How To Make The Best Of Your Online Time Management
My post on New Years Eve get me thinking about another key issue that makes or breaks our Online success, I’m talking of course about Online Time Management, in the end we all know if we get this one wrong then the rest is frankly pointless and there are 101 distractions, so how do we get round that?
Of course there is a lot more to Online Time Management than just what you do when you sit down at your desk in the morning, how you look after yourself from the first few minutes you wake up will feed through to what happens in terms of concentration later on
When it comes to Online Time Management the fact that we are creatures of habit presents a real problem because first off we need to deal with some bad habits before we get the real concentration issues and the first of those is taking care of you, so first thing that requires proper hydration
Next in our Online Time Management checklist is exercise, it’s not for nothing that 30-40 minutes exercise that gets the pulse up makes us feel great, for some of you that’s the gym, for others it’s jogging, me personally it’s cycling, have you noticed that maybe you had to push yourself to start with but after 10 minutes you are bursting with life, your body is creating endorphins which have a highly positive effect on the body and their 100% natural
Last off in our early day Online Time Management routine is breakfast,it’s not for nothing that breakfast is called the fuel of champions, healthy that is, the fried type will send your system back to sleep, if we are going to make a real change it starts with us because we are the only thing we are really in control of
So When WE Say Online Time Management We Mean Managing Ourselves
Lets be brutally frank here, if we can’t control ourselves we cant control Online Time Management, so if the lecture on how we start our day sounds harsh well we need to be serious about what we are doing because it’s the difference between 99% of people who get to the end of the day and ask what did I do today? and the 1% who get a huge amount done
Focus on distractions next, switch off the sound on your computer, your incoming e mails, your phone and allocate a period in the day to respond to these, next realistically plan your day out based around your maximum concentration periods, no more than 2 hours and then break and do something different to clear your head
Lets dispel one of the greatest myths,that of multi tasking, forget Online Time Management for a moment the human brain is not designed for it, attempting to complete multiple tasks reduces not increases your productivity, focus, complete one task then start the next or better still Outsource the next and release your creative thought process
In fact creating total focus is what Online Time Management is really all about, keeping your mind in the right now, we all know that there are so many distractions when working online,staying on track is essential
What Resources Can Help My Online Time Management?
In terms of in office your clear to do list is essential,you must know exactly what you are doing, I also find a timer helps in Online Time Management, you’ll find them in the kitchen department of any hardware store or supermarket and it’s a small investment that will repay you many times over
To learn true Online Time Management you need to go back to school and I would suggest the following to stop distractions The E-Myth will stop you just being busy and will teach you how to be productive, listen to his case studies and compare them to where you are now
Jason Fladlien has taught a huge number of people effective Online Time Management, in his Video series aptly named Internet Marketing Time Management he shows you how to create great results in the minimum time, this mans track record speaks for itself and I would recommend you watch and listen to what he has to say
Lastly I am going to recommend Stephen Covey’s The 8th Habit we are as Stephen describes knowledge workers and we need to understand what is urgent from what is unimportant, the 8th habit will teach you how to do this, it’s a vital skill set that anybody selling their knowledge must have
I personally believe that this subject is a make or break point for many people, it’s that important, so as always I’d love to hear how you achieve your focus and how you create effective Online Time Management
The Critical Differences Between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking Why You Must Use Both
Like many people online I use a number of Outsource partners and in doing so it teaches you an interesting lesson, for the purposes of this post I’m going to call it the critical differences between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, at first they sound like two ways of describing the same thing but I see a critical difference
So what is the critical difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking and why does it matter? I personally think it’s at the heart of how we do business, it either releases our time or it causes us a lot of un needed stress as deadlines are missed with countless e mails and diagrams flying around in cyber space
When we come down to it Outsourcing is any one off project that you need to complete that you want to either release your time from or lack the technical skills to carry out without spend hours trying to learn, in short you know exactly what you want you just don’t know exactly how to make it happen
Out Tasking by the same measure is any task that repeats itself in your business that you need to get done, it’s important to your success but it can be easily placed in somebody else’s hands, do you start to see a critical difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking?
Why Differentiate Between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking?
