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How I Increased My Productivity by At Least 70% Part 2

For years now I’ve used a Planner Pad. A large majority of the people I end up telling about it, end up buying their own. It’s a great tool and I would be lost without it.

The great thing about the Planner Pad that sets it apart from most planners is in its structure. You see most planners are based around the hours of the day. The planner pad has that as well, but that is just one of three sections.

planner pad

The top section is for your projects in the week. The middle section is the projects for you day.

Each week I fill out all my projects so I know what I’m doing during the week. I fill in any time based appointments I have as well. Then each day, the night before I schedule out my day.

Like I said I’ve been doing this for years. This made me productive but its not the big change I recently made.

The big change was to stop thinking in terms of projects and to begin thinking in terms of activities.

With a project like launching a course there are going to be lots of things you need to do. Let’s say it’s a video and written course. Here are some of the activities involved.

  • Outline project
  • Write material
  • Film video
  • Edit video
  • Get artwork made up
  • Write sales letter
  • Create web page and setup order links
  • Promotional emails
  • Create download links
  • Create physical product

I probably missed a couple steps (and could break those down into more steps too) but that will give you an idea.

Earlier I would write a project at the top of my planner pad and list those things. Then I would try to focus on a project each day. It worked to some degree.

But now I switched to activity focus. Right now my activities fit into the following categories.

  • Writing
  • Video production
  • Advertising
  • Operations (a catch-all category for everything else)

I’ve been working and tweaking these over the past couple weeks but this is basically what its come down too.

Then I take all my projects and break up the steps into these categories.

  • Outline project (writing)
  • Write material (writing)
  • Film video (video)
  • Edit video (video)
  • Get artwork made up (operations – outsourced)
  • Write sales letter (writing)
  • Create web page and setup order links (operations)
  • Writing promotional emails (writing)
  • Setting up promo emails to go out (operations)
  • Create download links (operations)
  • Create physical product (operations)

So you can see how I break up my time. You’ll notice that none of these fall into advertising. That was another Frog that I tended not to eat, always putting it off, as I focused on these other projects. But since making this switch I’ve regularly been running ads, testing and tweaking pages for conversions, etc.

There is a time to go Demon State and do a project from start to finish all at once. I can always choose that as an option when needed or in an emergency arises.

But by organizing my time into activities I am getting far more done. This is because I know the activity to do, and there is much less of “should I do this or that”. Writing starts my day followed by working on advertising. Then I usually workout and do video and operations after that.

Give this method a try and let me know how it goes for you.

Also let me know if you’d like to hear more of the steps and details I use to be productive. If you do I’ll create more articles for you.

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How I Increased My Productivity by At Least 70% Part 1

I’m always seeking methods to become even more productive. If you want results you have to take action. Its as simple as that. Taking the right actions is certainly important, but the majority of time, any action is better than no action at all.

When you’re running a business there is always lots to be done. And it will never end. In Brian Tracy’s classic book, Eat That Frog! the first page opened my mind years ago when I read it. “The fact is that you are never going to get caught up. You will never get on top of your tasks…No matter how many personal productivity techniques you master, there will always be more to do than you can ever accomplish in the time you have available to you.”

Eat That Frog!

(By the way if you don’t have this book, GET IT! It’s cheap and a quick read and very valuable.)

That means there will always be more work to do. Even though its never ending it is best to handle it in the best possible way.

The gist of Eat That Frog!” target=”_blank”>Eat That Frog! is to do the biggest and hardest thing each day first. If you had to eat a frog you would go ahead and do it right now, not keep putting it off because then you’d be dreading when you have to do it in the future.

Almost always people know what they SHOULD be doing. But they’re not doing it for whatever reason.

Another way to look at this is the 80/20 principle. This states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. And that means 20% of your results comes from the other 80% of your actions.

In a previous article I discussed this and that for me writing is one of my 20% actions.

But writing on some things was something I put off doing a lot in the past. I did it, but in a haphazard fashion.

