Today I want to share some time management tips for network marketers. Everyone I talk to is busy. Everyone is in a rush. Everyone is go, go, go. Unfortunately, most of these people are busy getting nowhere fast.
Quite perhaps the biggest struggle that most network marketers deal with on a daily basis is managing their time effectively. Most network marketers have day jobs and a family life. By the time they get home from a long day at work, eat dinner with their family, help their kids with their homework and watch their favorite television show, there is no time left to build the business. Can you relate?
That’s how most people feel anyway. I don’t necessarily agree with that because people ALWAYS have time to do the things that are important to them. When people tell you they don’t have time for something, it’s because that activity is not truly important to them.
Some folks are definitely more disciplined with their time than others are. I’ve found that it’s the people who manage their time the best that do the best in our industry. Typically, the BUSIEST people are the ones who do well with the business. Busy people get things done! Show me someone with a lot of free time and I can show you a lazy, broke, retired, or unsuccessful person.
Now, when it comes to building a large and successful MLM Business it doesn’t have to take over your life, if you know how to work smart. But, you do need to set aside some time (at least 60 to 90-minutes) every single day to build your business, no matter what.
The business won’t build itself on its own, and if you aren’t willing to commit to at least that amount of time to your business, you will never make it on a grand scale and create a full-time income.
Top 7 Time Management Tips for Network Marketers
When it comes to managing your time effectively, here are a few things you can do to help yourself out. Keep in mind these tips are listed in no particular order.
# 1: Get a Day Planner
The first thing you need to do is get a day planner so you can schedule your time. Schedule in time for family, time for work, time for hobbies and time for your network marketing business.
Schedule your date night, your company events, time for your hobbies, time for your kids and spouse, etc. You will quickly discover how much easier it is to manage your time when you break it down into bite sized chunks.
I’ve found that when I can look at my entire day (or month) in a day planner, it gives me clarity and keeps me focused.
Make sure you buy a day planner that breaks each day down into hours, so you can write in your scheduled activities. I’ve found it’s best to plan out your day in 15 minute increments.
# 2: Have Set Business Hours
If you didn’t go to your job every day, you wouldn’t get paid. Most people understand that. Yet these same people spend ZERO time growing their network marketing business and wonder why they aren’t making money.
If you owned a restaurant, dry cleaner, gym or any other type of business, you would have SET BUSINESS HOURS.
Well, your MLM Business should also have set business hours, even if it is just 30 to 60-minutes per day. Set aside a good time every day where you can work on your business. Don’t ever, for any reason, let a day go by where you don’t have your business “open for business.”
Each Sunday night, plan out your upcoming week. Determine what days you will work your business, during what hours and what activities specifically you will do during that time. If you don’t plan it, it won’t happen!
# 3: Focus on the Money Producing Activities
Not all activities in your business are created equal. The money producing activities are prospecting, showing the plan, following up, training your team, and finding customers. Cleaning your office, organizing paperwork, sorting your files, listening to webinars, going to meetings, and surfing YouTube are not money producing activities.
Make sure that 90% of your business hours are spent EXCLUSIVELY on money producing activities. Simply put, don’t confuse busy work with being productive.
Spend all of your time retailing and recruiting. We get paid to talk to people. That’s it. Talk to new prospects every single day, and watch your business grow.
# 4: Get Rid of Your Television
Most Americans watch AT LEAST three hours of television a day, if not more. My best advice is to donate your television to a local charity, or make a commitment not to watch television for a few years.
Sound harsh? To some folks it might be extreme, but when was the last time your television helped you improve your financial situation? Probably, never. If you find yourself watching television every night, but not building your network marketing business, you need to do something extreme to break the habit.
Another option is to plan your television time in your day planner. Determine which days you will watch television, at which time of the day. Schedule in time to watch television and relax AFTER you’ve done your money producing activities for the day.
# 5: Do Things in Batches
Another great time management tip for network marketers is to do things in batches. Do similar activities at the same time. Maybe you can make all of your follow-up calls on Mondays. Maybe you can do your prospecting on Tuesdays. Maybe you can train your team on Wednesdays. Maybe you can show all of your presentations on Saturdays. When you do things in batches you can work smart and free up a lot of your time.
# 6: The 45/10/5 Rule
I love the 45/10/5 Rule. It goes something like this. Work straight for 45 minutes with no interruptions. This means you shut down the internet, turn off your cell phone, close Facebook and focus on making calls or whatever money producing activities are scheduled. During this time you refuse to let ANYTHING interrupt you.
Once you’ve finished 45 minutes of work, take the next 10 minutes and relax and have fun. Check your email, go to the bathroom, get a drink, watch a funny video; whatever you feel like doing.
Finally, once those ten minutes are up, spend the next five minutes planning out your next hour. Write down exactly what you will do in the next 45-minutes of work. Break it down by the minute. Have a prioritized checklist.
Once complete, repeat this process over and over throughout your work day. I encourage you to try this in your job and your network marketing business. It’s a really easy way to be more productive.
# 7: Have a Daily To Do List
Every day, you should have a daily “to do” list. It should have everything written down you need to do that day. It should also be prioritized. When you start the day, start with the most important task first and don’t do anything else until it is complete. Once finished, scratch it off your list and move to the next task. Keep repeating this process throughout the day and watch your productivity go through the roof!
