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

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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.

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

Hey You! You’ve Lost Control in Your Business. Here’s Why, and What to Do About It

control

So you’ve been working on your online business, testing different things, playing with new methods…overall, just trying to make things go a little better.

Inevitably, however, comes the day when you will start having doubts.

 

Don’t deny it.

YES, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE THIS.

It happens to everyone.

 

Pat Flynn’s recent hit – Let Go – is basically about the path from panic to profits and purpose (his own words).

let-go

Corbett Barr – the creator of Fizzle (and the killer of Think Traffic) – has his own two cents to share about overcome self-doubt too.

fizzle

Almost every big name out there faces this. If it didn’t hit you yet, it will. Sorry for being the bearer of bad news.

I did go through this too, by the way. A number of times. Probably a lot more times I’m comfortable admitting.

 

The thing with doubts is that they are not always that relevant to the reality we’re in. Sometimes, we’re simply worried about things that don’t make sense.

Other times, we’re worried because we don’t feel like we’re in control. We’re worried that we’re only a victim of circumstances and everything we do is kind of reactive or even accidental in nature.

not all worries are real
For example, why are you trying to utilize a certain promotional method in your business at the moment? Is it because it’s part of your overall yearly plan of action or something? Or did you just see it somewhere on the internet and decided to give it a shot? If it’s the former, then cool, you rock! If it’s the latter, then welcome to the party, you’re just like the rest of us…

 
 

The goal: re-gaining control

 
 

Re-gaining control is by far the most important thing on my list for 2014, and I think it should play a role just as strong on yours.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve been doing okay, but I feel that taking this to the mysterious next level won’t happen if I’m not in control of my projects and my actions entirely.

So here’s my plan and the approach I’m taking to make it happen. A big part of this is mindset-related, so proceed with caution if you’re more about the direct go-do advice.

 

clock

Taming time

 

Working in the computer era is very confusing and very difficult, even though we don’t have to deal with hard physical labor all day. But maybe that’s exactly the problem…

 

Here’s the deal. If you’re a construction worker then your work and relaxation environments are very separate and distinguishable. Basically, if you’re at a construction site, you’re at work. If you’re sitting in your chair at home, you’re relaxing.

I know this sounds drop-dead basic so far, but bear with me.

Now, when you’re working on a computer, or even worse, the internet is your main work tool then you’re pretty screwed. That’s because distinguishing work from relaxation is virtually impossible.

construction
For example, picture the following two scenarios:

  1. Work. You’re sitting at your desk, looking at your screen, browsing through the admin panel of yourdomain.com and typing a message.
  2. Relaxation. You’re sitting at your desk, looking at your screen, browsing though someone’s profile at facebook.com and typing a message.

These are essentially the same environments. I mean, the difference for your conscious brain is obvious, but for your primal brain, it’s not obvious at all. This small change – the specific website you’re on, makes it really confusing for your brain to determine if you’re at work or trying to relax.

For ages, we’ve only been doing physical work, and our brains got used to that concept. That’s why physical workers have no problems at all relaxing after a day’s worth of hard work. They can switch in a matter of seconds due to the environment change. We cannot.

 

This whole probably a bit boring story brings me to one conclusion. And it’s this:

If we want to tame our work time entirely, which is the first step to re-gaining control, we need to start using our main work tool (our PC or Mac) for work only.
 

This means no relaxation time by your computer. No YouTube, no Facebook, no video games, etc.

And I don’t only mean the obvious, which is avoiding distraction during your work time. I actually mean not using them at all for relaxation purposes.

Once this habit is set for good, our brains will learn, adapt, and eventually let us be in control when we’re working.

So, the big question is what to do when you want to relax with some internet entertainment by your side? Considering my strict rules regarding your work-PC, the only solution I can see is using an entirely different device for relaxation.

For example, if you want to relax, you can take your iPad, or your spouse’s tablet and sit in this nice chair by the window, instead of remaining at your desk.

