Working online involves a lot of different tasks, including correspondence through email, managing web sites, and advertising and promoting them.
Unfortunately, internet marketing is a job that is performed in a virtual playground. With so many different ‘time wasting’ possibilities, it can be difficult to get everything done all in one day.
Here's a few that big time wasters to avoid:
Forums - While forums are great for spreading the word about your website, they can also cause you to lose hours out of your work day. Unless you're being productive and posting informative threads, it's best to avoid them. If you use forum posting as part of your online marketing, then you should set a time limit and do your best to stick to it.
Forums can also be a great place to search for joint venture partners, so it's important to stay honest and professional. Posting silly threads like "Who's the hottest girl in here" isn't something you should be doing when looking for serious partners.
Email - I used to have Outlook Express open at all times on my desktop, and I had set it to receive every minute. After awhile, it was ridiculously obvious that I was spending more time checking email than anything else.
It was hard to get used to, but now I only let myself check it a few times throughout the entire day unless I'm expecting an important message.
Set a time for yourself to check emails each day, and cut down on time spent reading emails by unsubscribing to anything that doesn't help you or your business.
Checking Stats - Checking your traffic statistics is important, but not if it's twenty times a day. When I published my first website, I remember checking my stats at least ten times an hour! Afterwards, I realized I could have been spending that time writing more material to add to my new site to help generate more traffic.
Be more productive and only allow yourself to check your stats once each morning or evening. Another thing you can do to save time (if your traffic stats program lets you) is to have reports emailed to you daily or weekly.
Instant Messaging - I'd be embarrassed to calculate the hours I spend on MSN each day. Initially I used it to chat with a friend who is working on a site with me, but now we usually spend most of our time chatting about our kids or man problems!
It's great to have the means to talk with anyone at anytime without getting on the phone, but unless it's strictly for business you'll save yourself a lot of time if you just avoid going on it altogether. If you absolutely can't stay away, limit yourself to a half hour, then get back to work.
Now, I'm not saying you have to completely eliminate anything out of your daily routine, but I ask that you sit back and take a look at how much time you spend doing each thing. Ask yourself if you could be more productive by limiting each activity within a certain time frame. Once you get used to your new routine, you'll find that your business can grow quicker and easier than you thought.
Cassie Germsheid is the author of http://MamasOnTheWeb.com where she helps moms (and dads) juggle work and family while finding more ways to earn money with their websites. You can learn her Top 5 Traffic Generating Strategies when you sign up for the FREE 5-day mini-course .