1 Simplistically Simple Way to Simplify Your To-Do List (Hint: It Involves the -P-)

simplify

simplify

I need to confess something to you.

Remember the big comparison feature I did on the top productivity / to-do tools out there?

Well, shortly after publishing it, I went all the way back to full caveman style, handling my to-do lists on paper. You know, as in dead trees. Not an app called Paper or whatever.

So yeah, pretty offline. Actually as offline as it can get.

But why?

 

The superiority of paper

Quite randomly, I stumbled upon this video by Neville from AppSumo -»

His method – using just a legal pad – seemed like an efficient and interesting one, so I’ve decided to give it a go.

And boy was I in love with it from literally task one!

If I were to point out a single reason why paper to-dos still manage to be more efficient than apps, it would have to be the simplicity of paper.

When you look at it, a to-do list shouldn’t have a big learning curve. You should just be able to use it right away because in the grand scheme of things, the to-do list itself is not important. It’s the tasks that are listed on it that are important.

Paper is something everyone can use, and with some general guidelines, they can use it very effectively. There’s very little learning curve.

 

The problems with apps

Apart from the steep learning curve of most apps, there’s also something that’s potentially even more problematic.

And that is the implied encouragement to cramp your list with 10-20 tasks at a time (for a single day’s worth of work).

It’s the design of the screen, the structure, and the functionality that encourages us to do so.


Paper has very little learning curve. #to-do #productivity
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Just look at the following example. It’s my all-time-favorite app for to-dos – Remember The Milk (by the way, it’s still THE top app in my opinion, so if you’d like to stay with apps, I strongly encourage you to test it out):

rtm

This’s been taken on a 1920p HD screen. Just notice how much space there is. The app is literally begging for you to fill it out with more and more tasks.

This isn’t healthy.

And it sure as hell ain’t productive.

There’s no such problem with paper. You can only fit so much stuff on a piece of paper.

 
 

Why you shouldn’t have too many tasks on your list

So you can pretty much already see where I’m going with this whole message. It’s this:

 

The main idea is to not have too many tasks on your to-do list.

 

I don’t know why that’s the case; maybe it’s human nature or something, but chances are that if you have 15+ tasks on your list, you will do almost next to nothing during that day.

But if you have just, say, five then you’re very likely to take care of them all.

 
 

“But Karol, I have to do more during my day than just five things!”

-says you.

Okay, I get that … but you’re wrong.

And please don’t get all defensive with me; I was there too!

I too thought that I needed to handle 15+ things at the minimum each day, or the world would stahhppp!

However, every interview and every podcast I listened to kept trying to teach me otherwise. I mean, there were all those successful business people on the air talking about pretty much the same productivity method again and again. It went something like this:
 

Have just one crucial task per day – the task that needs to be done no matter what. And apart from that have only 2-4 more side tasks.
Don’t do anything that doesn’t get you closer to your goals, and don’t add more tasks after you’re done with the initial set.

 
Now here’s the thing – and also the thought I had in the back of my head – if those uber-successful people can build their legacy on just 3-5 tasks per day then why can’t I, damn it?!

Or maybe I can?

Eventually, and inevitably, I’ve decided to give this a go. And guess what, it does work!

I’m way more productive doing just 3-5 tasks every day than I’ve ever been trying to plan for 10+.


Join the #productivity challenge – just 3-5 important tasks every day, no more!
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The paper to-do solution

So finally, after friggin’ 700 words of introduction, here’s one of the two productivity solutions I want to share with you.

(The other one will go live as a guest post shortly, I will keep you informed. I know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, so I want to give you two alternatives. Both paper-based and both effective.)

The one I have for you here is called:

 

the daily action cards (or the daily task cards)

 
The idea is to follow the process that’s used in most restaurants. I know, weird, but hear me out.

In a restaurant, there’s often an area called the pass. It’s where the final plating is done, and it’s also where you can find the check rail. Looks like this -»

rail
So with the daily action cards, we’re creating something very similar. Here’s my actual setup with the task rail:

 

card2
card1
Each card represents a single (yet not all that simple) task. When the task is done, the card can be discarded or kept for reference.

Let’s break down an individual card:

 

task card
Here’s the download link for the printouts (no opt-in … but please do opt in if you like this stuff; I have way more goodies waiting on the other side).

