What causes one person to be massively productive, focused and successful while another is drowning in unfinished projects with their dreams on hold?
Is it that the focused person has found a magical way of managing all the distractions, shiny objects and mental resistance that shows up when they sit down to work? Are they super human?
Or is it that successful people just do less, but do those things better so that they actually make progress while everyone else is chasing the tactic of the day, never getting traction?
There's a million routine tasks that you feel like you “should” do, all of which you're told are critically important to your success.
The truth is there's only a really small group of critical tasks and a huge mountain of trivial tasks we like to pretend are critical.
If you're trying to build a sustainable blogging routine what we're aiming for is not to do everything, it's to focus on enough of the right things over time.
5 things to stop doing now – and see better results
In an effort to streamline your online life while seeing better results, here are 5 things you can stop doing today.
1. STOP POSTING EVERY DAY. CHOOSE A SUSTAINABLE POSTING ROUTINE THAT FITS INTO YOUR SCHEDULE.
Your posting routine should be just that – yours.
When we first start blogging we take cues for those around us that seem successful and model them, consciously or subconsciously. Your posting routine may need to be very different than someone else's given your audience, your goals and your life.
What frequency makes sense for you? Given how long it takes for you to create content and your other commitments, how often can you post?
2. STOP TRYING TO BUILD EVERY SOCIAL NETWORK AT ONCE.
For most people, there's one social network that they like best or bringsin the highest quality traffic or, ideally, both.
When you focus on what you enjoy doing you'll not only bring a better energy to your interaction, you'll show up more and grow faster than if you try and spread yourself thin across every network.
Hate twitter? Don't worry about it, jump in Instagram instead. If you can stand Facebook, maybe Pinterest is your thing. Follow your passion and make a plan to be consistent in one place at a time.
You can also always add a network later once you're rocking the first one but focus on one at a time to build faster.
3. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR OWN PAPER.
How much time do you spend each week seeing what other people in your niche are doing? How much time do you then spend not producing because you feel like you don't measure up?
Although it's important to be aware of the digital landscape in your topic, it will steal your unique perspective and contribution if you spend more time worrying about others than making your own thing.
Go on a blog or competition diet for a few weeks and see how much time you can save, and how much better you'll feel about what you have to offer.
4. STOP TRYING NEW SHINY OBJECTS – WHAT YOU'RE USING FOR [BLANK] IS JUST FINE.
The twitter client, the plugin, the software, the calendar, the tools – they're all likely just fine to do whatever job you need them to do.
Searching for new tools to do a job we're already accomplishing with something else is a 2 part problem. First, it's distracting us from the real work that moves us forward towards our goals. Researching new shiny things takes a lot of time!
Second, endless searching for a tool to solve a problem is often time wasted looking in the wrong direction.
For example, have you spent time searching for just the right plugin to help increase social shares on your posts? As long as the solution you're using is working, there's no need to find, “just the right one” because the plugin isn't the reason people don't share content.
Are you trying to search for an easy solution (a new tool or software) to solve a more complex issue (traffic, engagement, sales)?
Like most things in life, those complex issues require hard work over time, no tool is going to be the magic bullet. Instead of spending time researching new tools or services to use, try spending that time focused on the real problem you're trying to solve.
5. STOP SAYING YES TO EVERY OPPORTUNITY.
Saying no was a hard lesson to learn and something I definitely struggled with early on.
In fact, this whole post is really about saying no to many different things we've programmed ourselves to accept as necessary evils to online success.
When we say yes to an opportunity, a posting schedule, an interview, a project, a person, there is always a trade off. When there's a yes, there's always a silent no to something else.
The flip side is also true. When you say no, there's also an unspoken yes to something else.
When you say no to a new commitment, you could be saying yes to that project you want to complete, saying yes to more family time, saying yes to more YOU time.
The approach I now take to any request is to default to “no.” Then from the no, I look at my current big goal that I'm working towards to see how the request fits with the goal and my other life commitments. Only when everything aligns does the no turn into a yes.
This might sound harsh but I urge you to give it a try. The older I get, the more I've realized that being selective with one's time should be a skill at which we all hope to excel.
Now It's Your Turn
I'd love to hear, what's one thing you can commit to stopping/trying for the next 7 days? Is there a particular point from this post that really resonated with you?