Every entrepreneur knows that as their business grows and as they become more and more prolific in their own content creation efforts, they find that a growing number of things that needs to be done every day. Not to mention following up with any number of project you are working on or things you are waiting to hear back from. I too have faced this problem and want want to share with you a couple very useful tips and tricks you can use help pave your way to Prolific Success!
The big goals and their next actions
If you are like most people you have your big goals and you want to tackle them and have the biggest impact on your to-do list and on your business. But we know that in most cases these big goals are actually composed of a lot of little steps!
As nice as it would be to be able to “redesign the website” all in one step we know that the project is going to take a lot of work and have a lot of parts to it.
Two lists make life easier
If you are familiar with the GTD, or Getting Things Done, method by David Allen, this should be a familiar. But the process I’m talking about specifically is to have 2 lists. One for the projects, and one next action for each project. For our website example, the next action might be to put out a request on 99Designs for a new logo, or maybe it’s just to register an account on 99Designs! The point is to get granular here! Whatever the next step is, make sure its super specific and this is what you put on your “next-action” list.
Asana tracks these goals and the next actions
Here is how I would track these type of tasks: First I have an entry in Asana called “Redesign the website” and inside it I have a number of subtasks. The top subtask is this next action I’ve identified. If I discover or think of other things I need to do that will be required to finish the overall goal of “redesign the website,” I’ll also add them to the project as subtasks. But I’ll always make sure to keep the next-action task at the top!
One more step to add a touch of “automation”
But I also add one other step to help me automate this process. I add a bookmark in my browser to the site I was working on to a folder in my bookmark bar called “Daily”. I know, this seems super simple but there in lies its power as well.
The simplest things can make the biggest difference! Let me tie this into the next portion of this article as well and you will understand what I mean. Because not only do we need to work on this big project but we also have the nagging daily tasks we have to deal with.
The daily tasks – 1000 things not to forget
As I said above, I use Asana for most of my project tracking but I still have a list of tasks that I perform every single day regardless of what project I’m working on at the moment.
Just a few categories that need to be addressed daily:
- Site Administration and reader engagement
- Social Media Sites and follower engagement
- Task delegation and followups
For example, I always start by opening up Asana.com to make it easy to add a new task or sub task that come to mind as I’m dealing all my 1000 daily tasks. I then check my site for new blog comments or other things that need to be addressed. I spend a few minutes every day (at very least) on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to engage with you guys! I also check in with Lift.Do every day to help me establish new, good habits. Lastly, I check for important messages in my email. Email is last because for me at least it can be a huge time and emotional drain. I want to get the creative and engaging part done first!
Here is a list of just a few of the sites I need to visit every day and address something:
- Facebook.com (ProlificSuccess’ Page)
- Pinterest.com (ProlificSuccess’ Page)
- Mint.com (Finance tracking site)
- Manageflitter.com (more details on my top tools post HERE)
- Bufferapp (more details on my top tools post HERE)
- Feedly (learn how to use this like a PRO on my post Here)
- Several Google Doc Spreadsheets
- Lift.do (Create a new, good habit with this awesome site/app)
- IFTTT.com (more details on my top tools post HERE)
- Zapier.com (Much like IFTTT.com but WAY more powerful, more articles on this coming soon!)
- Internet Business Mastery Academy (Learn how to start your own Internet Business from the guys I trust, Jason and Jeremy!)
- Many others
Now each day when I sit down to work, coffee in hand and ready to tackle whatever it was I needed to do today all I need to do is go to my bookmark bar in my web browser (Google Chrome is my favorite), right click on the folder and select “Open All Bookmarks”.
The key to using this that I now have a bunch of tabs open in my browser and I will just address each one quickly and then close the browser tab. The only one I’ll leave open is Asana. But in addition to these normal daily sites I need to visit to address various things, I also now also have open 99Designs. And, if I was working on the “redesign website” project in my example above I would have added to this list 99Designs.com and it too would have been opened along with all the other tabs.
So think about this process, keeping in mind that we recently added 99Designs to this folder. I sit at my laptop in my office and I sip my coffee as and I’m tweeting back at some people that have some questions for me, I close the twitter tab then I’m on my site and I spend a few moments looking over and approving and answering comments here on my blog, then I close that tab.
I close each tab as I get done with it. A timer might be needed for the social media pages, I know I have to be careful about the time suck!
Anyway, we are checking on this and that as part of our daily routine. We dont need to really stress out about remembering what needs to be done because the page is already open, when I get to it i’ll remember easily what it was I needed to do. I keep on closing each tab one after the other – easy! Feels good to know you are taking care of business!
I’m nearing the end of all the open tabs but then I see 99Designs page is open…
“Oh yeah, I need to finish posting a request for a design!” Or if you did that yesterday, you can pick the winner or provide feedback to the artists etc. After a few days you have your winning design and you are ready to move forward on your website redesign with your fancy new logo.
Check off the subtask in Asana and delete 99Designs from your Daily bookmark folder and maybe put Odesk in to find a web designer to help you, or whatever your next step is. This is how we move the boulder up that hill!
The point here is, that simply having a bookmark for your next action in a folder called Daily that you use every day will help you not only remember to deal with any number of little tasks you need to check on and deal with each day, but it will also be a vital component in achieving your big goals as well! In fact you might even say it will help you achieve a level of Prolific Success!