It’s a PDF. Just print it out on a standard A4 sheet of paper. Each page holds 6 cards.

cards5

 Looking for some online business advice for normal people
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By the way, when doing my research, I found that Dave Seah designed something similar a couple of years ago. Feel free to check it out if my version is not 100 percent up your alley.

1 Simplistically Simple Way to Simplify Your To-Do List (Hint: It Involves the -P-) | NewInternetOrder.com

Which Is the Best To-Do List Manager / Task Manager? Top 5 Tools Compared

To-Do List Tools

To-Do List Tools

Remember The Milk (RTM) // Trello // Asana // Any.do // Evernote.

Since I’m really serious about following the main idea for this site – which is making normal people’s lives easier by providing structured and actually useful info – I’m starting with something that’s an important part of every internet person’s existence.

The fact is that if you’re doing any sort of business on the web then you have tens of projects to deal with, tens of tasks, tens of people to contact, and tens of goals to achieve…and probably other tens of things as well.

A productivity tool does come handy. That’s for sure. But which one to use? This is the question we’ll answer today.

Important

This isn’t a fake review. I did actually spend a considerable amount of time testing all these tools. And this was real testing, meaning that I made those tools part of my daily work. In short, I’ve become a user. Heck, here’s a proof of my RTM usage:

rtm-proof

So I guess what should follow now is a handful of blocks of text talking about various features and then giving you my verdict on the best to-do list tool out there, right? But that would be: (1) boring, and (2) wouldn’t be a usable resource.

That’s why I’m going to do the following instead…

Below, there’s a simple table that presents all 5 tools, their strong and weak sides, their purpose, their level of simplicity, their ease of use, their feature-richness, their GTD-friendliness, and their (assumed) target group of users.

Top 5 productivity tools compared

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk
BASIC DETAILS

PRICE
Free.

PURPOSE
To-do list management for a single person.

FEATURES
Tags, multiple lists (projects), deadlines, priorities, keyboard shortcuts.

MULTIPLE USERS
Not as far as I know.

APPS
Android, iPhone, iPad (Siri integration), BlackBerry, Gmail plugin, Outlook plugin, Twitter integration, Google Calendar integration, plus a number of third-party apps.

INTERFACE

SIMPLICITY
9/10
(just a single list of tasks/things; no place to get lost).

EASE OF USE
9/10
(setting your lists and your tasks should only take a couple of minutes).

GOOD/BAD

GTD SUPPORT
Easy to implement (it isn’t built in from the get go).

STRONGEST POINT
The ease of use, the speed of use, the ultra-functional keyboard shortcuts and the number of additional apps available.

WEAKEST POINT
Their iOS apps. The sync is done only once a day (you have to pay for real-time sync).

PREFERRED USER GROUP
I’ve been using this tool (on and off) for more than 2 years. It’s very optimized for heavy desktop users. It’s fast and reliable. However, it doesn’t support any teamwork, and like I said, the iOS apps are weak. So this tool is for heavy desktop users that work alone.

Any.do

Any.do
BASIC DETAILS

PRICE
Free.

PURPOSE
Very simple task management.

FEATURES
Only simple task management, and basic project functionality.

MULTIPLE USERS
Not really.

APPS
Android, iPhone, iPad.

INTERFACE

SIMPLICITY
10/10
(there’s just one main list-style layout with some buttons on the top).

EASE OF USE
10/10
(it takes no time to learn it; you can get started right away).

GOOD/BAD

GTD SUPPORT
Kind of. You can use Any.do as one of your GTD elements, not as a manager to handle a whole GTD setup.

STRONGEST POINT
Its simplicity. There’s literally no learning curve

WEAKEST POINT
If you want to use it on desktop, you only get the Chrome plugin. There’s no official web interface.

PREFERRED USER GROUP
People who just need the simplest task manager possible.

Trello

Trello
BASIC DETAILS

PRICE
Free (the basic plan).

PURPOSE
Task management and overall “things” management (snippets of notes, etc.).

FEATURES
Boards (projects), lists, tasks, sub-lists, drag and drop, labels, deadlines.

MULTIPLE USERS
Yes.

APPS
Android, iPhone, iPad, Window’s 8 Tablet.

