Certain tasks in your business are routine or predictable tasks. You need to do them daily and sometimes several times per day for best results. Some of these could include:
- Reading and replying to emails
- Spending time on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Visiting forums
- Read and comment on three or four blogs
- Watch You Tube videos for training purposes
- Watch training videos from a Webinar you did not get to attend, or training for a product you purchased.
Every one of these tasks is important to your overall business plan, but each one can result in time-drains if you do not do real-time scheduling to set limits and keep track of your time. I purchased a timer to help me in this regard. If only I always remembered to set the timer!
Let’s look at e-mails as an example. You know the volume of e-mails you receive in a daily basis, as well as how many e-mail addresses you need to check. It’s so very easy to say you’re going to do a quick check on your e-mails and end up spending an hour of the time you scheduled for work just reading and replying to e-mails.
This is where a timer helps. If you set it for 15 minutes, when it goes off you know that it’s time to close your e-mail and move on to something else. Depending on the nature of your business you may want to schedule three 15 minute periods during your workday to check e-mails, then use non-work time to do any additional catching up.
Time on Social Media
Another area that can create a time-drain is social media. It’s an important and necessary part of your business, it’s a routine task; but how much time you schedule is critical. For example, experts say that your tweets have more impact certain times of the day: 9:00 a.m., 12 noon, 3 and 6:00 p.m.
If those times fall into your scheduled work time, make a resolve with yourself that you will log in to Twitter for 5-8 minutes to reply to @ tweets, RT meaningful posts and tweets, include a promotion or some type of marketing and you’re out! If you see references to articles or posts you’d like to read, make a note of them and read them in the time you specify to visit blogs/forums, or in your non-business time.
Real-time scheduling of routine tasks have taken me months to master, and I still struggle with them, but they’re important to avoid the “Where did the time go?” syndrome. This is all part of self-management in your business.
What methods have worked best for you to handle routine tasks? Please share. We learn from each other…