Focus

This is the one thing that I have heard from almost every internet marketer whose course I have taken or video I reviewed.  One of my favorites are the two guys from income school. Ricky and Jim run several sites and decided that they would put their formula out in the market.  Their sites are making them an estimated 150k a month. You can do this too with enough sweat equity in your site.

One of the problems most of us have is that we are on everyone’s mailing list and it’s almost impossible to focus on getting any productive work done.  We open our email up and see an offer from one marketer or another for a free webinar or software trial or the latest and greatest product and we immediately go check out whatever the offering is.  I can tell you that I have personally wasted years doing this. I bet you have too.

I decided to make myself a written plan (A content calendar) that I could refer to every day and stick to that plan.  It had to be a burning desire so I did everything possible to achieve this from personal notepads to timed emails to myself about my goals.

I stopped looking through YouTube at random videos and resigned myself to the fact that there is no magic bullet to income and that the real magic bullet was a full day of hard work every day and months of time. Once you overcome that need to find “Easy Street” you’ll be better off too.  Every day we waste tons of time trying to find the simple “done for you” web business that will make you a pile of cash and requires no work.

I realized that there is more information uploaded to YouTube in an hour than I could possibly take in a week.  And that’s without all of the blog posts published every single hour of every day. If you think there isn’t enough information out there take one of your favorite news sites and try getting through it.  On second thought don’t waste your time. It will take weeks and you’ll never know if you actually saw all of the pages available.

Oh, by the way, that’s why they’re getting tons of views; lots and lots and lots of content.  There are a lot of “doorways” into their site.  While many websites depend upon just a few articles to draw traffic, there is something to the volume of well-thought quality articles as well.

Let’s talk about the cost of not focusing on your goals

 

Let’s talk about the cost of not focusing on your goals

Before we start to talk about how to focus on your goals let’s talk how much distraction is costing you. I bet you never thought of it in terms of cost, did you?  The fact that you don’t have a successful website today is costing you a good full time passive income. Full stop. Period.

 Does that wake you up and make you sit on the edge of your chair?  If not go back to sleep and shut down this tab in your browser. Distraction is cost you that much income.  

You decide on what you would like out of your website.  Fifty thousand dollars? One hundred thousand dollars? How about one hundred thousand dollars per MONTH. There are a number of marketers making this kind of money and there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same thing.   

 Maybe you’ve dreamed about the laptop lifestyle working on a beach on some exotic island or providing a great life for your family.  Maybe it’s getting out of a dead end job. Or maybe your boss treats you like dirt and you don’t want to have to answer to a tyrant anymore. Or maybe you just want a new car.  Think of the reasons why you want a better life and get to it!

 Get that reason for wanting a better life burned into your head and get to work at making your life better.   If you can’t get the reason for wanting a better life burned into your brain you will always succumb to distraction and you will have a hard time getting the work done to better your life.  

 Do whatever it takes to be reminded of your reasons why.  Post on the wall, your screen saver, your daily mantra or whatever you need to remind you of why you are doing this.

 Yes, distraction is taking the heaviest of tolls on your life and you don’t even realize it.  You don’t feel the pain because you never had it to begin with. I hope that resonates with you.  It does with me.

How do you focus on your goals and avoid distractions?

Eliminate Time Wasters

Let’s face it; our world is filled with distractions.  There are a lot of people and things demanding your time.  A phone call takes 5 minutes and another 5-10 minutes to refocus afterward.  You need to grocery shop, take out the trash, cut the lawn, get your car serviced, and go on a date.  All of these things take up your time and you need to decide what’s worth it and what’s not.

Then there’s the computer and the internet.  Yes, you’re writing your blog post and you need to get inspiration from other bloggers and sites just remember to focus on what is important and what is not.  

If you need to delete all of the garbage on your computer such as games and puzzles do it. If you think you would like to have a separate computer just for writing and making your website do it.   Do whatever it takes to stay focused.

One of the best programs on the market for keeping you focused is FocusMe*.  This software is awesome.  With FocusMe* you can set up your schedule, breaks, focus periods (often called Pomodoro timers based on the inventor) It will allow you to blacklist certain websites at certain times (keeps you out of the games and TMZ while you are working).  You set up your work and focus plan and FocusMe* will take care of the rest.  There is even an option to prevent you from removing the program if you are weak-willed.  

 You can see FocusMe by using my affiliate link and clicking on this sentence*

 Plan your day

A minute by minute plan doesn’t work for most of us.  But the plan you create will guide you through the work that you need to get done.  You need to map out what needs to get done and what should be prioritized.

