Stop wasting your time....
Copyright © 2005 Richard Grady
One of the things that almost all online entrepreneurs are guilty of is
wasting time. Running your own business on the Internet usually means
you will be working from home. This means that you have no boss watching
what you are up to and no staff seeing that you aren't doing what you
If you run any kind of Internet business from home, I can almost
guarantee that you will be wasting time at some point during your
working day. I am extremely guilty of this myself - in fact, I have been
doing it for years! For the last seven or so years of my 'working for
someone else' life, I worked from home. It was a bit like being
self-employed but I knew I was going to get paid at the end of each
month. Boy could I waste time - so many better things to do than work -
watching television, playing computer games, going out to lunch :-) Of
course, when I was employed, it didn't really matter as long as I got
the job done. Nowadays my time-wasting could be the difference between
success or failure of a particular project and that could mean less
money in my pocket :-(
So here are a few tips that I hope will help you avoid wasting time
online and that will, hopefully, help you run your Internet business
1. Stop checking your sales stats every five minutes! I know how
tempting it is to login to Clickbank, Adsense, Paypal or your credit
card processing account just to see how your sales are coming along and
I also know that many people waste a huge amount of time doing it. When
I first started out, I would sometimes login to Clickbank several times
a day just to see the numbers growing! Remember, looking at your sales
won't make them increase - a watched pot never boils (or was it a
kettle?). Whatever, check your sales stats once a day. Nowadays I tot up
my sales every morning for the previous day and that's it. Takes me
about ten minutes but if I were doing this five times a day I would
manage to waste nearly an hour!!
2. Same goes for your web stats - don't be checking to see how many
visitors you have had to your site in the past hour, it won't increase
your sales. Once your site gets to a fairly constant level of visitors
each day, I really don't see much need to check your web stats any more
regularly than once a month (unless sales start dropping off, in which
case you might need to investigate the reasons).
3. One of the biggest timewasters for me and many of my colleagues is
forums. Forums can be invaluable sources of free advice and if you find
a good one - like mine :-) - they are great places to 'hang out' with
your online friends. However, if you do find a good forum, it is all too
easy to spend half the day browsing through posts and chewing the fat
with other forum members. This is nice to do from time to time but it
won't pay the bills. Therefore, try and limit your visits to forums to
one or two a day. Spend fifteen or twenty minutes catching up with what
is going on and then get back to work.
4. Don't start a new project until you have finished the current one. I
know how distracting the Internet can be and I know how great ideas can
come along just when you are in the middle of doing something else. If
that happens, write the idea down and come back to it later. If you just
jump from one idea to the next without finishing anything, you will
never get anywhere. On a similar note, don't try and work on several
projects at once - stick to one thing at a time - get one website/eBook/auction
listing/whatever completed before moving on. Starting and stopping
projects is not an efficient way of working and if you run your business
in this way it will ultimately take you more time to complete whatever
it is you are doing.
5. Most online marketers work from home and that will often mean that
there are distractions around you in the form of family or friends that
drop in for a cup of tea simply because they know you will be at home.
You need to be strict with both friends and family and politely explain
that if you are at your computer, then you are at work. If you had a
'proper' job, you wouldn't be stopping every five minutes for a tea and
a chat so why do it when you are trying to run your own business?
6. Resist the desire to revamp your websites every month. I know how
tempting it can be to give your site a brand new design - you soon get
bored of the sight of your site (if you see what I mean) if you are
looking at it everyday. Just remember that most of your customers won't
be looking at your site everyday and therefore they won't be bored.
There was a time when I would re-design my sites every couple of months
(mind you, back then they needed it!) but now that my sales have reached
a consistent level and I know that the sites do what they are supposed
to, I rarely give them a complete makeover. If they ain't broke, why try
to fix them? Note that I am not talking about updating content here -
adding new content to sites is key and should be part of your normal
business practice but there is no need to change your logo or the site
layout every couple of weeks.
7. Work smart and don't try to do everything yourself. Many of the tasks
that an Internet marketer has to do can be done by someone else -
programming, web design, copywriting, even writing an entire book.
Utilize the services of freelancers on sites such as www.eLance.com and
www.Scriptlance.com You will often be very surprised at how little it
costs to hire someone and it could be far more efficient (both in time
and money) to pay someone else to do a job rather than doing it
Hope that helps and remember, TIME IS MONEY - YOUR MONEY!
Richard Grady has been helping ordinary people earn online since 1998.
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