Bonus Tip: Remember the 20/80 Rule
My bonus tip is to remember the 20/80 rule which states that 20% of your activities and efforts will produce 80% of your results. Just make sure that you spend at least 80% of your time on those top 20% important activities. Not all tasks are created equal.
The Magic Question
If I could share one final time management tip for network marketers, it would be this.
How many new prospects did you talk to today about the products or business opportunity?
That is the only question you really need to ask yourself each day to know if you are moving in the right direction with your business. If the answer to that question is anything less than five people, you need to make some changes in your business. After all, we get paid to talk to people.
My Index Card Time Management System
In the following paragraphs, I want to talk to you about how to plan out your day using a simple method I call the index card time management system. I’ve been using this system with great success for the past several years. It has allowed me to work smart, and get more done, while still having plenty of time to relax and enjoy my family.
Whether you are struggling with time management in your network marketing business, or in life, I truly believe my index card time management system will help you.
How the Index Card Time Management System Works
Each morning, before you do ANYTHING else, take out a blank index card and write down the FIVE most important things you need to do that day to grow your business (or job, work, etc.).
After you write out the five tasks, prioritize those five tasks in order of importance. Put a number one by the most important task, a number two by the second most important task, etc.
After you take your shower, eat breakfast and start your day, immediately start working on the first task. Do nothing else UNTIL that task is finished.
That means you should avoid your email, social media and your cell phone during this time. After you finish all five tasks, you can focus on other, less important tasks.
How to Use the Index Card Time Management System for Your MLM Business
When it comes to your MLM Business, the index card time management system works the exact same way.
Each morning, write down FIVE things you need to do to move your network marketing business forward that day. Prioritize those tasks in order of importance and make sure you finish ALL five tasks before you go to bed at night.
Here’s an example of some tasks you might put on your index card:
- Follow up with Joe about the products
- Set up an appointment with Mary to meet at the coffee shop and do a presentation
- Connect with two new prospects on Facebook
- Hand out 20 drop cards during the day
- Conduct in home presentation with Tim
It’s really important that the tasks you write down on your index card are MONEY PRODUCING ACTIVITIES. These are activities that actually GROW your business and bonus check.
Do not confuse busy work with productive work. Busy work includes cleaning your office, attending meetings, watching videos, surfing Facebook, organizing files, etc. Writing down “busy work” type of tasks on your index card is a complete waste of time.
10 Tips for Success
Here are 10 success tips to use my index card time management system effectively.
- Fill out your blank index card each night before you go to bed or each morning before you start your day.
- Only put critical tasks on your list.
- Set a time limit for each task.
- Do not try to multi-task and do multiple things at once.
- Take small breaks in between each task.
- Don’t put too many tasks on your index card, three to five is ideal.
- Cross off each task after it is finished.
- Complete the tasks in order of importance; do the most important task first.
- Avoid distractions such as social media, checking email, and looking at your cell phone while you work.
- Always do your three to five most important tasks each day before doing less important tasks.
The 60/15/10 Rule
Another time management system I frequently use is called the 60/15/10 Rule. It is a rule I use on most days to manage my time effectively. The formula equates to 60-minutes of focused work followed by 15-minutes of fun or non-essential tasks, followed by 10-minutes of planning. I will cover each step of the process below.
60 Minutes of Work
During this phase you do nothing but the task at hand. You FOCUS on that one task until it is complete. If you finish the task before the 60-minutes are complete, you move directly to the next task on your list. No checking emails. No surfing the net. No Facebook. You don’t answer phone calls or do ANYTHING but the task at hand. No bathroom breaks either. This is simply one hour of intense focus.
15 Minutes of Play
Once you finish your one hour or work, you need to give yourself a small break. During this 15-minutes you can use the bathroom, surf Facebook, check your email, talk on your phone, get a snack, or do whatever you want to do. I like to think of this as a reward for being productive during the previous hour.
10 Minutes of Planning
After your 15-minutes of play/fun are up, your next objective is to have 10-minutes of planning. This is where you will plan EXACTLY what you need to do during your next 60-minutes of work. You can update your “to do” list, get organized, and set priorities.
You simply keep repeating this process over and over during the work day. On an average 8-hour work day you can go through this cycle about five to six times. Although you are only “working” five or six out of the eight hours, I’d bet that you would outperform most other folks who work a 24-hour shift.
Your key to success is concentrated, focused effort. Most people who work an hour probably waste at least 45 minutes doing unproductive things such as answering the phone, responding to email, organizing their desk, etc. I call this busy work. Sure, these tasks keep them busy, but the tasks also keep them from being productive.
I’ve also found that when you do things in batches, you can be extremely productive, even in a smaller amount of time. In addition, focusing on the most important thing at hand and doing nothing else until it is complete works very well.
I hope you will use my 60/15/10 Rule in your network marketing business (or job), even if just for one day. Try it out and see if it works for you. See if it increases your productivity. Once you start using it, you will probably never revert back to your old ways.
The bottom line is that time is your most precious asset. You must learn how to manage your time effectively if you ever want to succeed in network marketing, especially if you are a part-timer with a family and job.
Fortunately for you, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult. All it really takes is a little bit of discipline and planning. Follow the time management tips for network marketers listed above and you should be well on your way.
What are your thoughts? How do you manage your time effectively? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.