Would you be surprised if after reading this blog post, you’ll be able to double or even triple your online productivity and make MORE money while having MORE free time by just applying a few simple tweaks?
In today’s fast-paced society, everyone’s looking for ways to become more productive. There are thousands of business books that teach time management strategies, productivity “hacks”, and so on.
As a result, time management and productivity gets wayyy overcomplicated. To the point where some people don’t want to learn these skills. They fear it will take too much time or be too hard.
I remember reading a 342-page book titled “Master Your Workday Now!” The book basically boiled down to one core tactic: make a to-do list every day and prioritize into 3 categories – Must Get Done, Do if Time, and Due in +2 Weeks.
I wish I read the Cliff Notes version…
But ridiculously simple tips like this, as trivial as they sound, DO work to SKYROCKET both your effectiveness and efficiency.
How to Sell 500% More While Working 900% Less
Here’s an example from my personal experince.
It took me about 3 weeks to finish my very first WSO. 2 weeks of creating the product and 1 week of editing and copywriting before I finally launched it. To this day, it has made $750 in sales.
Fast forward to a few months later, when I was working on Squidoo Cash Storm. This was right after I started studying productivity and time management. It took me less than a DAY to create the product and another DAY to write the sales copy (working roughly 4-5 hours/day).
This WSO has sold over $3,700 in less than 2 weeks!
And it has received way more positive feedback and testimonials than my first one on Facebook marketing, proving that working LESS doesn’t result in loss of QUALITY. Also, working less doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make less money.
Work Smarter, Not Harder.
How can you work smarter? Here are 5 of the TOP productivity secrets that I now practice on a daily basis to get more work done in less time (and consequently, make more money ):
1. Boost Your Effectiveness With Simple To-Do Lists
I had to read a 342 page book to figure this one out. Now, you’re lucky enough to learn this in a few sentences:
Every day, have a “to do list” that you divide into 3 categories
- Must get done
- Do if time
- Due in the near future
Every evening, before going to bed (so your subconscious has time to work on them while you sleep), fill this out with tasks. Your “must get done” list should be reserved for a few actions that will make the biggest difference in your business or life. Try not to squeeze too many in this category.
Next, fill the “If time” category with tasks to do if you have spare time. These are things that can wait. ONLY start working on these once you finish everything under “Must get done”.
Under near future, list tasks that do not have to be completed for a few weeks. This serves to remind you that they exist so you can work on little chunks here and there.
Of course, your goal is to finish everything on the “Must Get Done” list. Pretend someone has a gun to your head and you MUST finish those tasks. Treat it that seriously.
It might take a while for you to figure out how many and what kind of tasks to put under what categories. As humans, each one of us secretly thinks we’re more awesome than everyone else and tend to overestimate how much we can really get done.
Play around with this system for a while until you get the hang of it (it doesn’t take long) and you’ll be surprise how much more EFFECTIVE- doing the things that get you closer to your goals- you’ll be.
2. Boost Your Efficiency By Accessing “Flow State”
Have you ever been so into something you totally lose yourself in it, forgetting about the outside world including your sense of time. That, my friend, is the wonderful, yet elusive state known as flow state.
Being in flow is like being “one with the universe” and can be described as a spiritual experience. It’s what the best copywriters experience when they sit down in front of their computers. It’s what Kobe Bryant experiences when he’s dribbling aggressively towards the basket, practically oblivious to 2 players closely guarding him.
Flow is also known as being “in the zone”.
In flow, it’s almost as if you’re not doing anything. Some other force is doing THROUGH you. As woo-woo as that sounds, it’s a pretty damn exciting experience.
Learning how to get in and out of flow is one of the most invaluable skills you can teach yourself as an internet marketer. Tasks that once were considered tedious- creating content, writing copy, answering emails, etc.- become effortless and even FUN when you’re in flow state.
Contrary to what you may think, you do not need mastery of a skill set in order to access flow state. It’s totally possible to train yourself to be able to access this amazing state of mind whenever you want.
The Secret to Always Being In the Zone
The secret is to set off some time every day and PRACTICE getting into uninterrupted states of flow. The two main keys are…
1. Practicing it
2. No interruptions
Training yourself this skillset is simple. But if you aren’t used to accessing flow state while working, it may take you a while to get used to it. The key is to set aside at least an hour each day and working NON-STOP, with zero distractions.
Here’s how I used to “work” before I learned about flow state. Say I had to write a 500 word article…
- Turn on Pandora (Avicii radio )
- Pull up some research sites
- Start writing my article, editing every sentence as I went along
- Get stuck, feel frustrated
- Check Facebook, see what my friends are up to
- Realize it’s my friend’s birthday, send her a text
- Remember that I’m writing an article and open up the document again
- Get stuck again for a few minutes, experience more frustration
- Half ass the rest of the article
This process would often take more than AN HOUR! That RIDICULOUS for a 500 word article! Nowadays, you can easily outsource a 500 word article for 5 bucks. Here I was, thinking I was a young hot-shot internet entrepreneur when in reality I was working for less than minimum wage!
Studies have shown that when you’re focused on something and get interrupted, it takes roughly 15 minutes to get back to where you before. It also takes roughly 15 minutes to get into that focused state (flow state). Which is why it is absolutely CRUCIAL to eliminate ALL possible distractions.
When you start working, shut the door, turn off your cell phone, close your email, block Facebook and Twitter, don’t eat, etc. You might be thinking, “nah, I don’t need to go that hardcore. I have WILLPOWER!”
While you may have excellent self-discipline, simply taking all these actions to eliminate distractions has the side benefit of confirming to your subconscious that you TAKE YOUR BUSINESS seriously (lets face it- since we all get to “work from home”, we sometimes forget to treat internet marketing like a REAL job)
If you don’t have the habit of eliminating distractions while you work, make a commitment to just try it for the next week. Seriously. You will be AMAZED at how much more focused you become.
It Only Takes A Week…
It took me about only a week of eliminating distractions while working straight for 3 hours (with a 2 five minute breaks in between) to start experiencing flow on a regular basis. When I first tried this, I still got stuck, experienced writers block and experienced distracting impulses. But I would force myself to keep writing. No matter how unclear my ideas sounded or bad my grammar was. I could always edit later.
Great online timer – http://e.ggtimer.com/55minutes (you can set the time by changing the numbers after the slash)
Eventually, your brain gets trained write more and think less. Meaning your efficiency improves. The quality of your work might suffer a bit at first, but that’ll bounce back with practice.
And when you do hit flow the first few times, it feels AMAZING! I now actually ENJOY a lot of the tedious aspects of internet marketing that I couldn’t stand (I also meditate on a regular basis and that has helped A LOT- but that’s another post).
In the article example, I can now crank out about 4 (maybe 5 if I’m REALLY on) 500 articles done in an hour (I outsource most of my article writing, but do write some stuff myself if I need quality work).
I can get these suckers pumped out in 10-15 minutes max.
Increasing Efficiency by 400%
By simply training myself to work through distracting impulses for a week, I was able to quadruple my hourly pay rate- from $5 hour to $20 hour!
So this blog post went WAYYY longer than what I originally intended (flow state anyone? Heh). Stay tuned for part 2 of The Lazy Internet Marketer’s Guide to Being More Productive series.
And because this IS my first post on my new marketing blog, I’d REALLY appreciate your thoughts. Feel free to leave any questions, comments, concerns, death threats, etc.
If you have nothing to share, just leave a comment telling me I’m awesome