Module 2 | Time Management

Do you know what the most valuable asset you have is?

Think about this for a second:

  • If you’re all out of customers you can do more marketing and get some new ones.
  • If you’re all out of money you can work a little harder an make more
  • If you’re all out of time…What do you do?

The one thing that’s truly limited is Time, so that’s your most valuable asset. In this module we’re going to talk about valuing your time as well as how you can leverage other people’s time to get better results.

Tracking your time:

For the purpose of our training you’ll only need to track the time you spend online, however don’t let that stop you from tracking all the hours in the day (if you want to.)

In December 2007 I read the Four Hour Work Week. After that I decided I would track all the hours I spent working each day. EVERY hour of EVERY day. If you don’t believe me I can send you scans of my handwritten time sheets for that year.

Some would consider this extreme, I thought of it as a way to improve my life by taking back control of my time. Back then I was working 12 hours days 6 days per week and sometimes felt like I had nothing substantial to show for it.

But I digress.

If you want to be more effective at marketing you’re going to have to become a bit of a scientist. That means you’ll be doing a lot of testing and tracking. Testing and Tracking are two tools guaranteed to help you make informed decisions, anything else is just guessing.

Your first assignment will be to track your time.

Now I don’t want you to get caught up in the tools, for simplicities sake you can use a pen and paper to track your time as long as you do it. The main thing to do at this point is just to be conscious enough to track the time you’re spending online to see where you’re spending it.

The first step to taking control of your time is KNOWING where it’s all going.

Recommended Tool:

For the past couple of months I’ve been using a pretty cool tool called Klok. There’s a slight learning curve to this tool, so I only recommend it if you have a good grasp on using technology. Watch this video to learn some Klok basics.

Here’s the thing, I don’t want you to set up road blocks for yourself. If you can’t figure out Klok it doesn’t matter. What I want you to focus on is the end result. Tracking your time is the end result. So whatever you do, just make sure you complete the task of tracking your time, even if it means using a pen and paper.

So what’s the point?

After tracking your time for a minimum of one week (the longer the better) you’ll be able to:

  • See how you’re “Spending” your time. ┬áThe reason I put quotes around spending is because I want you to think about your time as a valuable asset, kinda like money. When you use your money you’re “spending” it, right? Time is the same way, so we need to establish a value for your time.
  • Figure out which Activities can be batched (grouped)
  • See which activities are a waste of your time or could be outsourced to someone cheaper than you.

And then what?

Before we analyze the results we have to back track for just a moment. We’ve got to go back in time and figure out what your time is worth. The best way to do that is to go back to your past three closed deals and take a look at:

  1. How many hours did you spend on each deal start to finish (If you didn’t track it estimate, and be sure to round up)
  2. What was the total commissions you earned from the three deals?

Next you’ll take your total commissions divided by your total hours and you’ll have your hourly rate. Now that we’ve established this baseline we can proceed to the next step confidently.

The first thing you want to do is get rid of any tasks that are not making you money or not helping you move forward towards your goals.

After that you can start the process of identifying similar tasks which can be batched, or grouped together. For example, posting your listing on craigslist, and updating your MLS listing are tasks that require the same tools and information to complete.

Although it may not seem like it at first, batching is a great way to save time. When you group similar tasks it cuts back on the set up for each one which makes it much faster.

For example, when I started this process I found out that I was spending approximately 2 hours per day on email. At first I started by just doing email once per day, after a while I had cut back to only doing email once per week. Yeah, I’m quite aware that it sounds crazy, but here’s the best part… I went from spending 8 hours + per week on email to getting it all done in just under two hours. I magically gained 6 hours per week. To this day I only check and respond to emails once per week (on Wednesdays.)

The last thing you want to do is find the tasks that you’re doing that could easily be outsourced. Most of the time when I say outsource people’s minds begin to wonder to far off places like India or the Philippines, but all I’m merely suggesting getting someone else to do it.

I don’t think it would be too hard for you to find someone (a neighbor kid stay at home Mom) to post your Craigslist updates?

The main thing to consider is how much you make per hour (which we figured out earlier) and look at the tasks your currently doing to see which ones would be cheaper to hire someone to do for you.

Action:

  1. Track your time
  2. After a week analyze how you’re spending your time
  3. Get rid of tasks that are not productive towards your goals (time wasters)
  4. Batch similar activities
  5. Outsource things that are cheaper for someone else to do
  6. Send me a copy of your first weeks timesheet

What’s next?

The point to this module was to make you aware of your time so you can accurately measure your return on investment in New Media Marketing. In the next module I’m going to lay out some productivity tools to help you manage the massive amounts of information on the web and you’ll also learn how to set up your listening stations.