INTERFACE

SIMPLICITY
9/10
(there’s just the main workspace with lists and cards, nothing fancy).

EASE OF USE
10/10
(the interface is highly intuitive and it takes no time to master).

GOOD/BAD

GTD SUPPORT
Easy to implement (it isn’t built in from the get go).

STRONGEST POINT
Ultra-easy to use. Setting it up and getting started takes no time. Strong focus on teamwork.

WEAKEST POINT
A design that’s a bit too simple. No clear way to mark tasks as completed.

PREFERRED USER GROUP
People who need a powerful task manager, but most of all want to be able to get started with it right away with no hiccups.

Asana

Asana
BASIC DETAILS

PRICE
Free (the basic plan).

PURPOSE
Project management and task management in a group setup or on your own.

FEATURES
Projects, deadlines, collaboration, subtasks, tasks, hearts (whatever that is).

MULTIPLE USERS
Yes. Up to 15 users in your team for free.

APPS
Android, iPhone, iPad, Chrome plugin, Google Calendar integration, and more.

INTERFACE

SIMPLICITY
8/10
(the tool uses a classic list layout; there are sections for projects and tasks; in short, kind of simple, but you need a while to get a grasp on everything).

EASE OF USE
8/10
(creating tasks and projects is very simple, but you need a while to learn how to make the tasks actually appear on your dashboard and how to speed up the process of creating and editing the tasks).

GOOD/BAD

GTD SUPPORT
Easy to implement (it isn’t built in from the get go).

STRONGEST POINT
High focus on teamwork. Plus, the design is very nice to look at.

WEAKEST POINT
There’s a centralized place for tasks. What this means is that you need to create a task first, and only then assign it to yourself so you can see it on your dashboard. This isn’t the most optimized solution if you’re working on your own. But at the same time, it’s a huge advantage if you’re a project manager.

PREFERRED USER GROUP
Project managers and people who like to be able to expand their operations above some standard task management. For single user, this might be an overkill though.

Evernote

Evernote
BASIC DETAILS

PRICE
Free (the basic plan).

PURPOSE
Advanced note management system.

FEATURES
A ton of them: real-time cloud sync, multiple notebooks, support for various types of content, tags, reminders, sharing, and a lot more.

MULTIPLE USERS
Yes, in Evernote for Business.

APPS
Android, iPhone, iPad. Plus, a range of other side apps and third-party apps.

INTERFACE

SIMPLICITY
5/10
(Evernote is advanced, and because of this, the interface isn’t simple).

EASE OF USE
4/10
(We’re talking about using Evernote for to-do list management, and Evernote is simply not optimized for this; it requires a lot of setup before you can use it for this purpose).

GOOD/BAD

GTD SUPPORT
Possible to implement. The fact that Evernote can be used for GTD is actually the only reason why I’m including it on this list. (There’s a great guide called The Secret Weapon on how to configure your Evernote for GTD-enabled task management.)

STRONGEST POINT
The possibility to make it your cloud-based central for all kinds of notes. It goes a lot further than a simple task management.

WEAKEST POINT
The amount of work you have to do before you can start managing your tasks and projects with it.

PREFERRED USER GROUP
People who are taking various types of notes heavily and like to have everything in one place. People who like to have complete control over their tasks and projects. Also, people who for some reason, don’t like any of the other task management tools presented here.

good-job

And the best to-do list manager is…

The best tools for me personally are Any.do and RTM. But that’s only because of the way I’ve built my personal productivity system – taking my current setup into consideration, the kind of work I do and the kind of tasks I usually take care of.

Let me emphasize this again, those two are the best for me.

Will they be the best for you? I don’t know.

That’s why I’ve created this comparison so you can take a glance at each tool’s basic features and make an educated guess based on this data.

I am curious to hear your opinion about these tools, by the way, so don’t hesitate to contact me.

 Looking for some online business advice for normal people
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Which Is the Best To-Do List Manager / Task Manager? Top 5 Tools Compared | NewInternetOrder.com

35 Great Resources on Becoming Productive as an Online Business Owner

tools

Productivity was always my topic. I enjoyed the fact that you could take a man who once wasn’t able to get crap done in a day – me – and turn him into someone who’s pretty organized and knows exactly what is there to do, when it needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how to do it.

