Where did the time go? Do you ever say that to yourself?
- Where did that last hour go?
- What happened to the week – it’s already Friday?
- How could it be September and I didn’t meet any of my goals?
- Who moved the clock… it can’t be midnight yet?
- When did I say I was going to get that done?
Do you have wasted hours?
I have wasted more hours this year than I think anyone should ever have to admit.
Are you going to admit to yourself that you have wasted hours this year? How about this week?
I have learned to turn wasted hours into productive ones… so I can spend more time with my family and friends without the guilt.
I don’t have any secrets to share.
I didn’t find a magic “time” machine. We won’t even discuss the silly “sleep less” and work more hours idea.
I gained my insight from a few friends and a great little report from Jimmy D. Brown.
Jimmy has come to my rescue many times over the years. I am a huge fan of everything he says and does. Why? Because Jimmy doesn’t sell hype… he just teaches basic step-by-step “get ‘er done” ideas and gives us easy to implement “actionable” steps to take.
More about this report later… I’m going to list “my” 8 tips for turning wasted hours into productive ones.
1. Stop Letting Email Run Your Workday –
Of course – I do Not put a restriction on my time based on purchases. I offer my help freely to anyone. But… we are all in this business to make a profit. See my point?
I must spend time each day reading and responding to email from my business partners, VA’s and customer support. I must also spend a bit of time just sorting and deleting email or it will pile up adding to my stress level.
One suggestion I’ve read in the past – Do one productive thing in the morning before you even open your email program. I’ve tried it… doesn’t work for me. I did get something done – but I had this nagging fear the entire time that I was needed by “someone”. I can’t help it… it’s the way I’m wired.
One of the really good ideas I’ve implemented is setting up 2 different email account services.
- I have one service that I’ve used for years and it gathers and files all my email for every different email address I have. (Someday I will write an article about how to use different email address and your email filing system).
- I set up a Gmail account that I give out the address sparingly. I use this address to communicate with business partners, VA’s, outsourcing and anyone that I want to communicate with instantly.
This is the way I work my email now:
- Skim through all of it and delete anything I can live without reading. Be ruthless! (I cover the “shiny object” syndrome in Tip #2).
- I respond only to the most important/pressing emails.
- I leave the rest to go through later and move on with my day.
- I do not look at my “regular” email account again until my “work day” is over.
- I have my Gmail account set up so it notifies me when I have new mail… and I respond quickly.
- The end of day routine – Check all email again and trash everything I can. I send anything possible to my VA to answer.
- File anything that is “just reading material” and doesn’t need a response – I save these to read when I have some free time and I don’t feel that I can be productive.
- If something needs a reply but it’s not pressing… see if it can wait a day. I might postpone responding for several days and eventually figure out I really didn’t need to spend the time with a reply after all.
- Keep an eye on those email newsletters you are signed up for. If you aren’t using the material – start to unsubscribe from them.
2. Don’t Get Caught In The Trap Of Shiny Objects –
I’ve read that many online marketing types have ADD or ADHD or something. I don’t believe that “we all” have some disease. Some might… but most of us just have “Shiny Object” syndrome.
What is Shiny Object syndrome? Let me explain…
Have you ever opened an email because the “subject” line said something like (these were in my inbox today):
- Generate half-mil in revenue without effort.
- Make thousands a month from home
- Acquire up to $40 for one mere-survey
- Postcards create vast-wealth using this on line system.
- Debra, this won’t last long…
- Free Website Analysis Report! Get ranked high in the search engines.
Stop! Stop The Madness! :0) Just Hit Delete. You don’t need to read these emails… they won’t help you!
Yes – I admit – I’ve purchased many (Many) thousands of dollars worth of “Make Money Online” products. Some great – some awful.
I even get caught buying products without a guarantee and I can’t get a refund if they are bad. (Just did that last month – and he is respected in his market – but the product was horrible).
3. Leverage Everything Your Write –
You must write articles, blog posts, products, special reports, email courses and much more. It’s a fact that can’t be ignored. If you aren’t writing every workday… you aren’t going to be successful as an online entrepreneur.
But… you can leverage all that writing. Use everything you write more than one time.
If you wrote it… it’s original content. The very top of the heap as far as content goes.
- If you answer a customer or reader email… save it and use that answer in a blog , article, product or FAQ page.
- If you have a great “idea generating” email or chat conversation – use it for content.
- If you have a membership site – you can share “Some” of the content outside your membership.
- If you make a comment on a forum – and it’s “great stuff”… save it to a notepad or word document and use it!
- Use old (good) evergreen blog articles as follow-up messages in your email autoresponder.
- Create products and reports out of a collection of blog posts…
I’ve done all these and more… it really does work!
4. What Are You Doing Right Now That Is Going To Make You some Cold Hard Cash?
This is big… I lost this “Focus” sometime this year and now I’ve got it back. Every working day I decided on at least one thing that will add to my income.
Let me be clear on this… I am not sending out an email every day that “sells” something to one of my lists. It’s fine to sell to your list – but I am building a passive income as well.
I teach in my membership courses- Setting up lot’s of little oil wells of income in a variety of places is the way to grow your business and guarantee that your income will stay at a steady growing pace as well.
I have a variety of things to choose from…
- Write an article and submit to a directory (include a great sig line)
- Write a blog article that has affiliate or adsense income potential
- Work on a new product (this could take many days).
- Spend time on a few select forums helping others (include a great sig line)
You get the idea…
Remind yourself (put a sticky note on the computer monitor if you must) to do a “Gut Check” every few hours. Are you working on something right now or at least today… that has the potential to increase your income?
Side Note: Every time you get ready to hit the “Pay Now” button for a product… Ask yourself “Do I Need This Right Now”? or “Am I Going To Use This Today”?
