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 1-2 hours) every single day to build your business, no matter what.
Your 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.
# 2: Backwards Planning
I should tell you right up-front that I’m a former Army Major. I spent a lot of time in the Army PLANNING missions. My job was to strategize. I would take my commander’s goal and then determine different courses of action and strategies to get us there. One of the things I was taught to do is backwards planning.
I have used this backwards planning concept in many different areas of my life and it works like magic. It’s become one of my biggest strengths and is also one of the reasons I have succeeded with several of my own businesses.
Backwards planning means you determine what you ultimately want to achieve and then you dissect that goal and break it down into incremental smaller goals and steps. These are steps you must do in sequential or chronological order if you want to reach your final goal.
For example, if your goal is to make $5k per month with your network marketing business by this December, this is what you should do.
First off, figure out how many people you will need to sponsor, how big your team will need to be, how much volume your team will need to have, and what rank you will need to be in the company (in the month of December) to earn $5k per month.
For most people, doing this is an eye opening experience.
Once you’ve done that, divide these numbers by the number of months left between now and when you want to achieve your goal, and figure out what numbers you will need to achieve each month between now and then to get there.
After you do that, come up with an ACTION PLAN of what you actually need to do to hit each one of those goals each month. If you don’t know those numbers, sit down with your successful upline and have them help you map it out.
Once you know your monthly action plan, the next step is to create your daily mode of operations. This is nothing more than a short list of what you will do each day to move your business forward. It should have somewhere between three to five steps.
To me, this is a simple way to achieve success in network marketing. Big goals are attainable when you break them down into bite-sized chunks and you create a realistic plan to succeed.
At the end of the day, your goal is not a goal until you set a date of when you will achieve it and you create a simple plan of action…
Remember failing to plan is planning to fail. All successful businesses have goals and strategies.
Here is what I want you to do right now.
Figure out what you want to achieve in your network marketing business this year and this month. Crunch the numbers to see what you must do to get there. Determine how much time you will invest in your business each day to make sure your goals are realistic.
After that do your backwards planning and map out your plan of attack and daily mode of operations. This will give you clarity and purpose.
What are your thoughts about backwards planning in your MLM business? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.
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 1-2 hours 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: 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.
# 5: 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.
# 6: 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!
# 7: Pick a Number
If you do nothing else, focus on this step. Pick a number between 2 and 10 and make sure that EVERY single day you contact that many people about your business opportunity and prospects. These are real conversations, either through the phone, SKYPE, ZOOM, in person, Facetime, etc. This is a business of exposures. You can mess up everything else with your time management, but if you get this right, your business will flourish.
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
This time management system is very simple and easy to use. First off, go to your local discount store and buy some index cards. You can get a pack of 100 index cards for about $1.
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 # 1 Best Time Management Tip for Network Marketers
I once had a mentor tell me that if you can’t manage your time in the business part-time, you will never be able to manage it full-time. It’s not about having MORE time for the business. It’s about working smart with the time that you do have.
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.
20+ Year Network Marketing Professional
Top Earner & Top Recruiter
P.S. Learn how to grow a successful network marketing business. Secret tips, training, and practical ideas. Free training delivered by email.
10 thoughts on “Time Management Tips for Network Marketers”
We all have the same amount of time in a day. It’s what we do with that time that matters most.
This is great advise. If you are going to be a business owner you have to act like a owner and not an employee. Time really is money and mismanaging your time will cost you money. When I decided to turn off my radio in the car and listen to audio books about business and began to meditate instead of watching TV my whole life changed.
Both of those are great ideas to manage your time and work on your personal development at the same time. I’ve never heard of anyone making more money by listening to the radio or watching television.
One of the worst things a person can do when they go full time in network marketing, or go out on their own in any type of business is to stray away from normal business hours. Many network marketers do this and they find themselves not getting done what they need to do. Keeping regular business hours will have you thinking you are still working a normal job. You will have a realization that you have responsibilities that need to be completed before you “punch the clock.” You will get the things done you need to.
Yes, you definitely need set business hours and you must be disciplined to follow those hours.
I have to say that I cannot do anything without my planner. People thought I was crazy for spending $30 on the planner I purchased, but it helps me maintain order/structure and I love it. It contains daily to-do lists, appointment lists, to-buy lists, contact lists, and several other sections to really help me keep track of everything that needs to get done. Also, I love the ability to be able to physically check off a task from my list. Makes me feel more accomplished and motivates me to continue to get things done.
My day planner is my secret weapon to be productive.
Having a day planner, I find I try to follow it as much as possible, but in many cases, I find I have to “put out fires.” What I mean is: unexpected items come up that need to be taken care of. When this happens, I fall behind on everything I had in the planner, and it takes a magical spell to get everything back on track. I wonder how many other people fall into this scenario? What I try to do is not overload my planner, so that when I have unexpected things come up, I can catch up easily.
There will always be things that come up. It’s just important to keep the main thing the main thing.
Great post Chuck.
Time management is usually one of the top reasons people fail. Understanding that the television is a problem, the only TV we have in this house plays just DVDs. That is only on scheduled “movie nights” or if I have an educational one to watch.
Yes, planning our time is important.