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First an foremost: Happy New Year! I wish you a very successful 2013.

One thing's for sure: there is absolutely no shortage in opportunties for anyone to build a profitable online business in 2013. Yet, I fear that this fact - that there are so many opportunities - may also be the largest pitfull for all of us.

Lately, I've been struggeling with getting things done. I mean like really bad. I sat at my desk and couldn't even get started properly with anything. I was blocked. Can you relate to that?

Fortunately it's the time of year where you get around to reflecting on things - and so I tried to figure out what exactly was blocking me mentally. What I realised was, that I couldn't focus because I had too many ideas on my mind - some planned and written down, others not. My main problem was: I didn't know what I should be doing, and if I did start something, I wasn't convinced I was working on the right thing!


Getting my 267 Ideas Organised Effectively

Just kidding with the 267 - but trust me, I have too many!


Step 1: Brain Dump

Relief yourself. Get all those ideas and tasks bothering you out of your mind by writing them down. Everything you haven't written down is going to add to the mental blockage.

TIP: Write every idea and every task you can think of on an A6 Card and place them on an empty table.

Every Idea on a Card - don't worry about sorting - we'll get to that in a second! Every Idea on a Card - don't worry about sorting - we'll get to that in a second!


Step 2: Tag your Cards

To be able to bring all the many ideas and tasks into a useful order, we need to tag them. In our case, we used the tags:

  • Potential (how much money could they make)
  • Effort (how much work will it take)
  • Dependancy (how dependant is my team on me to get the tasks done)

Mark Ideas with 1-3 Point Tags Mark Ideas with 1-3 Point Tags

Don't foget: it needs to be as easy as possible:

  • Use different colours
  • 1 point for "Potential" means there's hardly no money to be made
  • 3 points for "Potential" means we're guessing there's a lot of money to be made with the idea, whereas
  • 1 point for "Effort" means easy, you can get that done in less than a day
  • 2 points for "Effort" means you'll need up to a week
  • 3 points for "Effort" means up to a month

... you get the idea.

What this enables you to do is incredibly powerful...

Step 3: Bring all Tasks and Ideas into a Useful and Economical Order

Now that you've got all ideas and tasks on the table and marked with these coloured points, you can now bring them into a useful order, taking into account the factors that really matter!

It's actually exactly the same principle we use in SECockpit for the Niche Value! :-) Ideas with 3 points for "Potential" and only 1 point for "Effort" would be a diamond.

Here's an example of a "Diamond" Task:

gettingthingsdone_step3.jpg

Making a Contest with Prizes for our Affiliates in January means high potential (3 points) yet not a lot of work (1 point for effort). (...and this is something we'll be doing next week, btw!)

Because we've been able to bring clarity into our piles of ideas, we can now work in an order which makes sense from

  1. A financial standpoint
    we're a business - we have bills to pay at the end of month, no use if we're just working on things that won't earn us a penny
  2. An effort standpoint
    no use in only working on ideas that take forever to realise, else our cashflow will dry out before we get anywhere 
  3. A dependancy standpoint
    if my team only has tasks where they need me, I won't get anything done myself - I need my team to be able to work on things they can get done independantly

 

Final thoughts

This method will require less than a day. The benefit: you've unblocked your mind and are convinced you're working on the right thing! Of course, you will need to break down the ideas into smaller tasks. These are my suggestions:

  • Create cards with the exact tasks you or someone on your team needs to get done (no more than half a day worth of work, less is better)
  • Make sure, when you're working on that task, you only have that exact card in front of you AND NOTHING ELSE!
  • If possible, leave the "big picture" with all the ideas on a table, where you can regularly review your progress - but make sure it's out of sight when you're working

You get the idea: for best results, you need to get into a groove of freeing your mind and focussing on just the next 1 thing you need to get done.

Sam Hänni

About

Sam Haenni is a Web Developer who has a passion for Online Marketing (especially anything to do with SEO). He co-founded SwissMadeMarketing and is currently spending most of his time working on SECockpit.

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