If you can’t answer these questions with an emphatic YES – then move away from the button and put your purchase on “Hold”.
- You will save a ton of money
- You will save a lot of time trying to learn the next big “thing”.
- You will know if you “really” need the product as you work through your “idea”.
If you are working on a product or idea… and you need to “learn” how to do something – then by all means purchase the product you need.
For instance: When I wanted to start my first membership site… I purchased Jimmy D. Browns ‘Membernaire’. I was able to work on the project week-by-week and not get overwhelmed with to much to do. It’s the perfect How-To course if you think a membership site is in your future.
5. What Should You Focus On When You Have Limited Time? –
Should you spend your time focused on one project or divide your days into many “mini” focused projects?
I have a flaw. (I have many flaws… but I only share one at a time) This flaw is called “I don’t have time”.
- I don’t have time – I have to go the grocery store
- I don’t have time – I have a doctors/hair/vet etc. appointment
- I don’t have time – I have to make dinner
- I don’t have time – I have to get the laundry – house cleaning – car washed done
- I don’t have time – I’m sleepy and need a nap
- I don’t have time – I have my “shows” to watch
- I don’t have time – I have so much email to read – tele-seminars to listen to – courses to catch up on
I Just Don’t Have Time!
I learned that I had this flaw many years ago… when I was working a “real” J.O.B.
My job often required me to work strange shifts. Going to work at 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. means you really can’t get anything done before your work shift starts. Yes… I said that out loud.
My theory was… If I have to work an 8 hour shift (which means 10 hours away from home) I need to spend the morning getting ready. I couldn’t possibly fit in a few hours of work on my own business before I had to get ready for my “Real Job”.
Get the kids off to school… and get ready for work. Then spend 1 hour on something business related. If I did that 5 times a week… I would have an extra 5 hours devoted to my business.
This translates into:
Every hour I spend building my business income means I am one more hours closer to my goal.
That goal was always “Quit My Day Job”.
Once I embraced my “Flaw”… I learned to recognize the symptoms and grab my to-do list.
Make sure your to-do list has lot’s of short and/or easy projects that you can work on in an hour or 10 minutes.
You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish in short “bits” of time.
6. You Must Learn To Give Up Control –
What can some else do for you?
Outsourcing was hard for me to get started with. Do you ever think that you can’t give up anything you do?
Or – Who could possibly answer emails for you?
What about the time it takes to learn how to set up a blog, write all the articles, send out the newsletters, write the sales copy, create graphics for blogs and products… I could list many other things… and these are all things I’ve “let go”.
I started with one little thing to outsource and just kept finding a few more things someone could do for me. I can now go on vacation or take a weekend off and I know almost all of the “required” work will be taken care of. I still have some things that are nagging me… but it takes me a bit of time to work out kinks and let it all go.
How do I pay for outsourcing? I quit buying the “Shiny Objects” er… the latest products that were going to help me make a million bucks! I spent several years doing “it all” myself until I started making a bit of income and a portion of that now goes to my VA’s and other outsourced projects.
Outsourcing is something that must be evaluated constantly… I can get carried away with projects and find the profit at the end of the month has evaporated.
7. Use Other Peoples Efforts To Increase Your Productivity-
This tip really goes hand in hand with tip #3 – Writing. If you can’t write enough to accomplish your goals… you will have to use “Other Peoples Efforts”. I’ve learned that I can’t write “it all”. I just can’t. End of story. If I want to make a profit and keep growing my business… I need to use what ever “trick” I can that makes sense in my business.
I do have some article writing outsourced… but this can get expensive and I am trying to watch the “bottom line” and make sure it stays on the profitable side.
One of these “tricks” is to use articles written by others. I use articles from sites such as ezinearticles.com or ladypens.com and I use PLR articles (when I find quality writers).
My best – cheapest – and – easiest tip is to use Public Domain content. Really!
You just can’t imagine all the millions of articles that are available – already proofread and edited for quality content… that you can find ready for you to use. I’ve used articles from copyright free magazines to fill websites with great content… and I make a very nice chunk-of-change from each one of those websites.
I talk a lot more about this concept here: Use Other Peoples Efforts To Increase Your Productivity
8. That Dreaded Disease – ‘Paralysis Of Analysis’ –
This is a common problem for most “new” internet marketers. And… I know many of us “old timers” get caught in this trap several times a year… but we all have to learn to recognize the syndrome and “Get Over It”.
What is Paralysis of Analysis? Let me give you an example:
Do you remember when you were trying to figure out what “Niche” you were going to focus on when you first started your online business? Every “guru” said you had to choose a niche.
- Some said it should be a niche you already know a lot about.
- You read that your niche should be broad enough so that you would have lots of products to “sell” in that niche.
- Someone tells you that you should choose a niche that has high paying Google Adwords Keywords. Or… the niche you choose should be one where you can sell high priced ClickBank products.
- You also read that your niche should be tightly targeted and focused – so that you could reach the “low hanging fruit”.
- Then you have a fear of picking the “wrong” niche. Or a niche that you won’t make money in.
What happened? I know what happened. You spent days – weeks or even – months… trying to decide what would be “Your Niche”. Instead of jumping right in and making the same mistakes you will eventually make – you waited and analyzed. You probably read every email, e-course and special report you could get your hands on.
Just to be very clear… You will make mistakes. We all do… Get over it. If you let the “Paralysis of Analysis” get it’s grip on you… it just prolongs the inevitable.
Oh… and here is that Jimmy D. Brown Report that I was telling you about. It’s about developing good habits for becoming a successful and productive “Homepreneur”
Get on with your day and start turning wasted hours into productive ones – Right Now!