Buck's Goal Furnace
June 5, 2016 at 12:29 am #1247
It’s been 10 days since I posted. I am making money from one site. Not much, but some. And my list is growing.
It’s been hectic and busy. I have spent a lot of time getting ready for Tiffany’s launch. I know I got exposure. Traffic to my site went way up and I made a few sales. People who have commented on the products are impressed with the quality.
My day job has all but come to an end. I have one more week to get things done before school is out and my summer job, Taxi driver for daughter, goes into full swing and leaves me just a few hours a day to relax.
During Tiffany’s launch, I made a lot of small sales. Almost everyone was plagued by one bug or another. I did get them ironed out. I have now moved the priority of that site from “Production” stage to “Maintenance” stage. There are a lot of little things that need to be done, but probably don’t affect sales, so those tasks take a lower priority.
I have created another new site, one designed for full automation. It is in the works and coming along quite well. It’s my new “production” priority. The morning I wrote the outline for it, I received an email promoting a product that looked like it could help fill in the blanks. I bought the product and a couple it recommended as they all go together.
I am in a moratorium of buying products unless I have an immediate need for them. However, I did not fall off the proverbial wagon with this one. It, and the associated products, quite literally filled in the blanks for my outline. They literally shaved over 2 weeks of planning and trial-and-error learning for the plan.
One of the products teaches how to write effective email campaigns. Actually, three of them do, each one different from the other. But one, in particular, showed me a format I have decided to use for my own emails.
Speaking of emails, I also bought a product today because it promised a 30 effective emails campaign. I regret buying it! It turns out to be someone who put up 10 PLR products (converted to end-user products) for sale and the campaigns are written to promote his products only. And they don’t appear to be what I would dare send to my buyers list!
Ironically, all the money I spent this week, came from the profits, or more accurately, the income of my sales! 🙂 It’s been really nice to actually move money backwards lately. I have an account that feeds PayPal, and I am always moving from reserve to the Backup account. This week, I have been moving money from the backup to the reserve, in spite of my spending!
My weakness is still in writing follow-up emails. Now that I actually have a list, however small, I need to prioritize writing the emails.
Well, a marketer’s gotta do what a marketer’s gotta do!June 6, 2016 at 4:23 am #1252
I read most of the posts in this thread. Your productivity inspires me. I’d been spinning my wheels on a membership site I’ve been working for too long. Sean & I have had numerous email discussions about it.
One thing that Sean talked about in one email (that wasn’t specific to me) was tracking your productivity in 15 minute increments. I tweaked that a bit to use 30 minute increments. So I created a spreadsheet to track it daily and calculate my productivity as a percentage for the week. Then I have another spreadsheet that tracks my productivity for each week of each month which will give my total productivity for the year. I was reasonably happy with my productivity for last week. It was 52.76%.
My biggest challenge (besides the day J.O.B) is how long everything takes and the number of competing priorities. For example, we moved into this new house almost two years ago and the yard still isn’t done.
So yesterday I spent several hours working on the yard instead of working on my IMB. Then right after I created the spreadsheets I had to have two unexpected surgeries. I’m grateful for the results but it’s been almost two months & I’m just now getting to the point where I can work on things the way I used to.
How do u deal with the competing priorities and still get so much done?
RickJune 6, 2016 at 1:31 pm #1253
Good Morning, Rick
I am glad you are being inspired by my progress. Unfortunately, I think Sean would throw a brick at me if he knew how much time I waste. I have been lax on my system, but you have reminded me to practice it more strictly.
Sean has you started in the right direction. I use Google Calendar rather than a spread sheet. But the spread sheet definitely has its advantage. I use Google calendar to schedule specific things, and then I create “blocks” of time for more fluid or short tasks.
Create a major task list, commonly called “to-do” list of everything you need to get done. Quickly sort it into priority order. You use a spread sheet, so that should be easy to do. List the tasks in one column, the priority in another and sort on priority. Also, create categories for your tasks. For example, yard work, house work, and IMB. Don’t waste too much time on this. This list is fluid and will constantly be changing. Plan to spend no more than 50 minutes creating the list and 10 minutes adding priorities. Sort the list by category and then priority.
Schedule Phase I
Schedule fixed periods such as work at job, Dr appointments, and family time. Then, block off times for each day for each category of task. Times can be in 1 hour or 1/2 hour blocks. For example, schedule 2 hours for IMB, (2-1 hour blocks or 4-1/2 hour blocks. Try to keep one hour per category minimum, even if you divide it into 1/2 hour blocks. It’s proven better for efficiency.) Do this for each category.
Make adjustments for special categories. For example, you prefer to do all your outdoor chores on Saturday, then, only block them out on Saturday. Make adaptations to your liking, personality and lifestyle.