Studying productivity has done a lot for me. Without it, I would achieve nothing. Fact.

So today, I wanted to publish a post that would be a way of saying thanks to all the great publishers around the web who share their productivity advice on a regular basis. Here, you’ll find 35 great resources that are sure to make you more productive and thus more effective as an online business owner.

(Okay, I did include some links of my own here too.)

There are 7 chapters:

  • Chapter 1 – Getting Started
  • Chapter 2 – Work Environment
  • Chapter 3 – Creating Habits
  • Chapter 4 – Time Management
  • Chapter 5 – Projects and To-Do Lists
  • Chapter 6 – Productivity Methodologies and Systems
  • Chapter 7 – Tools

Chapter 1 – Getting Started

This chapter is all about starting your journey to being productive as an online business owner. It will give you insights on how to start from scratch, what you need to know, what factors to consider, and what you should expect as your final result.

  1. Productivity Improvement for Online Entrepreneurs – The All-You-Need-to-Know Resource
  2. 9 Wonderful Ways to Get Started in the World of Personal Productivity
  3. How to Get Started with (and Stick with) a New Productivity Tool
  4. The 1-Step Plan for Super-Productivity

 

Chapter 2 – Work Environment

This chapter talks about how you can setup your work environment towards productivity. The setup of your workplace is an important factor in achieving maximum productivity. Know how you should set up your computer, workspace, desk, getting the right furniture and everything else that can help you become more productive with your work environment.

  1. Top 10 Ways to Create A More Focused and Productive Work Environment
  2. Set Up Your Work Space to Increase Productivity
  3. Setting Up a Home Office that Fuels Productivity
  4. 12 Ways to Improve Productivity at the Workplace
  5. Creating a Workspace that Promotes Your Productivity
  6. How to Improve Productivity When Working from Home

 

Chapter 3 – Creating Habits

To become productive, first, you need to create some habits and introduce them into your life. Here’s where I’d start.

  1. Productivity Secrets for Savvy Small Business Owners
  2. Living in an i-world: a new way to think about work-life conflict
  3. Ten Steps to Achieving Work Life Balance-Small Business Edition
  4. How to Destroy Your Productivity by Answering Emails

 

Chapter 4 – Time Management

This chapter teaches you how to manage your time properly. Good time management helps you achieve work-life balance, which in turn will make you a more productive and successful business owner. Learn how to dedicate time for work, family, social life, hobbies, relaxation and other areas of your life. Time management takes practice though.

  1. 10 Time Management Tips that Work
  2. 13 Time Management Tips You Ought to Know
  3. The Top 10 Life Benefits of Time Management
  4. Top 15 Time Management Tools and Apps
  5. Time Management Tools and Techniques

 

Chapter 5 – Projects and To-Do Lists

This chapter talks about how you can organize, monitor and keep track of your projects and to-do lists. As a business owner, things to do will keep stacking and you might lose sight of what you need to accomplish first. It is necessary that you know how to manage projects properly to make sure everything gets done in time.

  1. Effective Project Management in the Small Business Organization
  2. 3 Project Management Tools All Small Businesses Need
  3. Project Management for Small Businesses-An Introduction
  4. The 10 Benefits of Project Management
  5. Project Management Methodology Explained
  6. How to Handle the Top 5 Challenges in Managing Your Projects
  7. Productivity Made Simple: How to Keep Your Projects from Killing You

 

Chapter 6 – Productivity Methodologies and Systems

This chapter will talk about how you can use productivity methodologies and systems to make you a more productive business owner. Know what you should focus on every day and know the best methodologies to use.

  1. Five Best Productivity Methods
  2. How to be Productive? The Simplest Possible Productivity System
  3. Get Out of Your Head and Get Things Done- How to Create A Basic Productivity System
  4. Do I Really Need to Learn a Productivity Method?
  5. Productivity Made Simple: The Key to GTD – Your Daily Graph of Activity

 

Chapter 7 – Tools

Everyone needs some tools. Here are the ones you can look into first.

  1. Getting These 6 Apps … All it Takes to Improve Your Productivity
  2. Best Productivity Tools for People-On-the-Go
  3. 5 Online Tools to Improve Small Business Productivity
  4. 8 Best Apps to Make Your Small Business More Productive

 

I hope this list will inspire you to take action and make some improvements in the way you’re going about your day.


