Web designers, especially freelancers, face the challenge of effectively managing their time while juggling a lot of different responsibilities. There are a number of online apps and tools that can help you to take control and make the most of your time. In this post we’ll look at 10 that may be able to help you. This includes calendars, to-do lists, time tracking, and project management tools. If you have a favorite please feel free to share in the comments.
Web designers, especially freelancers, face the challenge of effectively managing their time while juggling a lot of different responsibilities. There are a number of online apps and tools that can help you to take control and make the most of your time. In this post we’ll look at 10 that may be able to help you. This includes calendars, to-do lists, time tracking, and project management tools. If you have a favorite please feel free to share in the comments. Leer más “10 Extremely Useful Time Management Tools”
Underlying the constant search for tactics by bloggers out there, there is a huge perceived lack of time.
You’ve got a day job. A family. A life. How are you supposed to have enough time to create a successful blog?
Personally, I think our perceptions of time are completely arbitrary (more on that viewpoint on time here). A lot of our approach to time comes from within, so time management tips are usually ways to outsmart ourselves into getting more done despite our self-imposed limitations of how much we can get done.
So, prefaced with my strongly-held belief that it ultimately comes down to mindset, I’ve compiled a list of 21 tips to help you with your efficiency as bloggers.
- Don’t check email first thing in the morning. Get some work done first since mornings are often when we function best.
- Switch to Google Voice. An invite is required, yes, but it allows you to screen your calls and have messages delivered to your email. Phone interruptions are the worst.
- Disown Your Phone. Set up a voice mail message which explains your schedule for checking messages, then disconnect the phone to avoid interruptions. Train others to work with you on this for enhanced efficiency.
- Limit Reading Time. As I covered before, you cannot consume and produce at the same time. So, limit the amount you ingest in order to be able to output more. Information overload is an extremely controllable problem.
- Use Evernote. It is a free and awesome way to take notes, tag them, categorize them, etc. Don’t keep ideas in your head. Free your mind and store the details in Evernote so you can get them when you need to. Get an idea while reading a blog post? Record it in Evernote – don’t keep it in your head.
- Use Remember The Milk for online task management. Get the premium option (only $25/year) and you can sync with your mobile phone. Very handy.
- Practice Inbox Zero. Your email inbox should be just that – an INbox. Not a big collective storage place for forgotten BS. Learn to handle, delegate or move emails and get them out of your inbox.
- Practice TRAF. This is trash, refer, act, file. These are the 4 choices you have when dealing with any incoming communication or action item.
- Assign Times To Tasks. When adding a task to your todo list, assign a time estimate to it on how long it will take. Then schedule it in accordingly. Leer más “21 Time Management Tips For Bloggers”
In today’s constant-distraction-and-huge-todo-list culture, it’s extremely easy to get sidetracked by things that aren’t vital to achieving your goals.
Here are some simple tips for making sure you’re not wasting a large percentage of your time on things that don’t matter.
#1 Gather Your Todos
I use Remember the Milk to record all my todos. I group them by projects and then assign due dates and priorities. They also have a great iPhone app which syncs automatically with the web app.
Whether you use Remember the Milk or another tool, it’s super important to write things down as soon as you think of them. If you don’t, then you’ll constantly be plagued by the feeling that you’re forgetting something (I have over 500 tasks currently active in Remember the Milk).
A sure-fire way to waste 50% of your time is to charge into the week without organizing your todo list and inbox. There will be hundreds of things shouting for your attention and you need to proactively choose which things are important to you – not things that other people say are important for you to do. As someone once said …
Your email inbox is a todo list that anyone can write to.
Here’s how to organize your todo list:
- Block off the first hour of every Monday to organize your todo list. Turn off instant messenger, close email and silence your phone. You need absolute silence so you can focus. I tend to do this from 5am – 6am on Monday mornings, before my wife and son wake up.
- Go through the todo lists for all your current projects (in Remember the Milk in this example) and pick important things that you need to do this week. Prioritize them and assign them a due date this week, or tag them with ‘thisweek’.
- Use a tool like TadaLists.com and create a list called ‘This Week’. It’s important that this is separate from your main repository of todos (Remember the Milk in this example).
- Take a deep breath and ask yourself “What are the things that I could work on this week that will get me closer to my longterm, important goals?”. (These things may not even be on your Remember the Milk todo lists.)
- Put several of these things on your ‘This Week’ list in TadaList and prioritize them by putting the most important things first. Make sure these are atomic, do-able things (not big concepts like ‘Increase signups by 3%’).
- Go back to Remember the Milk (or whatever tool you’re using) and filter it by tasks due this week.
- Pick several of the important ones and copy them over to your ‘This Week’ list in TadaList.
- Close Remember the Milk and only refer to the small ‘This Week’ TadaList for the rest of the week. Leer más “Are you Wasting 50% of your Time?”