If you listened to last week’s episode, you know I am currently addressing overwhelm. Every blogger feels overwhelmed at some point, so I wanted to help you figure out what to do when you just don’t know what to do. This week, I want to continue in that same direction but we are going to address using productivity measurement to see the areas where we are improving and the strides we are making toward our goals.
IE 64: 5 Steps for Productivity Measurement
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If you have been following along with our book club, then you know we are finishing up The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Pappasan. This book has revolutionized many businesses by showing people what the one thing is they should be focusing on. If you haven’t read this book, I recommend you get it as soon as possible. Knowing what the one thing is you should be working toward is the very first step in beating overwhelm. We are kicking off April’s Book Club with The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.
Productivity Measurement #1 – Analyze Where Are You Spending Your Time
This is step #1 when measuring productivity. This does not mean that I want you to say, “Well, I spend some time every day on social media and some time blogging and a few minutes on pitching.”
No. I literally want you to track and log a week’s time. Now I get that some of you don’t work a 9-5. We have families, we have babies and young kids, maybe we homeschool, or perhaps this is a side hustle for us.
I am not talking about tracking 40 hours a week within set parameters; I am talking about tracking the hours you actually work and the hours you actually spend on social media. Track the actual time you spend, even if it’s at 3 in the morning while you’re feeding baby.
You may be shocked when you do this exercise. I sure was the first time I did it. I thought I was spending all this time working on my business but really, all I was doing was wasting a bunch of time on social media.
Tracking my time changed the way I use social media. If I get on Facebook now, it’s not to read a bunch of stuff in my newsfeed; it’s to schedule posts for my business and then I get off. Because now I know that my time is too valuable to throw it away.
It is important to be honest with yourself about the amount of time you are spending on your business and how much time you are wasting.
Productivity Measurement #2 – Interpret What Your Income Streams are
Does your income come from sponsored posts? Affiliates? Ads? Or do you not have any income yet because you’re a new blogger? If you have no income to track, I want you to track your page views.
Why do I want you tracking your income? Because I want you to discover the 80/20 rule. What is the 80/20 rule?
Simply put, the 80/20 rule says that 80% of your income will come from 20% of your efforts.
I’ll give you a perfect example with my own site, The Melrose Family. On that site, we have income from affiliates, ads, sponsored posts, and products. At this point, the majority of the income is coming from sponsored posts and has been for quite some time.
The reason it is crucial to track this is so that you can put your time where the money is. We can get so caught up in so many things…things that aren’t making us a dime. But if we can pare down our efforts to the things that are having the biggest positive effect on our business and our income, we can increase that income.
If you don’t have income yet and you’re using page views, look at where your page views are coming from. Is it Google? Pinterest? Social media? Try to determine where you should be spending the majority of your time to drive more of those pageviews.
Productivity Measurement #3 – How Do I Figure Out My One Thing?
I hear it from my coaching clients and membership site people all the time-
“But Jenny, I don’t know what my one thing should be!!”
And that’s the whole point of tracking your income and your page views. Once you know where your income and your traffic are coming from, you will know where to focus your time and attention. You will get clear on what projects and tasks you need to do next because they will support the information you gathered from your tracking.
Let me give you a great example of this concept in action. Kelly, of Typically Simple, is a member of one of my mastermind groups and she has a super engaged email list. Kelly makes printables and her list pretty much buys whatever she tells them about. What would you say Kelly’s one thing is?
To learn all about Facebook ads? To do awesome Instagram stories every day? To write an extra blog post every week?
NO!! It’s to grow her email list and continue to nurture that list like crazy. And then she can continue to create products for her list to buy.
Once you figure out your one thing, I have another question for you…When is your deadline for completion?
Think back to when you were in college or even high school, how many projects did you turn in on time? Why?
If you are like most people, you always turned your stuff in on time. Why? Because there was a deadline and if you missed it, you would get a failing grade. But think about it…we rarely give ourselves deadlines. We just assume the best of ourselves and think we’ll get stuff done. And we are wrong!
When you force yourself to commit to a deadline, and especially if you make that deadline public to your readers or just a mastermind group, you are much more likely to get it done.
Listen, I get it. I told the members of a mastermind that I’m in that I was going to write a book but I put no date on it. Guess whose book is still in outline form? That would be me. I told you all that I was going to have Launch Pro completed by the “spring.” Where is the date?? Spring covers 3 months!
(I forced myself to set the actual date in the episode so listen in if Launch Pro is something you’ve been waiting for!)
Productivity Measurement #4 – Determine if it’s Busy Work or are You Actually Being Productive?
I’m serious! I want you to have 3 set times during your designated work hours when you stop, look at what you’re doing, and ask yourself out loud, “Am I really being productive? Or am I just wasting time on busy work?
Here’s what productivity vs. busy work looks like if your one thing is to get more sponsored posts:
Answering an email from a brand you’re wanting to work with is productive. Answering an email from another blogger about how to join your Pinterest group board is not.
Now, do you need to answer that other blogger? Yes, of course! But if working on your Pinterest group boards is not your one thing, you shouldn’t be doing it right that moment. Busywork is something that doesn’t require tons of brain power; you can do it while answering your child’s question, while working on scheduling social media for the next week, etc.
Whereas productive work requires your full attention. When you are working on your “one thing” projects and tasks, you need distraction-free time, time you’ve set aside solely for the purpose of accomplishing the tasks that will move your business forward in the area you’ve chosen to work on.
Productivity Measurement #5 – Stop Multitasking
Hold the tomatoes and rotten eggs for a minute and listen to me. When you are working on the tasks for your one thing, those tasks require your full attention.
Am I saying you can never multitask again? Good grief, no! I am a master of multitasking. As moms, we are all gifted multitaskers. If you think you aren’t, then tell me how many times you have cooked dinner while a toddler pulled at your pant legs and you were simultaneously helping another child with homework while talking to your husband or mother on the phone. See? I know you multitask.
But let’s say your child needs to talk to you about something important. Maybe there is a kid at school who is not being nice to them; maybe your teen daughter needs some mom help in the boyfriend department; maybe your middle-school-aged son is having trouble with one of his classes…whatever the case may be, these are the type of conversations where you put everything down and you sit down with your kid and you look into his or her face and you focus on your child and the need of the moment. You aren’t cooking dinner or paying bills while you have this conversation.
This is exactly how I want you to work your business. If your one thing is to get more evergreen content created for your blog, you should not also have the Facebook tab open on your computer. You need to be 100% focused on the task at hand because if you aren’t, it is only going to take longer to complete and the quality will not be as high as it would be if you had been focused.
When I ask you not to multitask, I just want you to determine to focus in on your one thing for a set amount of time each day. And while you are working on those tasks, I want you to periodically stop and ask yourself if you are continuing to be productive or if you have slipped into busy work.
I have taken the time to address all of this because I routinely hear from people on how overwhelmed they feel and how they feel like they never accomplish anything. Putting these 5 steps into practice will immediately relieve some of that for you and allow you to finally make progress on those things that will move your business forward!
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