And as a 20% activity, it is my frog, that I eat each and every morning I work. For somewhere between one to two and a half hours I write non-stop. Sometimes its emails and articles like this one. Other times its books I’m working on. Sometimes it sales letters and whole email sequences I craft. Sometimes I’m doing research while writing, other times its straight flow from my head through my fingertips.

I don’t even check my email before doing it anymore. Why open those loops on everything else that I could be doing by responding to those. I’ll get to them all towards the end of my day instead.

What’s the result of doing this?

I’m ahead of schedule almost all the time on articles I need, including guest posts for others. I typically have a backlog of stuff I can send out. I’ve written three books now that I haven’t released yet, with more in other stages of completion. For instance, this article is being written a full week before I plan to release it. And the second part is also being written now.

Let’s take this morning as an example. Besides these two articles, I worked on a chapter for the book that will be added to the Ultimate Recovery Formula course I have. I’m also writing my bi-weekly article for Breaking Muscle a few weeks ahead of schedule. I’m putting the finishing touches on an article about form for LegendaryStrength.com and a new article for SupermanHerbs.com.

That’s a single morning. What happens when you stack morning after morning like this? I predict I’ll get even further and further ahead.

And this is just one of the blocks of time I spend. Although its my first frog its not the only activity I need. In the next article I will be sharing with you how I structure my day, and the recent change I made that resulting in at least a 70% increase in productivity.

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5 Fastest Info Product Creation Ideas

If you’re in the information marketing business, then it’s likely you’ll be coming up with lots of products over the years that you engage in this business. More likely than not your first product is going to take quite some time to do. That seems it be the case for just about everyone. My first product took about six months. I have some friends that took over two years to get their product released, and it finally just happened.

But as you continue in this business and create more products you’ll find you become faster and faster. Still there are some shortcuts you can take to speed up this process no matter if you’re starting out or a seasoned pro. This article will introduce you to five fast info product creation ideas that you can start putting into use right away.

Video

I like video for several reasons. One of which is that video has a higher perceived value than books do in many cases. This is also because a large portion of the population is visually oriented, partially because they’re trained by their TV’s, YouTube and movies to enjoy watching something on the screen.

Video is also easy to put together. The way I like to do it is mind map the topic you’d like to film on. If you’re an expert in the subject then by doing this process you’ll have your complete outline. Then you shoot the video. Depending on your expertise you may need to do lots of takes, or you may be able to get through it with minimal editing, or even just one single take. As I mentioned before the more you do this the better you’ll get at it.

By presenting in this way, and by that I mean a live action video were you’re on it, you can quickly put together high-quality video with great information.

video_camera

You don’t need expensive equipment or a film crew to do video these days.

Workshop

A workshop can be an extension of the video model already discussed. Probably the greatest factor about this product creation idea, is that you can get paid to create the product. You sell the workshop in which you’re going to present great information and people sign up. Then when you put on the workshop you have the cameras rolling. That video is taken and put together in some format to create a product.

Another advantage of this is because workshops tend to be at the very least a half day, but often go into multiple days, you’re putting together a larger product. If each DVD is an hour-long after a weekend course you can often have somewhere between 12 and 18 DVDs. This means it’s going to be a higher priced and higher valued course.

In fact, I’m doing just that this weekend. I’m putting on the Wizards of Strength workshop. In this a few friends of mine/co-presenters and I are discussing the topic of strength training and fitness, with a large part of it being on the mental and energetic side of that training. It should be a great time.

Once the workshop is done we then have a decision to make. On the one hand we may just sell the workshop as is the complete set. For this workshop I think this may be the best way to deliver it. Or what we can do, and this is something we’ve done in our previous workshops, is to then split up the workshop segments into different products. At this point I’m not sure which direction we will take, but either way were going to make much more money from the video of this workshop then we made on the front-end filling it up with people.

For these reasons this is probably my most favorite product creation idea available. Anytime you can get paid to create something you’ll then sell, you should be happy about it.

Business Workshop Pic

My first business workshop, which I filmed and turned into a product.

Interviews

Interviews are one the easiest ways to take the expert knowledge of one person and put it out there. The problem today, is that with all the podcasts and other free interviews available, it’s become harder to sell these, at least as a standalone product.