So why differentiate between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking anyway? for me it’s really simple it’s about two things in my mind, a good Out Tasker is somebody that you will build an ongoing relationship with, who in effect becomes a remote member of your team, he or she has a skill set you need but vitally they have something else as well
You see the other vital difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking is your Out Tasker knows exactly what you want and delivers it fast, they appreciate your regular business and you in turn know that area is taken care of, an Outsource worker is by it’s nature a trip into the unknown for you
I have talked about this before but lets touch on this again in the context of Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, when establishing a new service that you will use on an ongoing basis it is best to place the work with up to 5 Outsourcers, why because you are market testing at this point, let me explain what I mean by this
Of these 5 one will probably just not do the work but will make excuses, one will do it poorly, two will do a good job and one will do an outstanding job explaining different ways to add value to what you are doing, we can quickly see that in the context of Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, number one is a non starter where as number 5 looks really good, the initial investment pays off right from the start using this approach
Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking Finding Those Key People
So we can see from the example above that a little front end investment will repay us many times over, it also perfectly illustrates the vital difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking but where do you find these people, well in my post on Dec 3rd I talked about Micro Outsourcing and I listed a number of key sites to use there
I recently produced a 20 minute MP3 called Outsourcing Made Easy It covers the key Outsourcing sites that you can use, it’s a great starting point as it also discusses recruiting your own Outsourcers as opposed to just one offs, it’s an ideal introduction to Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, it’s free with no one time offers involved
I think you need to shift your mind set to really get the most out of Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking but once you do you will see yourself getting a lot more done, in a stress free way and in a far shorter time
So hopefully you will start viewing these seeming related issues as two separate functions, one as one off projects and the other as a key relationship building exercise, as always I’d love to hear your experiences on Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking
The Importance Of Getting Back To First Principals
I had the good fortune to join a webinar on Monday night with the man who was my mentor Alex Jeffereys, he had invited all of his ex students to an online get together and it was really enlightening, this is a man who earns a lot of money and yet he wanted to talk about his frustrations in the last year and why we needed to go back to First Principals
Personally I think it re enforces what I had always known that here was a man who would always go the extra mile, he talked about what he thought had gone wrong and he wanted to take us all back to First Principals as well, we could take the lesson of his mistakes and he added in a coaching session as well
Now he didn’t need to do this but he had chosen to ensure that none of the rest of us went through what he did, at first glance going back to First Principles sounds like a retro grade step but that is to miss understand the importance of having a clear plan and of working without getting diverted
But how you may be thinking can I get anything out of your get together on Monday night with your fellow students down the last two or three years, well I also happen to think First Principals are critical and I will explain why as this post develops, in fact I would go as far as to say without them we are all sunk
The Importance Of First Principals In Your Future Success
So why do I see this as so important, why should we all look at First Principals as part of our strategy? I see it as part of the importance of keeping focused, of keeping a longer term plan because without it you are basically like a little boat in a choppy sea, being blown around at will, with no real direction
You see First Principals says that you must link your day to day to do list to your One month and three month planning, it is the vital glue that keeps you in place, there are so many distractions, so many shiny objects to chase, so many glitches, loop-holes and magic buttons promising instant riches hmm!
The reality of First Principals is that you need accountability, an accountability partner to keep you on track, a clear strategy both day to day and a way of looking back and seeing what is working and what still needs to be done, otherwise we end up as so many do looking back at the end of a week and asking what have I actually achieved
Keeping your projects in a logical sequence is also essential, how many I wonder have 5 or 6 projects on the go but none finished, why is that a major problem? simple really, without a plan you wont earn any money, First Principals asks you the difficult questions that we sometimes try and brush aside
So How Can I Harness First Principals In My Business?
It’s a good question and one that the answer to will pay big dividends for you, you see when harnessed properly First Principals will increase your income whilst reducing your stress and anxiety, a true definition of win-win and one that you must pay attention to if you want to succeed
So what resources are there out there that can help you develop sound First Principals? personally I can think of none better than
Rich Schefren’s Internet Business Manifesto It’s been downloaded over a million times, it’s free but worth I think a great deal, you will see immediately why this man is the person everybody turns to when they get stuck
I would also recommend that you listen to his interviews with Mike Filsaime, Jim Edwards and Danny Johnson, I’ve had them for the last three years, I listen to them regularly, they always take me back to First Principals, I would put their value at around $297 Dollars but again they are free
So my message today is simple, without a clear plan and a way to put it into action you are sunk, the difference between a guru figure and everybody else is not knowledge it’s action a crystal clear plan of action and accountability, remember what Michael Gerber said, the problem with the boss is the boss doesn’t have one?
I will finish as always by asking for your thoughts, to see how you hold yourself to account, how you work your plan, how you stay on track despite all the distractions, how you manage to get back to First Principals
Which Is Better Setting Trends Or Building Timeless Value?
I wanted to look today at what is going on online and to ask the question is it better to be Setting Trends or building Timeless Value, clearly there are merits in both but from a business point of view which is the best path to follow?
I guess before we pursue this to much further we need to look at what’s gone on over the last 10 years, the online audience has in that time grown from just over 360 million to a figure today in excess of two billion, so a worldwide audience is Setting Trends by driving this huge growth
It might be a surprise that the market is still growing strongly in western Europe, it grew by over 62% in 2010 alone,according to the London School of Economics many children admit to missing meals or even sleep to make time to go online, clearly they are Setting Trends! whether they are desirable is another matter entirely
This same group who are Setting Trends say that they would be lost with access to the Internet and 46% make purchases online and again these are very recent figures dating from November 2010, you could argue that they are the consumers of the future but as their parents will attest to they are the consumers of right now
With This Group Setting Trends Is There A Place For Timeless Value?