 If writing and publishing an article is the most important thing that day the schedule enough time to get it done.  A large pillar post will likely take all of your week and smaller posts of about 2000 words will take several hours.   

Make sure you schedule enough time to get your work done.  If you get bogged down take a few minutes and get some fresh air then go back to work.  Clearing your head can sometimes be the best medicine to stay productive.

Use tools to make you faster

Despite having MS Word, I use Google Docs as my go-to writing application.  One of the reasons is I like working in the cloud. I can work anywhere with any device.  I have sat in the car in a park when taking my dog for a run and with the google keyboard installed on my phone I have spoken into my phone and created a blog post.  

With Google docs you don’t have to save anything.  Each character is automatically saved. It really works.  I have gone from my computer to my tablet, to my phone and then to another remote computer and found the same document in the state that I have left it.  I do this daily and I have never had a problem with Google Docs keeping and maintaining my work.

Are you a poor typist?  Well if “Hunt and Peck” is your middle name then use Google Docs and turn on voice typing.  No it’s not the perfect answer but I have used Dragon and quite frankly Google Docs does a pretty good job for free and it does not require you to train a program to understand you.    

I have found when using Google voice typing it is best to get your thoughts down on paper in short bullet points and then to create sentences at a reasonable speed and enunciate your words clearly.  This method provides me with the best results and the least amount of time reviewing and correcting my document.

 One of the reasons I think Google docs and voice typing works so well when I use it I have a professional microphone. I bought it for about 75 dollars.  It’s no longer available but doing a bit of research I found an Audio Technica* usb microphone for under $100 on Amazon.  Actually if your budget is tight try any usb microphone with 4.5 stars rating where there has been a large number of buyers.  (By the way USB mics should be just plug and play-no set up)

Start with the hardest work first

Some people will say to start with a small easy task first to get you in the rhythm of work but I’m the type of person that needs to get the most difficult task out of the way.  For me doing a hard task when I am fresh is important.

 I find (and I think most people find) that I am at my best in the morning. I plan my work the night before and when I wake up I try to hit the ground running.  There are days when I find it hard to sleep because I’m so excited about my upcoming work that I have gotten up at 4 AM to get the ball rolling.

Use the Pomodoro technique help you focus.  With this technique, you set your timer in FocusMe to 25 minutes with a 5-minute break then repeat the whole process.  

There’s an old saying “How do you eat an elephant?- One bite at a time.” and it’s true of your hardest and most complex tasks.  

Just as authors write books one sentence at a time, you can apply this principle to your most complex work.  If you think writing an article or creating an email sequence is hard, think about the engineers that are faced with putting together an automobile!

When it comes to your work, break it down and then break it down again…  Let’s start with writing an article. Maybe it’s a pillar post with 4000 to 6000 words.  Heck, that’s almost a book. Well ok, it’s maybe 20 pages on your word processor.

Let’s think about how we will assemble that article.  Brainstorm your potential topics and then pick a topic related to your website niche. There goes a few minutes, brainstorm all of the factors that may affect your topic.  It could be size weight, longevity, popularity, scarcity, usefulness, cost, and the list will go on. Once you have decided on all of the factors affecting your article you are now ready to write the entire article in 200-400 word “bites” Stay focused for each bite and then take a short break. Then start on the next 400-word chunk.

For this article it goes like this:

Topic: Focus On Your Goals

  • Introduction and logic – 387 words
  • The cost of not focusing on your goals – 354 words
  • Eliminate Time Wasters – 249 words
  • Plan your day – 128 words
  • Use tools to accelerate your work -342 words
  • Start with the hardest work first  -424 words
  • Focus on one task at a time – 163 words
  • Create a work ethic and stay motivated – 477 words
  • Conclusion – 421 words

That’s a total of over 3000 words and it was drafted in about 1 ½ days.  Now there will be a waiting period and a reread and improvements but 1500 words per day is doable and I’m holding down a 40 hour per week full-time job as well.  

 Focus on one thing at a time

There is a myth out there that we can multitask. You can’t multitask you’ll literally starve your brain cells of glycogen and you’ll get worn out more quickly.  Psychology Today describes multitasking as an act of juggling. Really you are only touching one ball at a time and when you can’t refocus fast enough you start dropping balls.  

