Web Strategist: Manage your time as you do money

For us web strategists (those who make decisions for web sites) time is a precious, limited resource that we’ve come to cherish. Here’s a few tips on how to manage your time effectively:

[Time is Like Money: You never seem to have enough, and everyone wants a piece of it]

Time is Like Money: You never seem to have enough, and everyone wants a piece of it. As a web decision maker within a company, you’ll have many touchpoints, since web is one of the most important mediums for business, you’re going to be in heavy demand.

Remember the limited quantity: Cherish your time as you do your wallet or purse, this is yours, and unlike money, you can’t invest and grow new time, you can only manage the existing time you’ve got, cut into other areas, or hire someone under you to do it.

Budget your time like you do money: Set aside time for you, for work, and for passions. I do this before I check my personal email (second priority) then any work email (third email). As soon as you answer emails, you’re now paying for someone else’s time. The same principle should apply for your workout time, reading time, or personal reflection time. Allow a certain percentage at time for writing reports, meetings, and other tasks at work, and defend that calendar.

Pay yourself first: I don’t let anyone cut into this time, as I budget 2 hours every morning to do online reading (to get smarter) and to blog (increase my long term value, and connect with others). Like the advice from most financial advisors, they encourage you to pay yourself first by investing in your own funds, paying your bills, and making yourself (reasonably) happy before paying off your creditors.

Manage incoming web requests: As a web strategist, you’re popular, but will need to manage your fame so you and your team doesn’t burn out. Within your web team, develop a process and tool that will track and prioritize all incoming requests for your web team. Force business stakeholders to justify the need for projects or programs, and seek the ‘cover’ of an executive sponsor who can help prioritize and push back.

Manage meetings with software: Try to avoid meetings, instead use collaborative software of social software after initial the initial kick start meetings. Use the tools that are native to us, I know you shouldn’t have any problems handling this.

Responding to emails leads to more emails: The more you respond to emails, the more you will receive. Keep in mind what your core goals are (why is your employer paying you) and try to manage and budget this.

Instant Messaging control: I avoid using 1:1 communication tools until really needed. I look for one-to-many publication tools or collaboration tools to use, as I can be more effective with my time. The only place I use IM is at the workplace, and in limited quantities. Selfish? yes, but I’ve been doing this for two years, and noticed an increase in productivity without it.

Ironically, I’m spending a great deal of my day online managing for the day job and this blog, while I think I have my budgeting portions right, I’m going to try to trim my overall online time down. I’m actually a bad case for this, so this post is as much of a self-reminder as it is a how to for you.