So if this group or niche as we so often refer to them online are Setting Trends is there any place for timeless Value? I think the growth in demand for products and services in the developing world that is demanding ever more high quality products and services would suggest there is
Indeed the same Group that is Setting Trends is choosing timeless value, in 2010 the sales of Rolls Royce motor cars grew by 171% in a global market that was by all accounts in trouble, in the same period Ferrari saw sales grow by 10% in the US and by 20% in China, you could argue that these companies combine timeless value with certainly Ferrari Setting Trends with it’s new 458, it’s sold out for over a year and nearly new ones are changing hands for 20% more than they cost new
I talked earlier in the month on High Authority Programs about how certain people command high authority positions whilst others sell out and in the longer term do themselves more harm than good, how they lose the trust and respect they worked hard to build, if done well Setting Trends creates a tremendous opportunity but it can also be asking a question that nobody is looking for the answer to
This also tied in with my thoughts on whether we were seeing the death of Affiliate Marketing which I talked on a few days before again I felt that we were seeing people Setting Trends but sadly not in a desirable way, I also though pointed out that certain people were bucking that with timeless values and that in the longer term these were the people that would flourish
Setting Trends Is There An Opportunity In It?
I think a look in your inbox any day of the week would tell you that Setting Trends is a huge market, with so many new products and new ways of doing things these people drive the market on, are they all what they appear to be? no of course not, but I read recently that for 95% of people if success knocked on their door today they would turn success away,now that is a frightening thought
So how do you tell which is a genuine product Setting Trends and which is just the work of a snake oil salesman? first of all is what is being suggested realistic, anything that is push button, a glitch, a loop-hole is generally a newbie trap but amongst those there are some great new ideas, test them, if they don’t do what they claim reject them but never close your mind to new ideas
When evaluating new products or ideas we must follow them to the letter, too many people try to shortcut the process only then can you truly tell if they work, is it an idea whose time has come? is it really Setting Trends? or is it just a rehash of something that stopped working years ago or just a theory that never worked at all, unless you test properly you will never know
Okay lets start to wrap things up for today, I think the answer to the question is we need both, if we are brave we can lead a market in a new direction as long as we know the market wants that product or service, other times we want what we want, what we aspire to, clearly that’s timeless, so which do you believe in timeless value or Setting Trends?
The Real Value Of Working With A Successful Mentor
I wanted to look today at the amount of noise of distraction that is going on online and to really drill down to the importance of focus, of being absolutely clear on where you are going and the role of a Successful Mentor in helping you achieve that goal
The inbox of to many people will see dozens if not hundreds of e mails arrive each one promising instant overnight riches at the push of a button if you just buy their latest product or take their recommendation, the role of a Successful Mentor is to help you stay on track with what matters rather than being drawn into distractions
Does this suggest that all e mails are a distraction? no of course not but if they are stopping you completing your plan then to a large extent they are, like many fields online success is a question of following a formula, a plan, the role that a Successful Mentor will undertake for you is to implement that plan and to set up accountability
I have talked before about the role of an accountability partner, somebody who will both support you through some difficult times to ensure that you come out the other end stronger and somebody who will share you success as well, a Successful Mentor will highlight the value of a Mastermind Group for you
The True Strength Of A Successful Mentor
So what is the true strength of a Successful Mentor and how do you benefit? I would say that clarity is critical, their ability to cut through the noise and give you some clear ideas to work with, we all have our personal roadblocks and they are usually of our own making
In many ways we can be our own worst enemies, as our business grows we become project managers, a task we are not experienced in quite often, your Successful Mentor will have observed this many times, in fact I referred to this in my Jan 21st Post in it I talked about the man who mentored me and how he had felt himself getting off track and his reverting back his mentor
Often when we just look through our own eyes we see a part of a picture, a Successful Mentor used to dealing with other peoples businesses will see a bigger picture and how it fits into a longer term plan, this strategic thinking can make the critical difference between stagnation and the next burst of growth
In the case above my mentor Alex Jeffereys had seen that despite his helping develop countless successful online marketers himself that he had hit a roadblock, it is a sign of strength of character not a lack of knowledge at this point that he turned back to his own mentor to find the way forward
The Business Case for A successful Mentor
In my own field of Professional Golf it is a standard practice that players will have a coach, a fitness trainer, a mind coach, no longer is it good enough to be just talented now you need to be mentally strong under pressure and extremely physically fit, a few words from a Successful Mentor will make a huge difference
We don’t wait for our teeth to fall out or our car to break down before we take action, it’s just part of routine that we take care of these things on a regular basis, having a Successful Mentor as part of our continuing success strategy should be part of that same thinking
Can you learn from a Successful Mentor with little or no cost? well you can certainly mirror their ideas for just an investment in your time and as I think you know I think the best of these is Rich Schefren’s Internet Business Manifesto but at some point we still need to know how to drive these ideas, it’s no accident that in life the most successful people all have their own mentors, that person they respect and turn to for advice
In wrapping up today I would say that this is in my opinion the critical difference between people who struggle and those who do fantastically well, one group never see the full picture, the other keep seeing the latest ideas and drive them forward, so let me know your thoughts on having a Successful Mentor?