 

plan

Planning long term

 

The other building block to re-gain control in your online business is getting into the habit of long term planning.

We all know the basics of constructing a plan. What you do is pick a goal, write an outline on how you’re going to achieve it, and then start executing it. But short term planning doesn’t protect you from falling victim to those one-off techniques and methods that you’ll stumble upon on the web almost every day.

 

It’s just that even despite having a good plan, you are likely to find yourself in a situation where you’re chasing after the new cool method that someone has described on a blog somewhere. So the solution I advise for this is practicing the art of long term planning.
Here’s what you do:

  • Focus on handling the tasks that you’ve planned for first, before going after anything new and exciting.
  • Whenever you do come across something interesting, ask yourself if it has the potential to make the execution of your main plan better or faster. If not, then don’t even bother testing the thing out.
  • In general, focus 80% of your time on executing your core plan and handling the tasks specified in it, and only 20% of your time testing new things.

Being on the top of the mountain and knowing every new technique out there is very trendy these days, but try looking at it from an old-school perspective… Let’s take Nike as our example. Do you think that the overall man-hours spent in that huge company is on new technique and idea development, or on simple sneakers-assembly? Since we do have Nike sneakers in the stores all over the world, I guess it’s the latter.

So there you have it. These are my two main methods for re-gaining control. And I really do intend to implement them as soon as possible.

The benefits can be huge. I’m sure of it. No one has ever gotten to the next level by just going through the motions and dealing with their business on a day-to-day reactive basis. The real success is about being in control of your business and your career as a whole.

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Hey You! You’ve Lost Control in Your Business. Here’s Why, and What to Do About It | 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

9 Minutes of Inspiration That Will Change Your Life

Big title, right? How can I possibly deliver on such a statement?Well today, I bring you Rocky. Or Sylvester Stallone if you prefer to use his real name.

Sly is one of THE action film heroes. He seems to have been around since forever. My entire childhood was filled with his movies. I saw all the Rocky movies, all the Rambo movies, and now I’m enjoying the new Expendables movies probably more than I should.

Sylvester-Stallone

But Sly’s career, like everyone else’s career, had to start somewhere, right? By the time I was old enough to be able to watch movies and have fun doing so, Sly was already a huge star, so I couldn’t experience his story firsthand as it unfolded.Little did I know that Sly is the person with the most inspiring success story in the history of ever.

In short, if you’re a person chasing your dreams…be it online business, music, writing, or any other personal development or professional development project, Sly’s story is something you can relate to – something that will fuel you for months if not years to come.

More than that, it will also keep you going in the time of doubt, regret, and even questioning your purpose in this world.


Here’s my version of the story as told by Tony Robbins during one of his somethings (the original video is around 9 minutes long, hence the title of this post):

Sly and his story

His whole life, Sly knew what he wanted to do. Since he was very very young he wanted to be in the movie business, period.

Not just TV, movies.

His goal was to inspire people and show then what they’re capable of and how to overcome unbelievable obstacles because in his own life, he felt like he did just that.

When he was born, he was pulled out by the forceps, that’s why he looked the way he did, why he talked the way he did.

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I knew why I wanted to do that and I wasn’t gonna settle for anything else. [...] I was trying to get jobs, it didn’t work out really well. They looked at me and said ‘Hey, you’re stupid looking, do something else. There’s no place for you in that stuff, you’re never gonna be a star in the movies. You’re insane, no one’s gonna want someone who looks dopey and talks out the side of their mouth.’

He got “no”
…after “no”
…after “no”
…after “no”

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was thrown out more than fifteen hundred times of agents offices in New York.

There aren’t fifteen hundred agent offices in New York.

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I know, but I’ve been there, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 times.

 

One time he visited an office and stayed there until successful. He would not leave. He stayed overnight. The guy came back the next morning and Sly was still sitting there.

The guy said “Fine, come in here” and he sat down and gave Sly his first movie.

 

Well, what character are you playing?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was in it for about 20 seconds, I was a thug that somebody beat up.

