This is usually a work-focused blog but I wanted to break from that, for a moment, to ask you a question –
What is it you’re working for?
I’ve asked myself this question at least a dozen times in the last several weeks. And reflecting on it led to the realization that:
The periods of my life marked by the greatest joy are when 1) I have a clear vision of what really matters and 2) daily life aligns with that vision.
The opposite has also been true.
I can’t think of anything we assign more attention and anxiety to on a daily basis than email.
As you can tell from the previous content on this blog I’ve experimented with literally dozens of plans to increase productivity, improve flow, and lower work-related stress.
But over the holidays I re-read parts of The 4-Hour Workweek and discovered that implementing #3 below radically improved my ability to focus and lowered work anxiety.
Simply put, Tim was right about this one – it’s a game-changer.
While I can’t claim to have read the whole internet – working, living, and producing content online does make you feel that way. There’s no barrier to entry for internet publication and, thus, there’s a lot of chaff out there.
So I am cataloging and sharing the articles I keep coming back to, year after year, because they challenged me or provided uniquely valuable insights.
Two months in the books and no where near where I wanted to be in 2014, I asked myself- where does the month go?
In an honest moment I admitted I had no idea why my time was so ineffectual relative to the obscene hours I was putting in. So I dug back into a practice I’d had in 2009-2010… when I first began working from home years ago. I reinstalled RescueTime Monday, March 3rd.
Now just over a month since installing it I can audit time spent, see where I’m wasting it, and figure out what I can do better.
If you are like everyone else on the internet, you probably suffer long periods of distraction.
And if you’re distracted there’s a good chance you’re procrastinating. (You’re not the only one.)
Let go for too long, these many small procrastinations morph into one mammoth stressor. This is the kind of stress that makes you talk to yourself, rewrite incessant but unstruck to-do lists, and, eventually, keeps you awake at night.
I recently crossed the threshold into affiliate marketing fossildom; namely, turning 30 years old. For an industry as young as internet marketing is proving to be, it feels two ticks to the right of ancient.
But I digress.
Allow me 60 seconds of your time to distill a myth that I bought into, hard and heavy, for most of my twenties. It is a complete waste of time.
You don’t need permission to ________________. (Insert whatever it is you want here).
Seriously. Read it again.
I am a list builder.
I break projects down into their most granular tasks and write them down in a to-do list on an old school scrap of notebook paper. If you look around my desk, folded and tucked neatly reused as bookmarks into books on my shelf, and in my round file cabinet (aka the trash), you’ll find them everywhere.
Using to-do lists is reinforced everywhere on the web. The tech industry, in particular, is obsessed with the cult of productivity and to-do lists. There are posts on the 5 best to-do list managers, not-to-do lists, and there are apps for that.
The Problem With To-Do Lists
In Case You Missed It
Below you can find the Slideshare of my presentation with Adhustler (if you are interested in Local Lead Gen and aren’t following his blog, you’re missing out) from Affiliate Summit West 2011.
(Sadly the slideshare deck was removed in 2014)
A Few Quick Notes
- This was my first presentation at an industry conference and (I believe) also for Ad Hustler. I felt slow at the start but as we became more comfortable with the audience and each other ideas started flowing better and I hope we were able to give the audience some good BTDT tips on local lead generation and clients. If you took any home and implemented them, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to contact me anytime.
- Check out my Local SEO Resources post if you haven’t seen it yet.
“He who would travel happily must travel light.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
If you don’t see the obvious advantages to bringing less to conferences like Affiliate Summit West, let me give you…
8 Good Reasons to Pack Light
- Avoid the long line to check bags and get your boarding pass.
- No need to worry about your bags being delayed or lost.