Recently I’ve been talking back and forth with our team members here at the Grind on how to be more productive throughout the day and make the most our of their time. We all have to remember that there is only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year. It’s the same for everyone regardless of experience, IQ, geographic region, etc. Regardless if you spend 8 hours a day online or 16 hours a day online, how much of that is actually spent “working?”
Distractions are everywhere out there in cyber space. From the blinking Skype and AIM chats to the new Facebook notifications, Twitter tweets, and email dings – it’s sometimes hard to find peace and quiet to focus on one thing and completely finish/execute it before moving on to the next.
Over the last decade I’ve sustained a lot of success following a daily routine and sticking to it each and every day. I recognize the daily duties that need to be completed and I schedule my days accordingly.
Here are some things I do:
* Address all emails first thing in the morning – Reply, compose, and answer, the whole nine yards. I use Gmail to keep a tidy inbox by archiving the old stuff and starring the important stuff. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening is my email routine.
* Expand my current projects – You all see me posting a lot here on the IMGrind blog in the mornings. After I finish my email, I go through our Private Community and see what’s going on followed by making a blog post or two. I like to write – so it’s a ton of fun and allows us to grow.
* Work-in new projects – When I finish my “morning rounds” I then address new projects or go back to something that takes a while. Now that we have Revived Media, I may have to load a campaign with a TON of creatives. Rather than taking up five hours in the morning, I do a little of the work throughout the day.
* Limit my time using chat clients – Skype and AIM are essential tools for my businesses. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to contact as many people on a daily basis as I do. However, I try to get to the point as quick as possible and don’t spend the day chatting about last night’s ballgame. Some of these chats that only need to take 15 minutes can quickly eat up an hour or more.
* Never neglect a property – If I get started in a web property or a campaign I like to see it all the way through. It simply amazes me at the number of companies that get away with barely posting new content on their websites and just leave it out in cyber space to rot. Regardless of your business, you should always be producing lots of unique content.
* Keep in mind business hours – The majority of companies out there work from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you’re trying to get ad creatives approved or need to complete a task where you need to speak with someone, keep in mind their hours so you don’t reach out to them when they’re no where to be found.
These are just some tips I have used to help develop and personalize my own routine. Even Ruck has taken an interest in my methodical, almost freakish routine I follow daily. This isn’t something that is created over time, rather something you develop over time. You need to constantly be asking yourself, “What good is my current action doing for my business.” If you don’t have a good answer it’s time to start taking a deeper look into things and seeing how you’re spending your time.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.