35 Great Resources on Becoming Productive as an Online Business Owner | newInternetOrder.com

Revealed: Why Being Productive is Only as Difficult as You Make It – New Hub Page Launches

Productivity is the Achilles heel for many online entrepreneurs, and especially if you’ve worked a standard 9-5 job before going on your business journey.

To be honest, productivity was a tough thing for me too. In short, I wasn’t always a productive being, to say the least. Just a couple of years ago (or so), I had my lowest-performance period. I was lucky to have done 2 hours of work a day, and the work I was able to accomplish didn’t get me anywhere anyway. Not cool.

bored

Anyway, I got better, thanks. But this is not due to any magic-bullet solution or a wonder product I bought. No, nothing fancy about my story. I just changed my mindset, learned a few things, and devoted myself to staying productive by using various techniques and setting new habits in my workday.

Although I’m still no guru on productivity, I think I can show you a couple of my tricks and explain how and why they work. I do believe that everyone can learn how to be productive, regardless of how incapable they might feel at times.

The hub

Long story short, today marks the launch of my new hub page on how to get and stay productive.

The hub takes you through the whole process by linking to other posts on this blog and on other blogs where I had the privilege to guest post.

I wanted to make this hub ultra-friendly and easy to grasp by using various images and visual representations, so I hope you’ll have great experience with it (feedback more than welcome).

What’s your story?

Yeah…what’s your story? I mean, how would you describe your productivity? Do you feel productive during your everyday work?


Revealed: Why Being Productive is Only as Difficult as You Make It – New Hub Page Launches | newInternetOrder.com

Things To Do Before You Make It Big On The Internet

Funny Dinosaur King is Biggest in the World by epSos.de, on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/8136112369/I couldn’t resist using this headline, but there’s actually no hype in this post. I just want to talk about some direct ways of making money on the internet.

In this case, “making money directly” is the opposite of “passive income.” So quite an interesting turn of events considering that the internet is all-in on the whole passive income concept, right?

In short, this is about freelancing – exchanging your expertise for money.

Not everyone is convinced to freelancing. I know that passive income is a lot more attractive concept in itself. Who wouldn’t want to be able to make money passively, while having a drink at the beach… But, like I said in the headline, before you make it big on the internet, you have to be able to put some food on the table in the meantime.

Freelancing is actually a great way to make money short-term. While passive income is the perfect long-term strategy. Here’s what I mean; the pros and cons of both approaches:

  • Freelancing – easy to get started and make money within weeks; however, the moment you stop working, the money stops flowing as well.
  • Passive income – takes an awful lot of time just to bring any initial profits; however, it continues bringing profits long after you stop working.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t disregard freelancing as a possible income stream just because your goal is to grow your “passive” business. In my opinion, getting both pieces of the puzzle working together is the best approach for online entrepreneurs.

Now, the funny thing about freelancing is that you don’t really need a CV or anything like it to get started. The only required element is one client willing to throw money at you in exchange for some specific service.

freelancing

Of course, you do have to possess the necessary skills just to be able to deliver that service, but that’s a whole other story. You can start your research by taking a look at one of my guest posts. It focuses on the things that every beginner freelancer should pay attention to:

4 Freelancing Tips For Beginners

Although the post above lists some places where you can go to get your first deal, there are actually a lot more websites and job boards out there. For a more extensive list, feel free to visit another post (title not accidental):

10 Places To Find Freelance Gigs Before You Get Rich On The Internet

The best thing about the freelancing world is that you can find work on literally tens if not hundreds of different sites. And sometimes, all it takes is having a good hire me page on your own site (I had a number of request purely through my hire me page).

Anyways. One of the most significant problems in the freelancing world, besides getting clients, is productivity. As it turns out, managing your own time is much more challenging than you’d think.

There are many posts about the issue of productivity on this blog, but the simple advice I have for you today comes inside the following post:

Be More Productive by Working Early

To be honest, I was always a late-riser, mainly because I liked working at night. But even I, and it was one of the most surprising revelations, am much more productive if I get up early. Really, there’s no better feeling than having your work done by 11AM… Check out the above post to find out how to do it.

And last but not least: What do you think of freelancing as a genuine way to make you money short-term?


