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Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs – How to Avoid Time Wasters

Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs - How to Avoid Time Wasters

This post was originally published on August 16, 2019. I am republishing it on April 13, 2021, with revisions and updates. This is a subject that every entrepreneur should think about. I hope that my how to avoid time wasters tips and tricks will help you see how I have evolved since 2019 when I was homeless and wrote this article the first time to now, with the edits and YouTube video I embedded. 

I have been an entrepreneur since 2006. I’ve dabbled in bringing my administrative tasks home as a virtual assistant for some, tried my hand at direct sales, managed social media accounts, managed eCommerce sites, and so many other tasks to finally land my heart in the world of writing. Along this path over the years, I’ve learned that one of the most difficult parts of being a work from home entrepreneur is finding ways to avoid time wasters.

You know what I’m talking about.

The family that calls or stops by.

Kids that need food.

People that ask 100 questions and take up an hour of your time only to say “they’ll think about hiring you” and so on and so forth.

As a fellow entrepreneur, I’m sure you have a list of time wasters that you simply aren’t sure how to avoid. That’s why I’m sharing some of the methods I’ve tried to use to get rid of time wasters so that I can focus on being a self-driven, self-motivated, dedicated entrepreneur that my clients can count on.

 

Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs – How to Avoid Time Wasters

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What are your time wasters?

The first part of solving any “problem” is to figure out what the problem is, to begin with. That’s why I highly recommend you create a list of time wasters. I’ll be honest, you won’t think of all these time wasters right away. Grab a little Post-it Brand Note and have it by your work space. Jot down a time waster each time it appears in your workday.

For me, my list of time wasters includes; Facebook Messages, Facebook Newsfeed, Emails, Potential Clients’ Questions, and preteens/teens who “need” something “right now” when they’re perfectly capable of getting said thing on their own. Those are just a few off the top of my head.

Create a Schedule NOW

As a mother of three children, who are now 16, 13, and 10 {updated 2021 to 18,12, and 14}, I know all too well how often kids will mess up that entrepreneur schedule you set in place, but stay with me a second here. Create a schedule that’s more like a block schedule, such as time batching. This is where you designate specific tasks to be done during a specific time block of the day. A good example is shown below in the image:

Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs - How to Avoid Time Wasters

As you can see, I tend to be rather ADHD by nature, so a picture schedule doesn’t work for me. That’s why I sort of use a concept called task batching, rather than time batching, but either method will work. More on those methods another day.

Just jot down a daily list of what you’re going to do, in an order that works for your mind, and go from there. Do not stray from that list, even if it looks sloppy like my example above. 

Shut Off Notifications

It took me a long time to realize that some time wasters were best put on silent. During your entrepreneurial work from home day, shut off all notifications. Listen, clients can wait until your scheduled time to reply to messages or emails. Clients can wait until you respond to them, and prospects can too. If a client or prospect wants your immediate reply, then do you really want to work for them? Being pulled in all directions is part of what’s wasting your time as an entrepreneur.

Be okay with shutting off notifications and only working your day to day tasks based on the schedule you created to work for maximum productivity levels. Good clients and prospects WILL WAIT, they’ll appreciate that you have that dedication and drive to stay focused on the task at hand. If not, then they’re not a good fit for your business, period!

Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs - How to Avoid Time Wasters

I could get into some lengthy ramble about how I use each of these tips in my day to day life, but the reality is I change it up day to day. We’re living on the road right now so a schedule is some foreign concept to me until we find ourselves in a stable location. With that being said, these simple tips to avoid time wasters will help you succeed.

When I wrote this back in2019 I was homeless. This means I was just working at a pace that worked for living from hotel to hotel, campground to campground, and eventually in our vehicles. That is until Fall 2019 when we finally got a home to live in.

Since then, I have aimed to work smarter not harder. I have been able to get my work week down to 4 days a week while earning more revenue than my previous months. Click here to read my 4 day work week explained.

What Do I do Now for Removing Time Wasters?

