Protecting your Investment – Time

I know that for a lot of you reading this there are often one of two possibilities (occasionally there are more, but generally this seems to be the case with the majority of my readers), either you’ve got limited funding to invest in your online projects, but are able to devote a sizeable amount of time toward furthering them, or you’ve got plenty of cash coming in (typically from a day job) but very little time to implement the desired projects or even manage them effectively from a distance.

Time Is a Resource

Regardless which camp you come from, or even if you are sitting in an entirely different camp, one thing holds true for all of us. Time is a resource, and a valuable one at that! Given enough time you can always make more money, but it’s unlikely you’ll have luck creating more time. Spend what you’re given wisely.

Wasting time

We should always be mindful, and yes, even frugal of the time we’re expending both online in the advancement of our business, and in any areas that have been identified as being “wasteful” or otherwise serving no purpose of any value toward the many goals that are important in our lives.

Tempus Fugit

It’s easy to spend surprisingly large amounts of time on things like watching TV, after all it’s nothing more than a ritual, or habit that you’ve developed and that now accounts for approximately 2.8 hours out of the average American’s day. If 2.8 hours doesn’t seem like a lot of time to you, then perhaps the fact that it works out to more than twenty-five full forty hour weeks will shine some light on it for you. Definitely time that could be better spent building your online (or offline) business.

Stay Focused

Even those of us who are working long hard hours every day can lose sight of where our time is being spent. Surprisingly when several internet marketers were interviewed and asked to list out what areas of their business were most important, and to number them by order of importance, and then to list approximately how many hours they ought to be spending there, the results weren’t surprising. They had a great list of activities and some impressive numbers beside each one.

Surprising Results

What was surprising was the daily activity tracking they took part in for five business days. Not one was investing anywhere near the time he/she thought they were in the important components of their businesses, and in fact the majority of time being spent was going toward miscellaneous business tasks that had zero potential of growing their businesses, or adding to their positive cash flow.

Resource Allocation

It’s always crucial to any business owner to know what his priorities are within his or her business, and to rank them accordingly by importance. (1-10 works) Building a foundation might be number one for the startup entrepreneur. Positive cash flow might rank high for someone entering their second year, while someone more established might be more interested in growing their market share. Whatever the case might be for you, it’s a good idea to know which activities are most important (In your eyes) and deserving of the most time.

Time Tracking

Once you’ve established your resource priority document, start tracking your time on each activity throughout the day. Don’t be tempted to influence or sway the results by being on your best behavior while you are monitoring yourself, but work as you have in the past. It’s better to have accurate measurable data to work with than a good (though temporary) showing on your tracking sheet. The longer you track your activities, the more accurate the data, but often one work week should be sufficient.

You might be surprised to see that the actual time allocated doesn’t match up with the goals and visions of your business. Not to worry, that is why we take the pulse of our businesses often. Once you know where you’re time is being spent, you’ll be more aware of which activities should be priorities, and which should be eliminated, or reduced.

We can all streamline, and maximize our business potential within ourselves and create strategies toward improving our effectiveness. Those who do will have the edge over those who don’t!