Things To Do Before You Make It Big On The Internet | newInternetOrder.com

Are You Productive as an Online Business Owner?

workspaceThis question might seem like a fairly simple one to answer. At least that was my initial opinion… But as it turns out, there’s no sensible way of measuring our productivity levels.

I mean, even if we feel like fairly productive people, we can’t be sure what our true potential is. Who knows, maybe we could get twice as many tasks done every day…

So what to do to find out? I guess that the only possibility is to keep improving our productivity, day by day, no matter how good we think we are.

(Now, this is not going to be a purely speculative post talking about this or that, I actually have some advice I want to share that will help you achieve more during your workday.)

Productivity is actually a quite funny thing. You can’t possibly stumble into good productivity by accident. If you want to be productive, you have to make your actions conscious and be able to choose some tasks over the others, as well as learn how to handle them effectively.

In the beginning of my online presence, productivity was one of my main problems. I just didn’t have the motivation it took to get a precise set of tasks done every day. That was the time when I started learning the GTD methodology and implementing it into my daily schedule. Luckily, it wasn’t long until I was actually quite pleased with the results I was getting.

Even though I do realize that there’s still room for improvement, I want to share some of my tips with you.

Online-Business-Productivity

First of all, let’s talk about your daily schedule in general. Things like: when the best time to start working is, what to do first, how to warm up, and so on. I send you over to one of my guest posts:

How To Start Your Workday – 6 Helpful Tips

The second piece of advice is about the tools you can use to make your everyday “work-life” easier to manage. These days, there truly is an app for everything, and even though not every app out there brings some actual value, I want to show you the ones that, in my opinion, do.

Getting These 6 Apps … All it Takes to Improve Your Productivity

Lastly, I want to take a moment to talk about the main culprit of our less productive days – email. Quite simply, checking email every 10 minutes is the worst thing you can do as an online business owner. Email can really paralyze your work schedule if you’re not acting consciously when dealing with it. This last post is exactly about this – how to handle email effectively.

Workspace Productivity How-To: Handling Email

The topic of productivity is actually one of the bigger ones when it comes to the online business space, and it’s quite impossible to present any kind of one-size-fits-all solution. In my opinion, the best way of becoming the perfect version of your productive self is to improve just one area of your work at a time.

How productive are you right now? And more importantly, how much more productive do you think you can be?


Are You Productive as an Online Business Owner? | newInternetOrder.com

Day in the Life of an Online Business Designer

workSo I get up, do nothing, and go to sleep.

Okay, I don’t.

Anyway, here’s my (Karol’s) usual day. Whether you like it or not, I’m really about to write this post.

So here goes.

When to get up to be effective

I was always a late riser. For no particular reason actually, other than the fact that I simply couldn’t get up in the morning, so I was constantly getting up around 11AM, which isn’t even morning any more.

But as years went by I realized that for some strange reason I’m much more productive in the morning. Each time I got up early I was able to get done significantly more during the day. So in the end, I decided to make it a new habit.

Now I try to get up around 7AM. Get myself going (breakfast, and other morning things), and get to work at around 8AM (not that I have to actually go to an office or anything).

First thing I do – writing

No, it’s not email. I never start with email. Email is just bad for starting your day, and it kills your productivity. For me, writing is a lot better thing to do.

A couple of reasons. First of all, it gets my mind warmed-up and ready for other things the day’s about to bring. And secondly, writing is a very important part of what I do. And if you’re an online business owner then it is for you too.

Each day I start by writing 3-4 pieces (posts, articles, whatever else). Or I write until I hit the 4,000 word mark. Whichever happens first.

That’s a lot of writing you could say. Well, yes it is. But it really is effective to do it first thing in the morning. My mind is fresh, and not cluttered with all the things that happen during the day. At that moment I know that there’s nothing more I have to worry about, so I can get those 4,000 words done relatively quickly.

One more thing I actually do prior to writing is writing some more, but in a truly informal way – I write a journal or a diary, whatever you want to call it. Journals are great for warming up and getting your thoughts together. It can really set you and your goals straight, so you don’t have to worry about all those things for the rest of the day.

(If you want to start writing a journal check Penzu.)

Content creation continues

I’m not done with content creation yet. When I finish writing, I usually shift to other forms of content creation.

