One of the most valuable resources in your online home business is time. We each get the same amount of time each day, but it's what we do with that time that is so very important. You can spend that time on frivolous tasks and “whittle" away the hours or, focus your time and energy on tasks that will grow your business and bring you closer to your goals. Especially working from home, it's too easy to be lazy and waste your time.
Now something that I have just started applying recently and that has worked wonders for me is 8" x 5" Systems Cards. I saw this tip in a forum awhile ago (can't remember who that was to give them credit) but basically you write down everything that needs to be done on these cards. So simple and yet so powerful. This is easier and more immediate to be able to write things down as they occur to you rather than typing things into your computer.
So how do we work this? Well basically, whatever your goals or special projects are, you write down this goal/project at the very top of the card. This is the “Big Picture". Then you “chunk" this down into detailed tasks and place a small checkbox beside each task. Then all you have to do is get to work, complete each of the detailed tasks on the list and tick each item as it's completed. Once you have completed all the tasks, the “puzzle" is finished and your goal (big picture) has been achieved automatically.
Now, you may be wondering, “what's so special about this?" The point is that this is so dead easy and yet if you actually do it there is so much clarity about what has to be done, how it is to be done and your target remains in your sights the whole time.
Ok, so what if you have many projects on the go or some big projects to complete? My recommendation is to allocate a certain amount of time each day, whether that's 8 hours, 4 hours or whatever, that will be up to you to decide. Then break that down into one hour chunks and no matter what, just do that one hour of work on that project and then move onto the next project and do one hour on that, and so on. You will be amazed at how much work you get done and after a few days you will look back and marvel at the number of projects you have completed.
I have a number of different cards for different things. I have a separate card for each project or goal that I want to complete; a card for article topics that I keep with me at all times so that any ideas that occur to me, I can write it down immediately; a card with my marketing plan on it; and a separate card for each day of the week. Each day will have routine tasks that are performed every day such as, check emails and reply to any queries, forum time, traffic exchanges, checking stats, blogging and project/goals. Make sure that you allocate a certain amount of time for each item and tick them off as you complete so that you are accountable.
And then you will have certain tasks that are completed, say once a week. Such as, write and submit an article, check all your links are active, check your subscriber lists, and research, (example for adwords or adsense). Note - just make sure that it is research and not aimless surfing. You can allocate each of these tasks to a different day of the week on the daily cards. Finally, there will be tasks that are done on a monthly basis such as, submitting your link to the directories, tweaking web pages or sales copy, and planning your time… have these on a separate card and tick off and date each item as it is completed.
The last card that I have is an “ideas list". Any ideas that I have at any time, I write it down straight away, no matter how crazy or stupid the idea sounds. This card (and the other cards) has the effect of actually freeing up my mind and my time so that whatever I'm doing in that hour, I can focus 100% in the moment and stop worrying about other things that have to be done. I'm more effective and less stressed than ever before.
Now, it seems like a lot of work to set-up these cards but once you do, and get into the routine of using them, it's actually far less work than not using them. The added bonus is that you are more effective in your home business and get a lot more completed and achieved. As with everything, consistency is the name of the game.
Andrew Jones has been a business owner for the past 10 years, and is now an Internet Marketer and Plug-In Profit Site owner. Discover the best earn extra income opportunity.