  • I use Asana to manage my daily tasks and assign a day for each clients’ work.
  • I shut off notifications and don’t check email, FB, or any other social media account frequently. I check them maybe twice during work hours, then whenever I want after work hours.
  • I assigned myself a work time – Monday – Thursday 11 am to 4 or 5 pm.
  • I keep my eye on the clock when afternoon hits so that I know at 3 pm what else I can finish before I have to stop my work day to go cook dinner.
  • I ask for help, currently testing our hitting a team to help me with writing and social media.
  • I stay confident in my goals BUT I also know my goals as they’re written down on my desk to see every day.

I firmly believe that if you watch my time wasters video on YouTube along with my Asana video that you’ll be one step closer to living the life you’ve always dreamed of. The book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, has also significantly improved my life.

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What do you say to a time waster?

If you're looking at removing a time waster that's a human being - well it's best to just explain that you need to stay strict with your work hours. Let them know when they can and cannot contact you. If they don't respect your work hours, then you'll need to just be firm. Many who work from home are often left disrespected about their work hours because family & friends just don't get it.

What are the top 10 time wasters?

The top 10 time wasters are smartphones, notifications, funny animal videos, anything that doesn't help you remain productive during your work at home day. Email, phone calls, and other tasks can be time wasters, too!

What are three common time wasters?

The top three things that are common time wasters included - checking email, social media, and lack of time management skills.

 

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How To Grow Your Direct Sales Business From Home

Although direct sales is a great business option for some extra income and can be great for some, it is also difficult to get to a good standing in sales or growth (especially from home). There are still plenty of ways you can market and grow your business from home to get some more success though. If you want to know some of the most helpful tips and tricks for growing your direct sales business from home, keep reading.

 Choose A Good Company

 When you’re working with direct sales through a company that doesn’t have great products or a tarnished reputation, you can struggle greatly with being able to find or keep a client base. It’s important to make sure you start off with a good company that has products you love so that you can truly rep for your products and sell something your customers will like as well as come back to purchase again. 

 Use Social Media

 With how technology is today, there are so many good outlets to attract and communicate with potential buyers as well as discuss and promote your products. Social media is a great place to do just that. You probably want to start off focusing on only one platform at a time to ensure you’re able to make the most out of each social media marketing strategy, but it’s up to you. This shows people what you’re selling, you’re using it, your thoughts on the products, and more in one place.

 Keep Notes

 A major part of direct sales success and profit is from customers who order again or have a good relationship with you to be able to consistently offer new products or deals to. You can do this best by keeping a spreadsheet or notes with your customer’s contact info, product preferences, purchase history, and other information you need to remember. 

 Create A Blog / Website

 Blogging can be a really great and simple way to attract buyers as well as talk about or showcase your products in one place. For example, you can learn about search engine optimization for blog or website pages and utilize this to bring people to your website easily. You can also use blogs for product placement such as writing about related topics and linking your products in it. 

 Build Community

Once you’re started off well with a client base and good relationships with your customers, you can use this to expand and create a community. Facebook groups are a great way to make a community that feels engaging and exciting. You can use this to post exclusive content, interact with each other, and overall build a good community to encourage future sales. 

 These tips can help those just starting out or experienced direct sales reps that are looking to better succeed. It can also be great for those looking to or trying to base their business more from home for any reason. Although these tips are just a start, they’re a good step in the right direction for some good marketing strategies and thoughts. Hopefully, this can help you to better think of some ideas or approaches for your future home-based marketing of your direct sales business.

Article written by Jax. Jax is a 2020 high school graduate who enjoys being outdoors, exploring, and many niche topics. Jax is Brandy Ellen’s firstborn child & a part-time virtual assistant and content writer. You can find Jax on Instagram and YouTube.

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Side Jobs for College Students

For a college student or international student getting a job can be difficult. The wages or salaries are average to say the least, and if you have a family to feed, surviving on one paycheck can be tough.

Finding a side job for college students is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. We wanted to feature some side hustles today that are virtual jobs and freelance work that can help anyone find work.  To make lives easier for the students and anybody who wants to have a side job, keep reading.

