I have to confess. Even though I am able to run a multi-site Ecommerce business and several side projects, it’s all a facade.
I am a sufferer of Shiny Object Syndrome. It’s a daily struggle. Currently I am in the process of launching a Pinterest marketing campaign, building a new ecommerce course, running my core business, and doing all the other things we all need to do.
So how do I stay on track? It’s not easy, but I have two things that I try to keep in mind that help tremendously. The first one is just a simple question, and one I don’t want to ask myself when the latest shiny object is dangled in front of me:
What’s the most productive thing you could be doing right now?
Such a cruel thing to ask – it demands that you close a bunch of browser tabs, and forget about your favorite blogs, comics, news sites and everything else out there that pulls you away from what you should be doing.
You have to ask it though. This one question will pull you back to what matters. It’s related to another thing I remind myself of, when I start to drift:
The difference between amateurs and professionals is that professionals do what needs to be done, whether they want to or not.
— That one dude
Yep. Most of us know exactly what we SHOULD be doing, but we’d rather be doing something else.
But what do we mean actually mean when we say productive? Here’s what Google says:
Well, OK – but I have a different idea:
• moving towards the achievement of a goal
For me at least, my overall business goals always come down to these three things:
Does it increase cash flow right now?
Maybe putting your old treadmill on Craig’s List is not the most exciting thing on your list today, but it could throw off $400 – and now you can run that ad campaign you’ve been itching to try.
Does it improve your long term position?
If it doesn’t produce cash now, will it in the future? Of course improving your position is about a lot more than ready cash:
• Grabbing market share
• Expanding your product offering
• Opening up a new sales channel
• Increasing traffic
Those are just off the top of my head – I am sure you can come up with plenty of your own.
Does it make your business easier to run?
A lot of people overlook this one. But you should be thinking about it – its what they call a “force multiplier” in the military.
• Automate using software
• Offload repetitive tasks to others
• Ask yourself – Is this activity / item really necessary? Sometimes we find ourselves doing things just because we have always done them – maybe they don’t matter so much anymore. A great example of this is keeping paper documents. There is no reason for it in most cases.
Two new tools I am using this year…
Aside from tormenting myself with the above, I have implemented two great tools into my day that have completely changed things for me this year:
- The Morning Routine
- The Kon-Marie Method
I’ll be exploring these in detail soon in future posts. For now, I’d like to give you a list of some of my favorite
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield …… Classic. If you don’t have it, get it.
- On Writing by Stephen King ….. An inside look at a guy who writes so many books, he can’t keep paper in the house.
- Asian Efficiency …… Excellent blog on productivity
- The E-Myth Revisited ….. This should be required reading for anyone about to start a business
Do you have a favorite books or websites you visit related to productivity / goals? Please share them below.