Thrift Store Flipping On eBay $100 Challenge Time Management
24 Hours Is Never Enough
Get Your Priorities Straight
I am probably one of the most disorganized people you will ever meet, my brain goes in more directions then the LA freeway system. God has granted me with memory to make up for my lack of being organized. I have been flying by the seat of my pants for years, and when I started doing 150K to 268,000 in sales you couldn't talk to e because I was so short tempered.
People have said that multi tasking is the answer to getting everything done in the day, so I tried that and here is what I found, after years of going in 6 directions at once i keep finding myself back at the same place. So I started reading, on of the places I read was VirtualOnlineLearning.com run by Danna Crawford, there was a time management article, so I jumped right in with both feet. Timing couldnt have been better for me.
Egg Timer Method
Basically what she said to do was to divide your day into time periods that you did certain task, for example do listings for 1 hour a day, 15 minutes on facebook in the morning, answer emails, what ever it is, and use a simple kitchen timer to keep you on track. So this worked for a while, but I never got anything done to the finishing point. It was not the methods fault this time, the method is great, it was me. I spent more time trying to get organized and have a list of priorities then actually getting any work done... If this sounds like you dont feel alone anymore
I still keep the egg timer handy, it allows me to keep on task when i need it. But it wasnt the perfect method for me, I had to find something else to keep me focused. Something that would work, something at the end of the day I felt like I got something done. BUT where could I find such a method to use.
Thanks Danna Crawford
Which Way Do I Go George??
Crossroads In My Life & Business
Well even with all the disorganization in my life, and the feeling of never getting enough done, with the help of my mother I had built a successful eBay company. I sold a wide variety of products from Chinese made flags to women's clothing found in the thrift stores like Good Will.
My mother was my organization, without her I dont think I would have grown as large as I was in 2013. She was the backbone of getting things done that I still cant keep up with most days. We were doing well, I was able to make sure she had everything she needed and she helped keeping my business organized.
Now I am going to back up a little in this story. When mom first came to work for me, she had to take a few weeks off to go to Florida and help my great aunt who was 84. Well a few weeks turned into a few months, and it was rough. I tried to keep up but didnt.
Mom comes home gets me on track again, and off we go, knowing at any tie she could get a call that she was needed again in Florida, well the call came. Mom went to Florida to help, and I was going to kill off the part of the business she ran.
God steps in with a buyer for my business, lock stock and tractor trailer full of thrifted items. So I sell out, I thought it would be great retirement. How wonderful it would be. Sleep til 6 am (thats really late I am normally up by 430am) Sip frilly drinks laying on the beach.
Reality was I went crazy I didnt know what to do with myself, way to much free time on my hands, i would surf looking for something to do, hoping i got a email from a customer to answer, made a sale, something on facebook. To be honest it was so horrible I wished i didnt sell the business at least then i had a purpose.
So I tried reading, I still had work to do everyday, maybe 30 minutes worth of orders, but nothing really crazy. Everybody had ideas for what I should do, mom decided to stay in florida so she told me I could get the house ready for her to sell. My wife wanted the house redone. Then there was my crazy idea of being semi retired, i even bragged about it to all my friends LOL.
I know this is about time management I am getting there. Trust me, but you have to see what lead to such a drastic change in my life. So I have heard a million times read the book Four Hour Work Week. so I got it on my kindle.
One Day I May Actually Do It
If Today Was Your Last Day On Earth
Once i started reading the book, a few things hit me in the face, he posed the question if today was your last day on earth, would the same things be important to you? WOW talk about mind blowing if you truly stop and think about the question.
The next thing that I noticed was that if the kids got sick what needed to get done in 8 hours of work got done in 2 or 3 sometimes much less..
But the thing that made me stop and really look at how come I never felt like I got anything done was when he talked about becoming much better at time management. He talked about emails, appointments, things he spent time on everyday. How his calendar was always filled. So I chewed on that, what was taking over my life, I finished the book, but instead of just saying it was a good book, I actually took some of it and applied it to my life.
This was my first step, although many people suggest many programs I went to old faithful, microsoft, and used the cloud service for setup so I got it on all my devices... Here is a how I used it to see just how much time I was wasting.
I entered everything I did in a day that was day in and day out. Here is what it looked like
500am Facebook (big time waster as you will see)
600am eMails & Orders
800am Take My Wife Toy Work (she doesnt drive)
900am Check eMails & eBay
1000am Work On Building Business Bigger (listings)
100pm Check eMail Facebook And eBay
130 pm Work On Building Business Bigger (listings)
230pm Pack Up and Pick up my wife
my nights are full of personal things, spend time with my wife, Bible studies, motorcycle rides, ice cream runs with my chapter of Christian Motorcycle Association. So there really isnt time for working then either.
So there in lies my problem, I had at best 3 hours a day to work on my business, and I tried to plan 8 to 10 hours of work each day, so I set myself up to fail and be behind no matter how hard I worked.
The next thing I did was pick the one thing to work on that was the highest priority, the top of the list, everything else would still be there tomorrow. I started to learn that nothing is so important that your entire day and life depend on it. YES somethings need to get done, but priority is important.
FREEING UP MY INBOX
I started going through my emails and creating rules, I used folders and organized the uncontrollable monster in my inbox. I set some emails to auto delete, some were moved into storage folders, some were just emails from doing business that needed to be filed on my cloud. When I got done, this took 3 full eight hour days, I was down to about 5 minutes in my email box daily, normally while I am making my coffee.
It was crazy just how much junk mail cluttered my inbox, people would send things to 3 different emails to make sure I got it, and 99 out of 100 times I didnt even need to look at it. I had to go in and change emails on alot of my accounts across the internet so the mail went to one email account.
It freed up about 10 hours a week in y email inbox, I am not as good as the author of the book, i check my email 2 or 3 times a day, but i am in there less then 5 minutes a day total unless there is a problem. eMail Freedom feels great and give it a try you will feel refreshed.
This was the hardest thing for me, I needed to ground myself from facebook, I would find myself reading for hours and wasting alot of time on there, I would set up an alarm on my phone so if i was following a post every time someone liked it i had to check... it was crazy. So i had to form a new habit, i now surf facebook when I drink coffee in the morning, and even that is becoming less and less. I still keep up with friends, and I know whats going on, and I even start a few post, but for the most part, I have cut my addiction down to under 30 minutes a day, and after spending a week in florida I am down to less then that. It really is a time sucker, you dont even realize how much of your life is sucked out by the site.
I have found that I get more done, by focusing on one thing at a time, I start a project and I work on it until it is finished, whether it is a days work or a weeks worth, I use the timer, breaks are needed we are not machines, but we also have to set limits and boundaries. Finally, ask your self the most important question, if today was my last day on earth would this be what i wanted to work on that day??