Side Jobs for College Students

  1. Tutor – You don’t need to have a university degree to teach kids. College students are employed to teach elementary and secondary school kids and, if you have a college degree you can get much better teaching jobs with higher pay rates. Keep checking the guidance office in your school for teaching jobs, and with the career or student employment office for campus positions. You can also use websites like Tutor.com to teach online.
  1. Babysitter – If you are great with kids or get along with old people, you’re good to go. Babysitter’s job is in demand. You can also make an account on different websites or get a job yourself. In either case, you’ll have the option to set your accessibility based on your timings.
  1. Social Media Manager – If you’re studying marketing or know about social media, this is for you. Social media managers oversee and keep up individual or organization’s social media accounts, publish content to suit the customer’s needs and perform outreach to followers. It’s never been simpler to work from the comforts of home.
  1. Uber driver – One of the ways for earning cash is to drive for Uber or Lyft. The sharing economy has truly detonated, and both Uber and Lyft are at the front line. You can work whenever you want, and wherever you are. However, you need to have a driver’s license.
  1. Writer and editor – To work as a writer or an editor, you should have remarkable writing and proofreading skills. Additionally, it is also important to work under deadlines. Depending upon the assignment, an author must make explicit and focused content. You can choose to be a content writer or an academic writer. The pay rate depends on your experience and writing.
  1. Music teacher – You can earn really well by teaching music to a kid. On the off chance that you play an instrument, similar to the piano or guitar, you can teach that as well. Depending on how amazing you play, you can earn quite a lot through this. Parents pay exceptionally well to a music teacher as this is one skill they want their child to have.
  1. Extra help – Do you have an idea about how everything works in a house? Would you be able to fix things? Do you enjoy cleaning and organizing? Use the website TaskRabbit to offer your services. After you’ve been approved, you’ll have the option to use the app to secure positions that interest you. From a part-time cleaning lady to fixing machines, you can earn a good amount of money through this.

This list of side jobs for college students is quite helpful for anyone looking to earn some money while they’re attending school. Some college students may be here on a student visa or perhaps some other form of exchange to get an education. If you or someone you know is trying to get their green card so that they can work in the country they’re living in, they can start the process by working with a Boston immigration attorney.

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Top Alternatives to Zoom

Tips to keep your home business running well. These tips for home business work no matter what type of niche you work in from your home office.

With any of us being stuck at home, our extroverted friends are having a difficult time. Weeks without social interaction may be causing a little stress, tension and upset.

Many have flocked to Zoom to host business meetings and connect with friends, but what if you want an alternative to Zoom?

You’ll be able to find a list of the top alternatives to Zoom below so that you can connect with loved ones, business partners, and anyone else you want during isolation. COVID-19 has many schools shut down, some for the entire year, so maybe you can use some of these top alternatives to Zoom to connect your kids with their friends, all the while following the social distancing rule.

Top Alternatives to Zoom

Google Hangouts Meet

Easy to use video calls using your Google account. This may be a little laggy for video chats when compared to Zoom or other alternatives for video conferencing, but it’s an excellent option for budget-friendly connections with others during COVID-19 quarantine. Learn more here.

Cisco Webex Meetings

This is a little more expensive than Zoom but can give you all you need to do video conferencing with your team or family members. Many business owners use Cisco Webex Meetings to help new ideas flow and work together as a team across the world. Learn more here.

GoToMeeting

This is a fabulous alternative to Zoom because you can use it across any device, and it’s been used by many employers to communicate with their remote workers. The downside is that this alternative to Zoom can get quite expensive, you’ll need to request a quote. Learn more here.

What are the Advantages of Video Conferencing?

Improves Connections

When working remotely or being stuck home with kids, video conferencing can improve connections with those who help with business and education. Whether you’re using video conferencing to connect with loved ones during quarantine, chat with your kids’ teachers, or discuss business with your employer/teammates, using video conferencing can give a more personal approach during remote work and virtual classroom time.

Encourages Creativity

Being able to use video conferencing to chat with teachers, fellow workers or teammates, and teachers is an excellent way to encourage creativity during difficult times. It’s so much easier to verbally brainstorm and share ideas than it is to write them in emails. One of the biggest advantages of video conferencing is that it helps you speak to people and bounce ideas off of each other in real-time for any reason.

When it comes to finding the best video conferencing option, you’ll need to do your own research to find out what will work for your budget and needs. During these times, many parents can use video conferencing to connect with their kids’ teachers, friends who have an educational degree, or for social engagement during times when social distancing is being highly recommended.