Weekly Article – March 10, 2010
Stop rolling your eyes at me. Everyone could be a little more savvy with their priorities and the amount of time they spend working on the PC, me included. That’s why this week’s article is about saving time as you connect, blog, search, build, sell, buy etc. I always appreciate feedback and more ideas about getting where I need to go more quickly and being NO techie if you have something more to add here I’d love to hear from you. Let’s begin.
Schedule a block of Internet time. Ideally you should aim to log on and off at the same time every day. Of course it can’t always work like that but at least make the effort. If you can’t schedule only one block of time, schedule two or even three. A work-at-home entrepreneur for instance might first drop off the kids at school then come home and go online and on the telephone for business until lunchtime when the kids are picked up again. After lunch you may need to schedule time to conduct other business out of the house or office.
Use a day planner. They have them free online or you can do it the old-fashioned way and keep a logbook of your online and actual business. I do both.
Do like Santa. Make a list of all your internet priorities for today. If you’re a business person and you are online every day for professional reasons then you need to prioritize what has to happen first and CANNOT wait. If an emergency or anything else unexpected arises then your list has to be re-organized of course but you’re used to that. Life happens. That being the case this is a very general suggestion of how your list might look:
1. Check your professional emails. Only respond to professional mails at the start of your day. Its unlikely personal emails will be urgent. They’d probably call you on the phone. You can respond to personal mails at the end of the work day. You might even allocate all personal emails to one specific day of the week and only read and respond to them on that day.
2. Communicate with colleagues and clients. Online or over the telephone connect with colleagues, partners, connections for updates on any new developments and follow them through.
3. Participate in telephone, virtual and online business activities. Conduct interviews, signings, readings, performances, business, etc. Actual interviews and business interactions have to be conducted outside of your internet hours. Virtual, telephone and online business transactions are great for holding early in the day (depending on your contact’s time zone) to get them out of the way and onto other issues.
4. Promote your business. Market, sell, buy, invest, contact, email market and establish your leads.
5. Search online for today’s world or national or regional news. Include anything relative to your business on your blog, site, social media etc.
6. Update your social media – blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc with any other relevant information about your business. Link up to new contacts.
7. Respond to any comments or information from people who have connected to you via social media. If that is too many people to track then get an automatic response service of some sort to instantly reply to your tweets, comments, etc as you would your email service.
8. Keep learning. Investigate new ways to market your product/service and drive more traffic to your site/blog.
9. Visit your website. Y0u really should check into your site every week, twice a week if you can. Presumably you have automatic notifications connected to your site too. However you may also need to consider hiring a professional computer nerd to tweak your site on a regular basis, making it easier for others to access, putting it higher on search engine lists, making repairs, other upgrades, etc.
10. Hire an assistant. If you’re too busy to do all of the aforementioned hire an assistant to take care of the no-brainer stuff like maintaining the website, checking on news and adding comments to your social media and even some marketing.
Personal, fun online activity also involves good timing and planning especially when you have to share your PC with other family members and work around their interests during the day. You may also have a part-time business or a hobby with a site posted online that you need to maintain on a regular basis. Your Santa List might look something like this:
1. Check your email. Every day this is the first thing you should do. Respond to everyone even if you don’t have a complete, accurate answer to an issue. Acknowledge the mail and tell that person you will get back to him/her.
2. Check the news. Check out worldwide, national or local for interesting stories that you can include in your social media. You don’t want to make your tweets and comments strictly about you. Things I hate reading for example, “I got up and went running today and then I came home and read the paper.” Good for you. Now do you have anything relevant to say about the world after having read the paper?
3. Update your social media. Make this one a habit. Here’s where the news you collected online can get posted if it relates to any of your interests, your hobby, your income, etc.
4. Visit sites of interest. Before you get too distracted with the rest of your online time visit any sites you have been meaning to check out. See if there is anything on the sites you can learn from and build into your site or any ideas for articles you might wish to write. If you’re planning on travelling anytime soon check out agencies and look up prices. You can even book trip your own online.
5. Bookmark interesting sites. Any of the sites you visit that you may want to revisit are easy to hit when you bookmark or add them to your favourites.
6. Add a comment and a link from the sites you visit to your social media, your blog or your website.
7. Join an online community. Visit a group through Facebook and join a group that is of personal interest to you, eg. book reading club, model airplanes, sports clubs, etc. It’s a great way to stay inter-connected with the world around you. Each day when you log on include a visit to your community when you visit your social media.
8. Build a free website. It’s easy, fun and there are a lot of them around. Mine is through Microsoft Office Live. You can get one through Google too and many other organizations.
9. Build a free blog. It’s another great way to stay in touch with the world without being limited to 140 words. Twitter a comment that relates to your blog and include a link.
10. Blog. Post a new comment at least twice a week. Some people post every day if they have time.
11. Visit your website. Check for comments from readers once a week. Add something new. Put in a new link to something online you found interesting. Add photographs.
12. Post an article. There are lots of free sites where you can post an article you wrote yourself. Many of these sites have specific guidelines about what you can and cannot post so always check the editorial guidelines before you start writing or you might waste a lot of time. Just Google “free online articles” and a host of sites will come up.
13. Learn something. Enroll in an online course or an online book club. Make your attendance a priority at least once a week. If you opt for an academic course towards a diploma or a degree you need to allow time for a commitment and likely that will involve daily work. If that’s the case after checking your emails each day you might want to go straight to your online course or do research for it. If you opt in for a fun course just do it at your own leisure and place it near the bottom of your priorities.
At the end of the week or the end of the day assess your priorities list. Perhaps the list isn’t working so well for you. Change it. Include items not on the above lists that should be noted. Remove anything that is irrelevant to you even after you’ve added it yourself. Your list will likely change on a regular basis especially as you add to your interests and activities. That’s one of the great things about being connected online. You’re always learning and always meeting new people. Just ensure you aren’t wasting your time and it’s certain to be a rewarding experience.