Most people have the best of intentions for how they spend their time. The truth is that there are simply too many distractions. I can’t count the times that I’ve sat down to check email and an hour later I’ve moved from email to Facebook to my Tagboard to Google Analytics. It’s easy to think… “Oh, I’ll just check my Tagboard really quickly” or… “Oh, it’s been awhile since I checked my analytics. I need to do that so I can make any necessary adjustments.” The activities are certainly important but they likely weren’t the most important things to be done at that moment. It happens to the best of us… we get caught in what I call the technology time suck.

Here are some ways to avoid the time sucks in your schedule:

1. Set priorities for the week … AND the day. Make a list of what’s most important that week and assign those tasks to specific days and windows of time. (tweet this)

2. Block time for email. Set aside time in which you will check and respond to email. I had a friend who checked email only twice a day… first thing in the morning and just before she finished up for the day. Now that’s discipline. I don’t know that most of us will reach that level of discipline so I simply suggest setting aside several small windows of time throughout the day for email.

3. Block time for social media. This where most people go to extremes… either their on it all the time counting likes and shares or they post something and never look for engagement. It’s important to interact with your followers but it’s not critical that you respond immediately. Checking social media and responding to followers twice a day for 10 or 15 minutes each time is sufficient.

4. Schedule time for learning. It’s important to continue to grow in your field. Staying abreast of industry trends and your target market is critical to the longevity of your business. (tweet this)

Hint: This can also be included as part of your social media time. Other companies post great content on their social media pages. I have several that I follow and check regularly. Remember that the best social media sites add value to their target audience. By sharing this information, you can add value to your target audience without having to create all the content yourself… win/win!

5. Schedule business development time. Don’t get so busy working in your business that you forget to work on your business. (tweet this) It’s important to not simply let things happen to you but to create an environment where things happen for you. (tweet this)

Ammie’s Assignment: Make a list of the 3-5 most important things that must be completed this week. Then assign those items to specific days/times throughout the week. Then build the rest of your schedule around them. Comment below and let us know if you saw a difference in your productivity level.