There is something appealing about time management quotes: a lot of wisdom that is “packed” into a short sentence (at least most of them are fairly short).
These quotes are fine on their own, but what if you decided to go a bit deeper and find their true meaning when it comes to your online business?
Take a look at these 7 time management quotes and what they could possible mean to your online business productivity.
- “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” ~ Karen Lamb
Postponing something enough can turn into regret (and by the way, check out what Jeff Bullas has to say about this topic). In order to prevent this, decide to take action now!
For instance, you can dream for ages about writing your first book, only to realize later that it would probably be ready by now if you had started doing it when you first thought about it.
How to implement: Try to figure out what’s at stake if you keep postponing this particular project of yours: it could be losing money, it could be losing (or not getting) subscribers, or it could be something else less desirable related to your business.
If those things mean anything to you, take action now and make sure get started right away, or then take responsibility and live with the consequences. It’s better to take action and reap the rewards than spend time on wondering if you should do something or not.
- “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” ~Lee Iacocca
Do you know what is important right now? Do you know what project or task you should be focusing on? What is bringing you the biggest results if you take action?
Make sure to understand this and spend your time on those important things, instead of focusing on low value activities.
How to implement: One example of this was my book project: I spent the majority of my time on this project to make sure I would finish it in time.
Just take your calendar and dedicate majority of your days/hours (80% of them) to this project only. Also, figure out if there is something that you can automate or get rid of in your business.
In my case, I didn’t focus on social media, nor did I spend any time on social media. I also rejected all product review requests, saying that my time is very limited right now.
When it came to blogging, I kept up with the bare minimum: just providing fresh content on my blog, replying to comments and answering e-mails that were sent to me.
Let your project be your #1 priority, and when it’s finished get back to your regular schedule.
Credit: Valerie Everett
- “Time is money.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
One of the most important tasks you can do are so-called “money tasks.” They are the ones that create income streams for your online business.
How to implement: Take a look at your task list and figure out what your “money tasks” are. Then, mark them as high priority and give them your full focus until the task is finished.
For instance, you could decide to write an affiliate review of your favorite webhost service, create some additional bonuses that you add with the review, and then promote all this to your e-mail list. Since this activity is most likely bringing you sales, you should dedicate your time to this activity as much as possible.
To “give more room” to these money tasks, take a really critical look at all the projects (and tasks) you currently have planned and cancel the ones that are not absolutely necessary to do.
Credit: Giovanni ‘jjjohn’ Orlando
- “It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.” ~ Winston Churchill
Even though I disagree a bit with this advice, I still think it’s something you should apply in your own online business.
First of all, knowing where you are headed in your business is definitely something you should be aware of (and this is the part where I disagree with Mr. Churchill). Otherwise it’s difficult to focus on the right action steps during your journey.
However, when you’re planning and “taking a look ahead” becomes too detailed, then there is a danger of getting off track. The fact is that very often those detailed plans become obsolete and something unexpected gets into your way.
So know your overall goal, but don’t spend too much time on planning every single step on how to get there.
How to implement: Figure out your ultimate goal and link your projects and tasks according to your goal. This ultimate goal could be more on a generic level (“I want to become an authority in X …”), and there is an estimate of when this is going to happen (“five years from this moment”).
For instance, you could decide to become an authority figure in baking cakes. Then, know the actions (tasks/projects) that will take you closer to that ultimate goal (writing a book, speaking at events, teaching people, creating digital products that you sell through your blog …) and give your focus to those.
- “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: I did not have time.” ~ Franklin Field
It’s not about removing the phrase “I don’t have time” entirely from your everyday speech; it’s about using in the right places. However, if you are using this phrase to postpone important tasks in your business, it’s worth taking a look at what the true reason is for doing that.
How to implement: Figure out your everyday tasks and find the ones that do not require your attention. Then say: “Sorry, I don’t have time for you.”
For instance, you could use the phrase when doing low value activities (checking your Facebook profile too often) or when your “bandwidth” is full (“I’m sorry, I just can’t take this project right now since I’m already fully booked”).
Very often when “I don’t have time” is used, there are issues with setting the right priorities or there is just too much to do.
It’s really all about figuring out if a certain task or project which is eating your time is really beneficial for you. Then, it’s about prioritizing those tasks so that the most important ones are at the top of your task list.
Credit: photographer padawan *(xava du)
- “Make measurable progress in reasonable time.“ ~ Jim Rohn
One way to look at this quote is to set limits to your tasks so that they are not eating too much of your time. For instance, if you give a task one week to complete, it will most likely take that much of your time. On the other hand, if you give the task half of that time, you’ll probably get it done in that timeframe too.
The effect just described is also known as “Parkinson’s Law,” where the core idea is that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Another way to see the quote is to really track how you spend your time and understand the factors why the task took a certain amount of time to complete. Once you have the statistics, it’s easier to see the improvement points in your own actions.
How to implement: Set tighter boundaries on your tasks and never let them expand too much.
Be aware that when doing a certain task for the first time; it is more difficult to estimate how much time it’s going to take. However, if you have already finished a similar kind of task or project before, it gives you a more accurate way to estimate how much time the task might take this time.
You can also use tools to track your time on your computer. For instance, Rescue Time (non-affiliate link) can do this automatically and shows you nice graphs of your time usage.
Finally, make yourself accountable towards others (for instance to your e-mail subscribers or your clients). This pushes you to do the task in the timespan you promised.
- “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” ~ David Allen
I don’t know about you, but my mind is terrible at holding ideas. Because of this, I have had many great ideas which I have lost.
At one point I got fed up of losing these ideas and I decided that I would try to catch the majority of them. Nowadays I can probably grab 80-90% of the ideas I have.
How to implement: Create a simple habit of recording all the ideas as soon as you get them.
You can use a pen and paper approach to write the idea down and then move it later to your idea file – either on your computer or on the cloud (EverNote, Google Docs).
I also like to carry my smart phone with me, and whenever I have an idea, I store it in a special place called “Drop Area.” It’s just a note in my EverNote and I can access it with one tap on my smart phone’s screen. Since I carry my smart phone with me most of the places I go, I can easily capture the ideas right away.
I also clean the Drop Area on a daily basis. For instance if it’s an idea for a guest post, it goes to my guest post idea file and so on.
There are lot of time management quotes on the Internet, and this set of 7 is obviously just a scratch.
If you want to find more of these quotes, I have listed some other places where you can find them:
- Time Quotes: 66 Best Time Management Quotes (Life Optimizer)
- 70 Best Time Management Quotes (LifeHack)
- Time Management Quotes (Sources of Insight)
Want something extra?
- 5 additional time management quotes with their explanations
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