One model that is still successful is the Tele-summit model. In this usually somewhere between 10 and 20 experts are brought on during a period of around a week, to talk about one specific subject. Each expert talks about one specific aspect of the subject or his or her own take on it. Usually people are allowed to listen to these calls for free, or even the replays for a limited time. But if they want the MP3s or CDs of the entire summit usually they can get it for a fee. Because people are busy, if they want the information enough they’ll pay this fee. And sometimes other bonuses are stacked on like the transcripts of these interviews.

Another way to make interviews work is to have someone interview you. You can even write out the questions for them to ask of you. But with this it’s easier to speak than the talk for most people. And if you record six hours you can then have a six CD course (or MP3’s). If it’s great information people will pay for it.

Most interviews aren’t even done in person anymore. There are plenty of great online services to record over the phone or web.

Dictation

This is related to the interview model but it is done completely by yourself. You can record yourself on a voice recorder or software on your computer, and then send it to a transcriptionist.

Another method is to get something along the lines of Dragon Naturally Speaking which automatically transcribes everything that you speak into it. In fact, I’m using that software which I just recently purchased, to do this article for you here. I also used this a few days ago to record a new book for release on Kindle. I was able to get through the book quicker than I would have typing it from scratch.

If you speak better than you write, or you just hate staring at a blank screen of white paper, then I recommend you give this option a try. There’s a learning curve to it, but I feel like this will be a key to speeding up my productivity in the long term.

Other People’s Products

While this isn’t actually a product creation idea, it may help you to think outside the box. Most likely in your nets, there are many other people with great products. Why go through the trouble of creating your own, when you can just offer theirs. This can be set up as a joint venture, or even just with affiliate sales. The end result of an offer that you make money on is the same whether it’s your own product or another person’s product. Of course that’s assuming you get the same profit or commission out of it, and not counting things like customer support or building a list or other important stuff like that.

Another way you can use other people’s products are as a model for your own. I’m not saying that you should steal their ideas, and definitely not to plagiarize their exact words. But if you look at one or more products of other people in the market you may use this as an outline for your own. You can also add other things like what did they miss? What are they wrong about? What connections from other related areas can you bring to this topic? By going through this process you can often put together a superior product.

Public Domain

I’ve written about public domain previously on this website. The truth is this is probably the fastest product creation method available. Why is that? Because the product is already 100% done. You can use it as is if you choose.

You can also edit make changes or derivative works from this product. Even though this may take time, because most of the work is already done, it’s still much faster then beginning from scratch. If you want more ideas on public domain click here.

Public Domain Book

Some little modifications (like new artwork) but a great book done and selling.

So there you have it, five fast info product creation ideas. And since there is multiple ideas and some of those, you certainly have more than five. Start putting these into action, and your online info business will grow faster and faster.

If you’d like help putting together any of these methods and a whole bunch more than be sure to check out my business coaching options available here.

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How to do a Backwards Planning Process

I started doing this backwards planning process drill a few years ago. I don’t remember where I first got the idea from but I’ve certainly heard a number of people recommend it.

It can be made a whole lot more powerful if you understand a number of NLP methods and how to use timelines, but they’re not necessary to still get great benefits from it. After all why would you want something to work 10 times better 🙂 My personal favorite way to do this is to make location anchors for the different times especially since I’m a kinesthetic person.

I’ll give you the simple version, because that’s actually easy enough to do through written media.

I do this as a big event around New Years every year. I spend several hours reviewing my past year and planning out the next, part of which is in this specific drill. Yeah, it blows the success rate of resolutions out of the water, which is why I do “this” rather than “those”.

What most people do is they look from where they’re currently at and what they’d like to achieve in the future (if they do any goal setting at all, and most don‘t).

The Process

Instead what seems to work much better is to imagine yourself in your future. It can be a year from now, or simply at the end of the goal you have. Wow you’ve achieved all that you’ve aimed for. Now come the questions? What did you do to get here? Here’s the secret…

From this position of having done it already, it’s much easier to know what you need to do to achieve it. This change in frames will actually pull out ideas that you wouldn’t access had you not done this.

