It's been almost two years since I've been on any salary, and at times, producing income is the least of my worries – staying sane, feeling efficient, and keeping organized/balanced tend to be what I spend the most amount of my mental energy on. Below is some advice that I've written for anyone who works for themselves or from home – it may not be the most comprehensive advice, but this has been helpful for my time management skills that will ensure current business success, current happiness/fulfillment, as well as motivation and skill development for the future. These are in no particular order:
These seven focuses should each take 30-150 minutes of your schedule EACH day; the remainder of your day should be for eating, sleeping, and socializing/relaxing.
These focuses deserve time blocks in your schedule that are prioritized daily – nobody fucks with you spending your time in these areas pretty much. Everything that happens (non-emergency) or is communicated to me by others during the day can wait to be addressed until I've completed my focuses for the day or can be addressed during the appropriate focus time.
No more than 2.5 hours (you will begin to lower the quality produced); no less than 30 minutes (consecutive days without break are needed for habit formation).
If you focus 2 hours on new business development and an hour on each of the remaining six focuses, you can be confident in knowing you spent your day focused on seven areas that allow you to have a balanced, fulfilling, successful and productive life.
Knowing what to spend time on is just as important as knowing what not to spend too much time on or what not to spend time on at all or how much time to spend on something.
- Business Development/Lead Generation – where is majority of new business coming from? Phone prospecting? Event networking? Online blogging? Texting for referrals? Paid lead capturing websites? Do more of this than anything else.
- Gym/Exercise – which type of workouts keep you energized, confident, healthy, and motivated? Sometimes I want to run fast, sometimes I want to lift heavy weights, sometimes I need a confidence boost, sometimes I need a mind-clearing escape, sometimes I need to find my competitive juices…you get the point – find something to keep you healthy and consistent.
- Other Shit – admin, marketing, follow ups, communication, documents, emails – what are the busy tasks for your business that always feel like they need to be addressed right now that actually could wait until this evening or tomorrow? YOU WILL get pulled towards this focus throughout your entire day – block it out until your schedule says so. Also, this is one of the hardest focuses to step away from once you get started, beware! Be sure this focus has a specific ending time in your day after the appropriate amount of time spent but less than 2.5 hours allocated.
- Projects – mid to large business projects focusing on education, marketing, system or skill improvement, strategy execution, or tedious time consuming tasks – thinking ahead for growth! What will move the business forward outside of the day to day ‘other shit'? Maybe your current project is writing holiday cards or maybe it's setting up a focus group or maybe it's revamping your entire customer service process. It needs focused time.
- Hobbies – something fun that makes you happy – no justification needed. Just keep it healthy.
- Reading/Writing/Gratitude Journaling – successful people read, write, and practice gratitude/prayer DAILY. Simple as that. Reading and writing can be personal, creative, and/or religious. God and faith are important parts of my life and I encourage people to further explore their spirituality, wherever that may connect with you.
- Time for Family/Spouse/Dating – share love with the people who love you most and/or find someone new to love and be loved by. Love beats lust.
This guest post was originally published on Facebook. John Bonacci Jr. is a founder of the The Bonacci Liberto Group, a real estate company located in Maryland. He can be reached via Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.