Schedule Phase II
Sometimes I do this in the evening, but mostly, I do it first thing in the morning.
Schedule your specific tasks into the appropriate time block for ONE, and only one, work day. Your priority is writing articles. So, replace the category blocks for “writing” with “write 5 web articles”, the top priority item in that category.
Do this for each category.
At the end of the day, schedule a “debrief”. Use this time to update your task list, and maybe your schedule. You might want to write a journal entry about how you did for the day.
During the day, as you work on a task in a time block, if you complete the task, start on the next one for that category. If you have 2 hours blocked off for “Write 5 articles” and you finish them within the 1st hour time block, then, start the next priority item under the Writing category, write emails, for example, and replace the rest of the “write 5 articles” blocks with “write 5 emails”.
If you prefer, you might move on to the next category. Rinse and repeat all day.
At the end of the day, update your prioritized task list. This list is ever evolving. You’ll delete the items you complete, add items you discovered and delete items you realize you really don’t need to do. Maybe you’ll start making enough money to hire the kid next door to cut your grass.
A few important notes:
NEVER READ EMAIL OR GO TO FACEBOOK BEFORE STARTING TASKS! Only schedule emails and Facebook, etc. to be done after you have completed your tasks and before an extended break such as lunch or supper where you do something non-related.
Performing tasks that generate reactive response sets your mind into a reactive state. Your best productivity will come from being proactive. Always try to be proactive when you start your tasks. Lunch will get your mind off being reactive, and when you return to work, you’ll be proactive again.
Work no more than one to 1 1/2 hours straight and take a 10 minute walk between sessions.
Try to do the same type task at the same time everyday.
Try to work without being disturbed. I bought an open/will return at sign from Walmart to hang on my office door. My family understands to leave me alone and be quiet outside my door when it is posted. And, more importantly, they know WHEN I will be available for them again.
I hope you find this helpful. I’ll touch it up and make a PLR article out of it soon. 🙂June 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm #1262
that’s a great lesson on productivity management!
It’s so good to hear that you are in profit now . . . now that’s bump that up and double revenue in the next 30 days!
By the way, thanks for helping out around here . . you are inspiring to folks here!~
SeanJune 7, 2016 at 1:06 am #1268
Thank you Sean.
I’m afraid that my progress today has mostly been answering emails and forum posts. I’ve gotten positive feedback, so if it helps others, then today is a success!
Most of today has been crisis management, in other words, responding to issues of immediate need. So I really wouldn’t have gotten much done due to interruptions anyway.
But, I did get a good article to write, and I have some research to do and an idea for PLR everyone will be interested in about now.June 7, 2016 at 2:41 am #1270
That’s a great system. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. Not that it matters much but I don’t use the spreadsheets for time blocking. I use them for productivity tracking. I developed them based on an email conversation Sean and I had back in March. I do use Google Calendar for scheduling appointments. What I don’t do a great job of is time blocking. I do have some repeating items in Google Calendar, items such as working on my IMB (I don’t call it that in Goog Cal but the concept is the same). I just don’t do as good as I should at keeping those appointments with myself.
I also have all of my “to-dos” in a system. I use Todoist (todoist.com). I like it because I can use GTD principles with it (though I’m not strict with that as I should be, either). I also like it because it looks and works exactly the same on all my devices. I’ve got all of my IMB projects and tasks in there as well as my personal tasks.
I feel like I have a lot of the puzzle pieces in place but I have this nagging feeling that I’m missing something and I don’t know what it is.
RickJune 7, 2016 at 12:18 pm #1271
Thank you for your feedback.
First, I hope I didn’t imply that the spread sheet was good for scheduling. That’s what Calendar is for. For tracking and for the task list, the spread sheet sounds like an excellent tool. I’ll probably keep using Calendar to track my time, but I’ll start putting my task list into a spread sheet.
Regardless of what you use, it’s what works for you that is important.
You have Google Calendar for scheduling, a Spread sheet for tracking, and todoist.com for keeping tracking your task list and you are seeing an improvement in productivity, but you feel you are missing something.
It sounds to me that you are definitely on track!
But You are probably feeling overwhelmed. Knowing you have undone chores can be stressful.
I finally stopped letting it bother me. I try to do what is most helpful in the long run, outsource what I can that needs to be done immediately and ignore or get rid of anything that is counterproductive.
I can’t afford to quit my job, but I can use it to buy time. I spent over two hours creating a logo for MyAquarium.Rocks. I spent $5 and about 15 minutes negotiating with someone on Fiverr for the logo on MaximumIM.com. (She’s working on a logo for MyAquarium.rocks as I write this, so if you don’t look soon, you might miss it.)