That depends on the day, but the things I usually do is write some more articles for SEO, create web 2.0 sites, free blogs, videos, etc. Basically, everything that’s not considered a standard blog post.

This part is important for my SEO efforts and overall brand. Sometimes I outsource this, but not always. Some things can be outsourced, but not everything … at least, that’s my point of view.

Some people don’t like to do all those content SEO tasks because they feel that the posts that appear on their sites is the only thing that matters. Well, it is the most important thing, but not everything that matters. Content is still king for online business, but only content that’s spread around the internet in some strategic places.

Email

This is the moment when I fire up my email software for the first time. And by email software I actually mean Gmail.

So I go through all the important email, write, respond, and so on. Not much to talk about really.

Pitching guest posts

Guest posting is an important element of my overall approach. I try to pitch as many guest posts in a day as possible. Which sometimes ends up to be just one (on a bad day), but anyway.

Guest posting is one of the easiest ways to get yourself exposed to new audiences. It’s you actively reaching out to them. And if they like what you have to say, they’ll come back to your site. Simple. At least in theory.

Whatever your experience is with guest posting I’m sure you can agree that no website popular today has gained its popularity on its own. It’s always due to another website’s popularity. You always find new things by reading about them somewhere, or seeing them being mentioned somewhere. You never input a random URL in your browser’s address bar and see what happens.

In the end, if guest posting is not working for you right now. You simply need to find a way to make it work.

Scheduled things

This is usually the moment when I visit my Google Calendar and see what’s in store there.

I’m using GTD as my time management and productivity methodology, and a calendar is a big part of it. This is probably not the place to explain why calendars are sacred, so let me just say that my calendar doesn’t have entries for every day possible. But when it does, it means that I really have to take care of the specific tasks mentioned there.

marketing

Promotion

No matter if we like it or not, promotion is an important activity in our online lives. Without doing any promotional tasks no one would ever get to know about our existence.

Depending on the project I’m working on, “promotion” may mean a lot of different things. Such as: tweaking advertising campaigns, contacting partners, checking what’s up in social media, link building, other SEO activities, researching new possibilities, etc.

Tweaking and making things better

This is the time when I make the world a better place.

Just kidding.

But what I am making a better place is my blogs, and various things about them. This is where I tweak layouts, ads, pages, plugins, basically everything that can impact a blog’s performance.

This is an important thing to do because, remember, if you’re not growing you’re dying. Keeping the status-quo is not good enough. You need to be constantly improving your game.

Responding to comments

This is something I usually do at the end of the day. There’s not a lot comments on this blog, but I publish many guest posts around the internet so there are quite a lot of comments in total to respond to.

Some people choose to ignore comments completely. Some choose to respond to every comment possible. Well, as of now, my opinion lays somewhere in between. I know that I’m guilty of saying that you should respond to every comment, but now I don’t actually think you should.

A much better strategy is to respond when it makes sense, and don’t respond when it doesn’t. Never respond just for the sake of it. And most importantly, if someone is trolling on you, don’t ever respond. Even if they have some good points in their rant. Nothing angers a troll more than being ignored.

Planning and random thoughts

After the whole work day I usually have some thoughts and ideas for the next days. So I put them in my journal or any other place that seems reasonable.

Essentially this is the last part of my work. At this point I’m usually done for the day.

It seems like a lot of things, but actually, sometimes it takes no longer than 3 hours. Other times it does take 10, though, but it’s not a rule.

Essentially, time is just time. We all have plenty of time. Contrary to one common belief I don’t think that time should be considered as limited. If you see time as limited, you’ll be in a constant hurry and struggle to get some things done.

When it’s unlimited, you don’t have to worry about those things. Why is it unlimited? Because when I go to sleep, and wake up the next day I have a completely new day to use. And then another. And another. Seeing time as unlimited can really make your life easier.

How’s that for a heavy serious life advice at the end of a post, huh? Anyway. I really enjoyed writing this and I hope it will help you to create your own day plan. Take care and tell me what your ideas are.

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Day in the Life of an Online Business Designer | newInternetOrder.com

Not Feeling Productive Today? Try This Simple Approach

boredNot every day is mighty productive … I’m sure you can relate to this. Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything valuable even though you know you should.

