One lesson I learned about time management ages ago was that you cannot implement any sort of strategy until you know yourself and how efficient or otherwise you are. This is why I now track everything I do, from blogging to sleeping, everything is tracked via an Android application called Time Recording Pro.
As I said if this sounds a little bit obsessive then if you have been following me on Facebook for any length of time, you will know that I have had to instigate an eat alarm as this is something that I all too often forget to do whilst I am in my zone and following my passions when it comes to marketing! This is a benefit of reducing your diets carbohydrate content, by reducing the severity of the sugar rush whilst you eat, you reduce blood sugar based hunger pangs. Of course when I do eventually eat, my stomach is like an angry women on the porch greeting her drunken spouse home.
But back to topic of time management.
This advisor that gave me that all important lesson also thankfully provided the second stage of time monitoring, or rather why you should bother to monitor your time in the first place.
If you do not know how long it is going to take to carry out an activity then how can you possibly plan your days effectively. As I write this I have my journal open which today lists my planned activities and their expected durations.
- Writing this blog, 60 minutes
- Writing the iGO Update, 60 minutes
- Planning The Blog email series, 45 minutes
- Blog hopping – igors aces, 45 minutes
- Forums, 30 minutes
Now if my maths is correct that all adds up to 4 hours of activity and this is based upon efficiencies derived from being hyper-focussed on each task.
For instance writing a blog post normally takes me about 90 minutes, as I often start without a topic to write about and thus rather than being written it evolves over time. My newsletter, iGO Update is now process mapped and by following this I can stay on track whilst ensuring the newsletter still feels light and friendly.
Yesterday I spent over 4 hours tweaking my Google Analytics account and making notes on the performance of my marketing. This session revealed that the follow up email series for the ebook, The Blog, was in need of adjustment. Although each was getting opened, the actual rate declined until the last one thus this series needs to be planned and focussed better.
Some call it back linking but having tried a black hat version that ripped my soul apart as I visited a kindergarten website in Australia. I vowed never to exploit sites in such a way again. After all what use is a link from a site that has no relevance to my interests, remember modern marketing is more about engagement than cold statistics. This is why I love blog hopping, as you are now engaging with those that share your interests but of course this needs to be balanced with those sites you visit returning the favour hence the name igor’s aces. A collection of sites where we are fully engaged.
Of course this engagement if continued consistently will perhaps lead to future partnerships and applies equally to the forums as well.
On that note I will leave to ponder how well you are engaging with others online for my timer is running out of sand.