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.

37 Replies to “Web Strategist: Manage your time as you do money”

  1. Jeremiah, the “pay yourself time” is invaluable, I’m trying valiantly to reach 2 hours a day reading in this area… tough when the day job expands…

  2. Thanks… lately it seems like I never have enough time. I bought my son a computer for his fourth birthday on Sunday and as of today, which is Wednesday, I’ve yet to put together the desk it needs to go on :/

  3. Good post Jeremiah. It really reads more like a mantra, something to repeat to yourself.. I’m glad you elevated this issue as I often feel time-poor. However, defending your routine in the face of forces that are often beyond your control is no easy task. Any sage advice on recovering from events that break you out of your time management methodology?

  4. Having been in a bit of a recession when it comes to personal time, this is a nice reminder that personal time pays dividends that can be incredibly valuable. Thanks.

  5. I have to say the don’t travel advice is right on so many levels. People are adapting quickly to the use of virtual worlds for meetings. It is as if there is suddenly huge awareness that virtual worlds are not weird, traveling for twenty hours a week is – to work, to meetings, abroad etc. That change is happening so fast

  6. I think the basic problem I face is the evr expanding list of resources(worthy ones) to my Reader…As such it kinda becomes a bit overwhelming.Nevertheless I do try and read through most of it…some days though I miss out totally

  7. The pay yourself first is a life saver ..

    Also, the best tool for time management with online tasks is my kids timeout timer … I don’t need to use it with them now .. but for myself. If I have any open-ended type of socnet tasks, I set the timeout timer and when it goes – I log out

    At one point, when RSI was bad, I used it to force myself to take stretch breaks. RSI is the downside to managing your online time

  8. Great points. It’s amazing how easy it is to get caught up in email. I also highly recommend sharing with your employees that there is no need to copy your manager on everything. It’s saved me 40 emails a day without loss of “what I need to know.”

  9. Okay, so you read, post, rip for two hours each day. How do you then absorb all that info so you don’t forget it two days later?

    Say you find a killer article or post – do you then bookmark it, blog about it and consign it to memory? What’s the best approach for organisation of this information.

    Hope this isn’t too dull a question(!)

  10. I just looked at your RSS feed and it gave me an error. Can you post your RSS feed url when you have a chance? I don’t check email very often.

  11. I just finished reading Dan Kennedy™s No BS Time Mangement for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity & Sanity.

    Long name, GREAT ideas.

    To me, this book is more of a guide-book and a resource that I will go back to time and time again to remember to implement better cursus timemanagement.

  12. Thanks for a good round up of consise hints and tips! Using a timer seems to be a good option! Several people have recommended a timer to me too. I often have various media running in the background whilst working, some I dip into and others I don't when concentrating on working. What I don't do is make a set time for listening which is something which probably could be really usefulcursus timemanagement

  13. Pingback: Pay Yourself First

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