Running an e-commerce store can literally be exhausting. You are not fully aware of this until you start.
From setting up your store – which includes branding, product photography, inventory management, to dealing with customers’ expectations, inquiries, marketing, conversions and customer retention etc. And of course, all of these are nothing when you add that you have a full time job that you do or may be you are in school, probably a parent and handling the kids or just going through our daily hassles (insane Lagos traffic, no electrical power, annoying noise from your neighbour’s gen set)…..Get the picture?…Like i said, it can be exhausting.
I was having a chat with a merchant last week and she mentioned how difficult it was taking time out to sort out her online store. You probably would have guessed…she has a full time job; but after engaging some other people, I realized that she was not the only one having issues with managing their time.
“The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you’re the pilot.” ― Michael Altshuler
For some online merchants (especially those that have it as a side business), the issue has always been having to choose between their core job tasks and the “part-time” store. More often than not, the online store loses out on this battle. After all, its “part-time” right?
Truth is, managing an online store, like every other business, requires us to be efficient in managing our time among other things. Whether you are a “part-time” merchant or fully run an online store, you have to learn to efficiently manage your time.
Here are a few tips to help you manage your time efficiently:
- Have a plan: Setting out your day with a list of things to do helps.
- Prioritize your tasks: Be sure to establish your most crucial tasks.
- Group related tasks: Since different tasks demand different types of thinking, it makes sense to allow your mind to continue to flow with its current zone rather than switching unnecessarily to something that’s going to require you to re-orient.
- Allocate time frame for each task: The time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient, even if you end up having to go back and add a bit more later.
- Stop procrastinating and get it done
- Finish the important tasks first: The idea is to tackle such tasks when you are still fresh and create a sense of success which you can build on for others.
- Reduce distractions as much as possible and focus on your set tasks.
- Plan for distractions: Let’s be real, distractions will come but the idea is to give yourself a little buffer in which to deal with issues that may arise. This way, you do not fall behind your schedule.
- Have some ‘me’ time: Rest. This helps to reduce anxiety and makes it easier to find your work pleasurable.
- Learn to say “no” sometimes: Learn to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about. See previous post on becoming your own boss.
Feel free to give us more tips on how you efficiently manage your time.
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