 

He did like three movies like that. Never got anything. Kept going out.

Rejection, rejection, rejection.

He finally realized it wasn’t working. So he changed his approach.

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was starving by the way. I couldn’t pay to even have heat in my apartment. My wife was screaming at me every day to get a job.

Why didn’t you?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
Cause I knew that if I got a job, I’d get seduced back and I’d lose my hunger. I knew that the only way I could do this if it was the only choice, as if I’ve burned all other bridges, cause if I got a normal job I’d be caught up in that rhythm and I’d feel okay with my life, so my dream would just gradually disappear. I wanted to keep that hunger, that hunger that I thought was my only advantage.

My wife didn’t understand that at all. We’d have these vicious fights. It was freezing, I was broke, we had no money. So I finally went to the public library one day cause it was warm. I didn’t want to read anything. So I went in, New York Public Library. I was hanging out there and I sat down in this chair and somebody left a book there. I looked at this book and there were poems, Edgar Allan Poe.

I started reading it and I got totally into Edgar Allan Poe so I know everything about him.

poe

He goes on for another 20 minutes telling about Edgar Allan Poe, he knows everything…how he died, what it was about, what really happened, and so on.

 

What did Poe do for you?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
Poe got me out of myself. He got me to think about how I can touch other people, not worry about myself so much… Maybe decide I become a writer.

So I tried to write a bunch of screenplays, nothing worked, nothing worked.

I was totally broke. I didn’t even have 50 bucks.

Finally, I sold a script. It was called Paradise Alley. It was a movie I made many years later but I sold it and I sold it for a hundred bucks. But a hundred bucks is a ton of money, and I was so thrilled. I thought I’m on my way, but it never led me to anything.

I kept going and going and going and so finally, we were so broke… I hocked my wife’s jewelry. That was basically the end of our relationship. She hated my guts so much.

But the story doesn’t end there as Sly continues…

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
The one thing I loved most in the world was my dog. I loved my dog because he gave me unconditional love, unlike my wife.

So, what happened was, we’re so broke that to survive, I couldn’t even feed my dog.

So I went to a liquor store, it was the lowest day of my life, I stood outside the liquor store trying to sell my dog to strangers. I was trying to sell my dog for 50 bucks.

Finally, this one guy negotiated with me and bought my dog from me, my best friend on Earth for 25 dollars. I walked away from there and I cried.

“It was the worst thing that ever happened in my life.”

Sylvester-Stallone-2
Two weeks later, I’m watching a fight between Muhammad Ali and Wepner, this white guy that’s getting bludgeoned, but keeps on coming.

I got an idea.

I…as soon as the fight ended…I started writing. I wrote for 20 straight hours, I did not sleep. I wrote the entire movie in 20 hours straight. Right then, saw the fight, wrote the movie, the whole thing, done. I was shaking at the end, I was so excited, so I really knew, I knew what I wanted, I knew why I wanted it.

So I went out and started to sell it to agents, they all would read it and say ‘You know, this is predictable, this is stupid.’ So I wrote down all the things they said, and I read them the night of the Oscars when we won.

 

The greatest revenge is massive success.

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I kept going, trying to sell it, trying to sell it, I’m going broke, I’m starving. Finally, I meet these guys, they read it, they believed in the script and loved it. They offered me 125,000 dollars for my script.

Oh my god! You must been out of your mind.

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was. I said just one thing though,
“Guys, you got the deal based on one thing.”
“What’s that?” They said
“I gotta star in it.” I told them
And they went “bffft.” They said “What are you talking about? You’re a writer.”
“No, I’m an actor.” I said
“No no no, you’re a writer.” They said
“No no no, I’m an actor, that’s my story and I’m Rocky. I gotta play it, you know, I gotta be the head person, I gotta be the starring role.”
“There’s no way we’re going o pay 125,000 dollars, take some no-name, stick you in that, throw our money away. We need a star.” They said

ryan

They wanted to have Ryan O’Neal play Rocky.

