6 Ways to Add More Hours in Your Day and Make More Money at the Same Time
Posted on 13th August, 2008
Contrary to what some people may think, multitasking does not always improve efficiency. You’ll be more efficient when you can focus on a single task for a period of time.
I spent several minutes trying to come up with an attractive opening paragraph for this article, instead I ended up answering emails, fixing the Rules & Alerts in my Outlook, registering for an affiliate program, checking my sites stats and viewing my Text Link Ads commission.
And as if that’s not enough, the Yahoo Messenger dialog pop up as a friend initiated a chat – ok if you are reading this I am not blaming you my friend 😉 – but I still haven’t came up with anything ;)!
The only consolation from all this is that now I have a story to tell in the opening paragraph!
I guess this happens to almost everyone. If you work from home, it can be harder to focus on the task at hand. Over the years, I’ve learned that if you love what you do then the other things can always wait.
There never seems to be enough time in a day to do everything. Your “to-do” list keeps on growing – I know mine is – and often I decide to put big projects on hold. BTW, if you are looking for to do list software, check out the Swift To-Do List from Dextronet. I am using it because of its simplicity and it just works for me. You can test drive the trial version here
I’ve been trying to find more hours out of the day (less sleep time is not one of them though) and along the way I’ve discovered some useful tips that help me cross those items in my to-do list and learn how to prioritise.
Learn How to Prioritise Your Tasks
While some tasks in your to-do list are really more important than the others, at first glance, they may all seem important and need to be dealt with now.
I’ve just started this habit of listing down everything that I need to accomplish in a day; usually I create the list the night before. Then I prioritise the tasks on the lists according to how important they are to me personally.
The level of importance is based on the potential of the task to make me money. Reading RSS feed in the morning won’t help me make money, but writing a blog post will. So browsing the RSS feed can wait till late evening.
I review my to do list from time to time to find tasks to cross off such as those that don’t really make any different whether I do them or not. That way I could free up more time and focus more on those important tasks.
Forget About Replying Emails in the Morning
While I do check emails the first thing in the morning. I almost never reply them immediately unless they take less than a minute to shot up a quick reply. After a quick glance, I flag those that require a follow up and move on.
When it comes to email replies, most people expect to wait anyway so there’s no need to respond to them immediately. However, that’s not to say it’s OK to keep them waiting for three or four days. Give them an idea as to how long to expect a reply from you and you should be fine.
To reduce email distraction further; I’ve disabled the schedule email checking so that I won’t be interrupted by that little sound that announces a new email.
Instead of devoting one of most productive periods of the day by answering emails, write a blog post or two, create a landing page and perform tasks that will make you money. If answering emails makes you money, by all means then do that too.
Incidentally, if you have written to me recently, I do apologize for the later than normal replies because we were having some problem with the mail server but now it’s no longer an issue.
Set Aside Specific Time for Surfing the Internet
This is probably one of the hardest things to do when everything is just a mouse click away. Your web browser is ready to be fired up into visiting your favourite blogs, forums and so on.
One site lead to another and before you know it, you realise that you’ve spent several hours doing things that certainly pleasurable but take you away from your real tasks.
Frankly, I am just “learning” to do this properly as well as I try not to go over my allotted time each time I decide to surf the net. How many times something pop up in your head and you just got to check it out and promised yourself it will only take a minute?
If this seems hard to handle, you might want to look into a software solution that control and limit Internet access at a specified time, schedule or on demand. Just Google around and you should find one that suits your needs.
Cut Your Lunch Time into Half
An hour of lunch time can be cut into half. In addition, do you really need a multiple coffee breaks when you could devote those time working on your important tasks?
To be fair though, I work at home and it’s easy for me to grab something to eat without having to drive around and look for a parking space. Good for me, but then it’s also easy to get distracted when the TV is just in front of you waiting to be switched on.
You’ll need to find a way to cut your own lunch time. Perhaps by bringing your own lunch to work, you don’t only save time but money too.
While You Are Doing Nothing, Do Something
There will be times of your day when you “don’t do anything” such as while commuting or driving to work, waiting in line in the post office, washing the dishes and so on.
You can make this “idle” time more productive by bringing along some reading materials while waiting in line or listening to the training material with your MP3 player or car audio player.
You can also use this time to come up with new making money ideas for your blog or website or rehearse some training by visualizing important parts of your presentation for instance.
Watching TV & Playing Games Is Good but They Won’t Make You Money
The above heading may seem obvious but that doesn’t make people realise that decompressing in front of the TV after work is one of the biggest time wasters there is.
If you want to make money from the Internet, the time spent watching TV is better spent working on your blog or website. Cut it down to only your absolute favourite show or news. You can go one step further by pre-record them so that you could fast forward through the commercials and save 15 minutes of your time.
Playing games can be addictive – ok it can help you make money if you are really good at it but that besides my point. Cutting back on the game time or limiting your play time on the weekends only will spare you more time to work on your tasks.
Effective time management is really about accomplishing more by working less, not doing more in less time. So how does accomplishing more by working less has to do with the ability to add more hours in your day?
Since your tasks are spread out and are accomplished throughout the day, you don’t have to “cramp everything” in one sitting. You are essentially accomplishing more with shorter actual working time.
Here’s a related post that you might want to check out too: 10 Time Management Tips for Busy Bloggers.