So what I do is to imagine myself living my life one year out from today. Where am I living? What do I do first thing in the morning? How does my work go? What am I doing for my health? What is my workout routine like? What am I doing for fun? Who am I spending time with? Where do I go in my day?

Create your ideal day in your mind, one day that you could live over and over again the be happy with it. The majority of our days are similar so you’re figuring out that base of life for yourself. Only after you’ve done this and imagined it in complete detail do you step back to the present.

How does this ideal day compare to your dream day? What is the same? What is different?

Going back into the future you can look back and see the changes you had to make in order to have this effect on your life.

Using Backwards Planning for a Goal

If you do this with a single goal in mind you’ll usually get an idea of how long it will take for you to reach it. You can easily see the benchmarks along the way, or the sub-goals you’ll have to hit to achieve your main goal. You can also see what actions you’ll need to take.

There’s the big steps to take, but also what you need to start doing in the present RIGHT NOW to get started towards this goal. That’s one of the most important things. Don’t let this fall into “yeah that was cool when I did that” but instead let it be the start of massive action towards your goal.

Backwards Planning for Business Projects

I did this process recently for an upcoming product launch I’m doing. There’s no doubt in my mind that it will be my most successful product launch ever. Why is that? Simply because I set that goal and did this process to find the steps I needed to do. Everything is already underway for it to happen.

The biggest change in how I normally do things is in how I’m doing this one, to make my affiliates a lot of money. Without the right questions asked, what did you do to make this the most successful launch you’ve ever done?, it wouldn’t have worked.

With that question I figured out I need to get people on board ahead of time.

I decided I need to give them major incentives to promote a lot (which I’m doing by giving 75% commissions on this product).

I also need to go outside my comfort zone in contacting other and bigger people than myself to see if they’d be interested in helping. (This is something I’ve specifically avoided in the past).

And how to really grab people’s attention with something they’ve never seen before. In fact, I’m so excited about this it’s hard to keep under wraps for the time being.

(By the way if you have a list, big or small, and a website on fitness be sure to contact me to get in on this action.)

Do It Yourself RIGHT NOW

Now I know almost everyone reading this is going to say, that’s nice and move onto the next thing. In which case you’ll forget about this idea and probably never do it, and thus never get any benefit from it.

Instead, take a little time right now to run through this process for a goal you have. If you do that I guarantee you’ll come up with something that will help you to achieve it.

And I’d love to get your comments below about your experience in this backwards planning process. You don’t have to share what you did it on if you don’t want to but please do share something.

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Best Productivity Tips

feel like email is dragging you downI’ve known about these two productivity tips for a long time. But the fact is knowing something and doing it is the difference between winners and losers.

My guess is that you already know you should do these things too. But the question is do you do them?

By putting these tips into action this last week alone I was able to finish editing videos from a workshop and getting them setup online. These videos had been doing nothing more than collecting digital dust on my hard drive for some time. …click to read more.

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How to Learn Better

Stack of BooksEveryone learns. But do you ever really learn how to learn?

If you are reading this site you are here to learn productivity tips and to learn to make money online.

I’m sure this isn’t the only site you visit. There are tons of other places you go out and seek information.

The question to ask yourself is: What if you accelerated your learning abilities?

The ability to process more information. The ability to retain and recall more of that information. Could that possibly result in a better life? I think so.

…click here to read more

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Workshops, Seminars and Conferences

People at a ConferenceI’ve been to a lot of them. Various aspects of strength training and fitness including certification programs.

I’ve been to an equal number of business events, learning more about online and offline marketing and every other aspect of building a business.

Then there are those on health and nutrition. Even one recently on mental training (which you may not even believe the material there!) …Click to Continue

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Time Management 101

Time Management TipsWhen you are working on your own, working to get there, or just have a variety of projects you have to handle you need to learn how to manage your time. This article will give you the basic tips on how I do that. Time management 101, if you please.

Every single person has the same amount of time in their day. Yet one person can accomplish a great number of things while another literally accomplished nothing. What is the …click to continue reading.

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