In all honesty, I have learned to do what I can, outsource what I can afford, procrastinate some things, and just let some things go when they don’t contribute to my long term goals or immediate needs. More than that, I look forward to where I am going and don’t let these other things bother me.
I am happy to make any progress in a day, even if it is less than I hoped. Progress is progress.June 7, 2016 at 6:43 pm #1272
Wow! That’s a lot of tracking and planning. I’ve always struggled with how much time to devote to those tasks. The sweet spot is elusive for me. 🙂
MarkJune 8, 2016 at 1:48 am #1283
The sweet spot is elusive for me, too. I’ve been searching for the right system for years. I think you mentioned in another thread that you use a Franklin Planner. I started off with a Daytimer. I eventually went to Franklin software. Then other software, etc., etc. I wish there was one system that could do everything I want it to do. If there is, I haven’t found it yet. I’ve thought about writing the application to include the features I want but that would take a considerable amount of time and it would take away from my IMB.
I’m finally getting on track slowly but surely. I think I figured out this morning what I’m missing. I’m gonna take a page from your book. Some time blocks will not be available for IMB work. Others will. If a time block it’s not available. And I can’t feel guilty about it. However, the unavailable time blocks will have to be unavailable for a good reason. The second thing I’m missing is that I’m only tracking productivity daily. While I review my tasks daily in Todoist, I don’t review my calendar daily. I only do that weekly. So there’s a disconnect there. So I’ve got some tweaking to do.
RickJune 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm #1288
Buck, have you read The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan?
if not – it’s a great reframe for getting things done . . . without time management
SeanJune 9, 2016 at 1:09 am #1292
As Rick said, you are a model for us to aspire to. Keep up the great work.
Sean, I ordered that book. Hope to read it over the weekend.
DaveJune 10, 2016 at 7:55 am #1308
Good morning, Mark, Rick, Sean and Dave.
The tracking and planning sounds like a lot. It really isn’t unless you try to assemble it all up front.
I started by just tracking how I used my time. Then, after a week or two, I started blocking off periods of time to schedule different kinds of work. Finally, I started a task-list and put the tasks into the blocks and started checking them off.
Mark and Rick,
A friend introduced me to the Frankly System. I was using Day Planner at the time. I considered it and listened to the tapes (It was a long time ago.) After a couple of days, I trashed the idea of using it. I took some of what I learned from the tapes and applied it to my own system, but the initial setup for Franklyn was way too much for me to comprehend and apply at that time.
When I first started implementing my time management system, my boss thought I was spending way too much time on time management and not enough on work. Then, he refrained from telling me the second week. But just when he was ready to say something, I started spending less time on time management and started working again.
He finally pulled me aside to tell what he observed. In the first month, I lost almost 50% productivity, but the second month, my productivity almost tripled over what it was before I started using it.
I am just glad he saw the potential and had patience.
No, I haven’t. Here’s the oxymoron… I don’t know when I have time to schedule it in. I’ll have to start a list of things to read, or find an audio version so I can listen to it in the car.
So, go buy a couple of hundred dollars of my goodies. LOL, Just kidding. (So I have a warped since of humor.)
Seriously, Thank you. I share my ups and downs and try to say a word of encouragement when I can. I saw a way to replace my job in 30 days for only $47, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars, countless hours and 8 years chasing the illusive dream. Now, I have learned (almost learned) to quit buying everything the guru’s try to sell me, and follow one plan through whatever forest, ocean, desert, mountain or tundra it drags me through until I complete it.June 10, 2016 at 8:28 am #1311
This forum is probably a really good thing for us because it causes us to raise our standards, or at least make a public commitment to doing so.
For the first 21 years we were in business, it was like I’d never heard of marketing. (Seriously.)
There are so many internet marketing plans, theories, promises, etc. available. My experience (and as Sean says often) is that it is not as easy as most marketers would have you believe. On the other hand, it also is not as hard as we think.
My former biz coach has a whole bunch of sites that make him money in different niches. One of the niches is – believe it or not – LAWN MOWER RACING! He always says that it will never make him rich but dang if it doesn’t produce several hundred dollars every month above and beyond the costs.
Keep up the good work!
DaveJune 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm #1327
Dave, have you looked at the lawn mower racing niche? I had a friend at work who did that. (I asked him if I could hold a race in my yard, LOL)
They soup those things up to go pretty fast! And they spend a lot of money on them.
So, I hadn’t thought of it for a niche, but I can believe he makes money with it.June 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm #1328
I added 4 items to drip feed to my CuttingEdgePLR.com site, I spent a full day researching email deliverability issues, and I wrote three emails for an email series on the topic.
I also set up the pages for a Video training series for email members to view.
I need to set up the autoresponder sign up for the page.
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