 You are better to be attentive to one task and while doing that task and pick up “learnings” along the way.  For instance I am using Google Docs right now and I am learning some of the formatting functions as I go along.  If I was focused on the phone, a game of Sudoku, the latest weather report and the dog nudging me for attention (I give in to my husky-border collie way to often) I would miss on the important aspects of my work and as such have a harder time producing the same quality and volume of work.

Create a Work Ethic and Stay Motivated

By improving your work ethic even in small ways you will make great strides over time.  

In his book, Atomic Habits*, James Clear talks about small improvements that will compound over time to become substantial improvements in your way of thinking and acting.

Clear also explains how outcomes processes and beliefs will turn you into a goal achieving phenom.  Your outcome may be to write a book and in order to do that you may need to change some of your processes such as setting aside a regular time for writing, de-cluttering your desk and whatever else you need to achieve consistent work.  Lastly, your beliefs which are at the core of your being, need to change. You need to see yourself as a writer who is writing blog posts and marketing yourself to achieve your goals so start with who you want to be and develop a road map to get there.

Additionally Jame Clear talks about a bright line or a threshold that must be met for improvement.  For our writing example, it is not enough to say “I write every day.” The bright line might be “I write 2000 words every day.”  In this way, you build your new persona and you build will power.

By using the bright line method you rid yourself of decision fatigue. We’ve all done it.  The line we have in our head that goes something like this: “I’m having family over so it will be alright to skip work today” NO IT’S NOT! When you establish your bright line you find another way to get the job done. The bright line conversation you may have in your head will go something like “Since I am having family over tomorrow I’ll get up earlier and finish 1000 words and the balance of the week I will add 350 words per day.”  You don’t let yourself out of your work but since you’re your own boss you can make an accommodation to get your conflicting goals met.

The bright line method also gives you deliberate practice.  Deliberate practice is what you do when you practice, for instance, a musical instrument. Repetition is the key to developing muscle memory. That will lead to improvement in your skills whether it is playing an instrument, writing for blogging or using other marketing methods for affiliate marketing.  The more you do it the more natural you become at it. The Income School* guys talk about this as well, although their approach is a bit simpler.  Simply said these guys want you to have extreme focus and write every day, enough to populate your blog with 30 or more articles in 60 days.  And each article has to be 1500 words long with 10 or more articles being 3000 or more words. Doable? Yes but it’s not for everybody. It takes focus to achieve what they suggest.  They are making more than $100,000 a month. (That’s right over $100K per month!)

Conclusion

You want to have an internet business and you may have had some false starts at it, Me too. And if you’re like me (and I hope I’m like most relatively sane people) you have started on a project and maybe you have registered a website or two (or many) and made a half-hearted attempt at affiliate marketing.  

 Time goes by and you have done some work on your website but at some point you become bogged down and the website gets shuffled to the back of your mind and other things seem to be more pressing.   You may have even given up on the thought of affiliate marketing and you are reading this article thinking “OK you’re right and maybe I’ll give it one last shot.”

 I want to be successful as an affiliate marketer and I want you to be successful too.  This article is the first step to become successful in internet marketing. Remember that you have to burn into your psyche the need to achieve and win.  Just as in James Clear’s book in the previous section you need to develop a line in the sand or “bright line” and it is an immovable position you take to get your work done, you need to develop that unshakeable need for success. Don’t give up under any circumstances.  Remember why you started this journey. You needed the money. You wanted to provide a better life for your family, or you wanted to get away from that rude boss of yours. Burning desire is the only way you will have the power to get there.

 Burning desire needs a path.  Today I have started you on that path to get up off your backside and get you moving toward your dream. This article has provided you with some of the mental tools and some digital tools that will assist you to get there.

Lastly, while you and I will be exploring all sorts of marketing ideas I am a firm believer after reading several dozen blog posts and a handful of marketing books that you will need a blog with 30 or more articles.  I think I am going to shoot for 30 pillar posts which exceed 2500 words for every post. In fact, there will be some posts that will likely exceed 4000 words. I want you to start on that as well. In the next article, we’ll discuss niches, how to find them and how to choose them and how narrowly focused they should be.  You’ll also get some homework to do as well. Get your thinking cap on but in the meantime do some reading on productivity. Below is an eBook I have hand selected and speaks to high-performance productivity quite eloquently. Oh yeah I almost forgot to tell you that I’m providing it at no charge!

Enjoy  

READ: Finding One Niche and Why it is Critically Important

* I use affiliate links to support this site. I only recommend products which I test or use and I am satisfied there is true value and benefit to my readers  

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