Being able to come to work with the same amount of productivity in you every day is next to impossible. And by coming to work I also mean working for yourself from your home office.

Thankfully, there are some things we can do to help us remain productive. Actually, there’s a massive amount of those things, which I’m sure you know if you’ve been on the internet for any amount of time. But today I just want to show one simple approach – the one I’m using for over two years now.

First of all, I don’t trust myself. I don’t believe that “me” is the best possible person to entrust my productivity to. That’s why I’m using a system – something that can’t possibly fail because there’s no human factor, just rules and guidelines.

So here’s what I do.

1. Warm up

The first thing I do in the morning (at least the first thing related to work) is warming up a little. I’ve been talking about warming up for quite a while now in a number of guest posts and also a couple of times on this blog, so let me just briefly sum up the whole thing.

A warm up is something that helps you to get going. Just like with physical exercise. You can’t go to the gym and start with heavy weights right from the get-go if you want to get out of the gym alive.

Here it’s not a matter of life and death, but not warming up can still cause some problems later on during your day.

A perfect warm up task is something you can do without any effort. Something that’s easy, can be done fast, and does not require any preparation, yet it is still related to what you’ll be doing throughout your workday.

For instance, something that works very good for me is writing an online journal. Each day I start my work by writing a 200-500 word entry about WHATEVER.

This sets my mind up in a certain direction and lets me switch to my main tasks more smoothly.

Of course, you can start with something else. As an online business owner you can probably do things such as: blog commenting, forum posting, checking your stats, and so on.

However, don’t start with email. Email is tricky and it can trap you in the inbox for long hours.

2. Review and plan

This is a good point to review what you did yesterday and plan your work for today.

Please, don’t make your to-do list too packed with tasks. There’s no point it completing half of your planned tasks, and then feeling bad that you didn’t handle the rest. There’s a simple solution to this – don’t plan to do too much stuff!

If you’ve been doing what you’re doing for more than two months then I’m sure you can estimate how much stuff you can handle in a day pretty accurately, so just stick to this.

Now, each day should have one (only one) critical task. A critical task is something that has to be done in a given day, or the day has to be considered a wasted one.

In plain English, this is a task you absolutely have to do.

3. Start with simple tasks

Your critical task is most likely something that requires a fair amount of work and might not be that easy. Therefore, it’s not the best thing to start your day with. Going with something simple is a lot better idea.

Go through your to-do list and find one or two tasks that won’t be that hard to handle and you’ll probably be done with them in half an hour.

This is just another form of warming up, but this time you’re doing a specific thing, not your general warm up task.

The point here is to get you going at full velocity. Remember, getting started is always the most difficult part. Once you get to your top speed of working, maintaining it is a lot easier.

4. Handling the critical task

Now is time to get your critical task done.

… Not much I can say about it, really. You’re the one doing the work, so you probably know best what you need in order to complete your critical task.

The only general advice I have for you here is to set your resources in place before you start working on your critical task. That way you won’t have to interrupt your work to find a given piece of information.

And let me say this again, having more than one critical task set for a day is too many. If at this point you still feel that you have at least 4-5 critical things to do in your every workday then they probably are not that critical after all… You should probably reevaluate what you’re doing.

5. Complete the rest of your tasks

Since you’re done with your critical task, now you can handle the rest of the items on your to-do list.

The advice I have here is not to overwork and spend the whole night up doing stuff just because it’s on your to-do list.

If you can’t finish your whole to-do list in 6-8 hours then you’re working too much. And I really mean it … 6-8 hours is enough. The point is not to work much, it is to work effectively.

The lesson here: Plan less stuff in the future.

Having frequent breaks

The final advice in this guide is about having frequent breaks, something I haven’t mentioned yet.

My perfect approach for working is to follow such a schedule (and again, this isn’t the first time I’m talking about it):

  • work for 50 minutes,
  • have a 10 minute break,
  • work for another 50 minutes,
  • have a 30 minute break,
  • repeat.

So there you go … my system of remaining productive for long periods of time. Even when I’m not feeling productive on certain days, I can usually get going anyway by following this system.

I hope this approach will turn out to be effective for you too. In the meantime, feel free to shoot me a comment and let me know what you think about this whole thing.

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Not Feeling Productive Today? Try This Simple Approach | newInternetOrder.com