours out of my day. I only have 4 hours left to work on anything else I have going for myself. I have 4 blogs to run, which includes writing new articles and promoting them, then I have my jacket design venture and other projects I take on for my clients.
It’s obvious that it can be tough to squeeze all that into 4 hours. Yes, I also harness my days on the weekends but keep in mind that I am 25 years old so I need to have some fun as well. But the whole idea for me is,”What can I do that makes sure I meet my goal in the shortest possible time?” My main goal is the same as most people’s in the short-term – to make money.
Multi-tasking is the Key to Efficiency when Working Online
Let’s say that the following is my agenda for today and I’m short on time.
- Research- Read some posts and take notes. Try to gather new ideas of things to do and jot down some guest post ideas.
- Blog commenting- Comment on other blogs.
- Social Media- Share other’s content, network, and build relationships.
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it, especially if I do them one at a time? Even the research alone might take an hour.
With that being said, anytime I’m reading other articles I also try to take advantage of the situation and leave a blog comment. That is the only time I would comment on other blogs for the most part, other than replying to a comment that was directed towards me. I don’t think that simply dedicating your time to leaving blog comments alone is a good strategy (especially without bothering to even read the article).
I will simultaneously take notes, whether it’s new ideas for blog posts or just things I did not know, and write a to do list if I think I need to do something that will be beneficial. Also if I really like the author’s work I will share and follow. This way I can also harness the power of social media and build relationships with like minded individuals as well.
This method ensures that I’m efficient with my time and make full use out of my situation. Let’s say that within 2 hours I have read 10 articles, commented on 5, shared and followed 3 authors, and taken notes. I don’t think that’s bad at all for 2 hours of work, especially where the 5 tasks would have taken 5 hours if I had done them all separately.
The Power of To-Do Lists
Part of the reason to why I’m writing this article is to help me learn to manage my time better. I have noticed that when I write “To Do lists” for myself it helps me get more organized and helps me clear my head. Aside from the fact that it’s okay to forget something due to the fact that I have written it down, writing a to do list also helps you gather all the scattered thoughts and put them into one place.
I think the more descriptive your to do list is, the better. I write to do lists for almost everything and it does wonders for my productivity. I even go as far as preparing a business/marketing plan for all my projects and even individual posts. This ensures that I end up doing something that is effective.
Here is the To-Do list I wrote for this article:
- Brainstorm ideas for the article and jot them down
- Compose the article
- Once the article is published share it, and submit it to social exchange sites
- Search Yahoo Answers and Google to see if anyone asked “how to be time efficient” etc. and answer their question with my article
I’m aware that it’s a short list but anytime I think of something else I go back and add to it. Each of my articles and projects has its own to do list. Here is a screen shot of my desktop showing all my Notepad To-Do lists.
It’s actually still quite overwhelming.
Now my current issue is staying organized within staying organized, if that makes sense. So what I have started doing now is to delete the notepad files when I am certain that each project is completed.
This prevents further confusion since I am known to keep old to do lists with valuable information and I am then tempted to go back and look through them. If I did this from the beginning I wouldn’t need to go back and update my notes. You live and you learn I guess.
Prioritize to Survive
The order you should try to keep is:
- Do tasks you can do quickly
- Concentrate on looming deadlines
- Complete tasks that will have the most effect
Personally, this way I get a lot more accomplished and it calms me down so I don’t have to feel as overwhelmed. Not only that, but also gives me the sense of accomplishment when I look and see I have completed several tasks within a given time period. I also try to take on the long projects when I have an entire day at my disposal. You just have to find what works for you I guess.
A To Do List for YOU
In conclusion, allow me to recap the points I’ve made in the form of a To Do list you guys can follow.
- Take the time to think of your goal
- Put together a To Do list.
- Try and group the things on your list that can be done at the same time. (For example: Wash your dog and take a shower. Okay perhaps it’s a bad example and you might not want to do this but you get the idea.)
- Do the things that are done the fastest, and are most useful first. Try to find that fine 3-way balance point between fast, useful, and urgent
- Feel a sense of accomplishment once you check off several things of your list.
Okay so there you have it; this is the approach I take nowadays in order to be time efficient.
What’s on your To Do lists? How does it work for you?
Please be kind enough to share your experiences in the comment section.