Sylvester-Stallone-2
“No way, Ryan doesn’t know Rocky, I’m Rocky. We do this whole thing, right.” They said “Well take it or leave it.” I left the room. I said “If that’s what you believe, you don’t get my script.”

 

Here’s a guy with no money, none, totally broke, offered a hundred twenty-five thousand dollars, more money he’s seen in his lifetime and he walked away.

And he said they called him a few weeks later, even brought him back and offered him a quarter of a million dollars not to star in his own movie. He turned them down, 250,000 dollars. They came back and their final offer was 325,000 dollars. He said “Not without me.”

They finally compromised and they gave him 35,000 dollars and points of the movie. Cause they said “If this is gonna happen, then you’re going to take the risk with us and the bottom line is we don’t think it will work, but at least we won’t spend as much money on you.”

 

What did you do with 35,000? It’s not a quarter of a million, but that’s a lot of money when you don’t have 25 bucks.

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I went to that liquor store for three straight days and hoped the man with my dog frequented the store cause I wanna buy back my dog.

What happened?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
Third day I was there, this guy walks by and I see him and I can’t believe it, there’s my dog. And I looked at him and said “Sir, remember me?” The guy was looking at dog and said “Yeah yeah, I love the dog.” And I said “Look, I was so broke, I was starving, he’s my best friend, I’m sure you love him too but I gotta have him back, please. I beg of you, I’ll pay you a hundred dollars for the dog, I know you gave me 25 but I’ll give you a hundred.”

The man said “Absolutely not, no way, it’s my dog now you can’t buy him back.” I kept pushing. He went 500 dollars for the dog. “-No.” I said “1000 for the dog,” the guy said “No amount of money on Earth is ever gonna get this dog for you.”

What did you do?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I knew my outcome, I take massive action and got my dog! I just kept changing my approach until I got him.

What did it cost you?

Tony

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
“Fifteen thousand dollars and a part in Rocky.”

 

And you know the dog in Rocky, Butkus? That’s Sly’s real dog. So he puts his dog in the movie, and he puts the guy in the movie.

The production of the movie was a million dollars.

 

It ended up grossing 200 million dollars when it was launched.

 

What happens next we all somewhat know. Sly rises to huge international stardom…he becomes the man we know today.

We can do whatever we want, guys.


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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

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

Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything? Try This!

Getting up in the morning and working on your own (as a freelancer or an online business owner) can be tough.

And trust me, I know. There were times when I couldn’t get started no matter what. There was just so much resistance that I couldn’t fight it.

This isn’t necessarily about laziness. The problem is that if you’re working for yourself then there are so many different things you can do that you simply don’t know where to start. Everything’s too damn confusing.

Thankfully, I found a way of handling those bad days and getting quite a lot of stuff done anyway. It’s nothing fancy, just a couple of simple activities that get me going.

Feel free to check out my guest post at pickthebrain.com to learn what the trick is:

What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything

What’s your approach when a bad day hits you with no warning?

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Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything? Try This! | newInternetOrder.com

What Being Drunk and Productivity Have in Common

Being drunk and being productive is not exactly the most fortunate pair, is it? But quite surprisingly the two have a lot in common.

For instance, when you’re drunk, you usually feel like the king of the world. You can do anything, achieve every goal, and so on … at least in your mind. The truth, of course, is exactly the opposite.

And that’s quite similar to what happens when you’re working and feeling really efficient. Efficiency is the holy grail of most employees, entrepreneurs, other business people, and essentially everyone who’s not unemployed. So what’s the problem with efficiency? Well, just like being drunk, it’s an illusion.

To find out what I’m on about, check out my guest post at The Productivity Pro Blog:

Being Drunk vs. Productivity

What’s your take on the concept of efficiency? Does my approach make any sense to you? Finally, do you think that being falsely efficient can kill your productivity?

 

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What Being Drunk and Productivity Have in Common | 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