Tag Archives | writing

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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Are You Rewarded for Efficiency or Lack of It?

Years before I had my online businesses I was working at a health food store.

I started out as a bagger when I was 16 years old.

Later on I moved up to a stocker position. Soon I became one of the top stockers there. I re-organized the warehouse for more efficiency. I started training other stockers. I became the go-to guy at the store for anything related to what I was doing.

Later on I was moved up to the position of buying and ordering the food.

By that time I had my “side business” going. After I had released two information products online I knew it was time to move on.

Although I had a fair amount of freedom at my place of work I had moved as far up as I was going to go and the pay wasn’t that great anyway.

One of the benefits of my job is I was able to listen to audio tapes most of the time. At first it was with a CD player and later on with an iPod. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to things like Think and Grow Rich and seminars from Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy. This “brain success saturation” was very important to establishing my foundation.

The reason I bring this up is to share with you a couple of lessons.

Often I hear about entrepreneurs who say they’re un-employable. I get that but I would say it will depend on the job. If I didn’t have certain freedom to do things how I wanted them to be done I don’t think I would have managed there as long as I did.

This job site was a good learning experience for me in many ways. One of the biggest lessons I got was in the sheer incompetency of many people which I‘ll discuss more in a moment.

80-20 Rule

Showing how the 80-20 rule works in that 20% is 80% and vice versa

One thing I’ve been thinking about more recently is what is known as the 80/20 rule. If you haven’t heard about this it is well worth studying. Also known as the Pareto Principle this rule states that…

  • 20% of your efforts bring 80% of your results.
  • 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your profits.
  • 20% of your clients bring in 80% of the troubles.

Also the reverse is true.

  • 80% of your efforts bring only 20% of your results.
  • 80% of your customers bring in only 20% of your profits.
  • 80% of your clients bring in only 20% of the troubles.

Basically this rule extends into every area of life. And sometimes the numbers are even more dramatic like 95%/5%.

For instance in a recent sale with one of my companies many people are buying just one or two things resulting in about $10-$40 of profit. And then one customer swoops in with a $1500 order. This one guy basically matches everyone else in the profit made. Yet this one order is just about as easy to fulfill on as the small ones.

That’s the 80/20 rule at work.

Thus, if you can do more 20% work then you’ll get better and better results from it.

And back to talking about my old work I can say as a statement of fact that I was in the 20%. I could easily do about five times as much productive work as some of the other people there in the same amount of time.

There was one guy that had worked there for over twenty years. Yet he still came to me asking me questions about where things were located in the store. With guys like this I had to often check on their work as they had done things wrong. It was frustrating!

What’s worse is that this guy was being paid more than me, simply because he had been there longer. It is stuff like this that made me know I had to create my own business and work for myself. Incompetence should not be rewarded simply because you’ve been doing something longer because that does not mean you’re necessarily any better at doing it.

My point is to say that if you were a smart and hard worker at a job that is great as you’re going to be able to apply that same work to your own business. In fact, you should do even more with your own business because you get the rewards.

At my job I wasn’t often rewarded for my efforts. I didn’t make any more money from becoming more efficient or building better systems. The pay was hourly so the truth was my rewards came by taking longer time to do things. Aggravating!

But when it comes to an online business that is not true.

Here you have the opportunity to leverage your own work and the work of others and to establish automatic systems. These allow you to make more of what you do valuable.

I’ve determined that for me writing is a 20% activity. Within that the 80/20 rule will apply as well though, meaning that certain things I write will be much more result-producing than others. But still its all worth doing, and thus I’ve built a new productivity system around doing it.

I’ll be sharing some details on this in the future.

For now I wanted to shoot you a question…

Since I’m back and will be publishing new articles weekly at LoganChristopher.com starting now, on the topics of building an online business, making money and more, I wanted to get some ideas of what you’d like to hear.

What aspects of building an online business are you interested in?

What questions do you have?

Please write in the comments and let me know.

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