I would bet the main reason my business slows is because I start to take on too much work. I overwhelm myself with too many projects or projects that are just way beyond the scope I want to deal with. When that happens, I lose motivation and find it difficult to decide on a project (or smaller group of projects) to work on.
However, after brainstorming or mapping out which project(s) I do want to take, 95% of the time I come back with a bang. It’s a matter of reducing the activities that will take your time, so you can pour more resources (physically, emotionally, and financially) into them, and, as a result, dominate whatever it is you are trying to do. Minimalism works, and here’s why.
Creating Success for Yourself
There is one resource that is completely limited and cannot be replaced or increased, and that resource is time. If you are performing time-wasting activities, it just does not make sense, does it? Here is a list of some activities that I know eat my time and are generally a solid reason why I am not working as hard as I should be:
- TV Shows/Movies
- Video Games
- News Sites
- Other Internet Surfing
Granted you shouldn’t be working 18-24 hours a day (unless your name is Ryan Eagle). Small breaks are fine, or working for a solid 4-8 hours and then calling it a day, but if you are only working for 1-2 hours and you are wondering why you are not seeing success, that may be your problem.
The ‘Artificial Less’
I have found an effective technique of creating an artificial limitation on your time can be very effective. For instance, if you work for yourself, tell yourself that you can only do work for 4 hours. When I know I have that limit, I work extremely hard to complete the tasks I know need to be done. Of course, if you are not motivated, forcing work upon yourself will probably not work that great.
As I said, my biggest problem is probably taking on too many projects. I get excited and think about ways to develop new sites, 5 new campaigns to build on 3 different traffic sources, and without having a large team, taking on that workload is a recipe for failure. Here is a small list of what I typically downsize to help be more productive, and in some cases, increase my overall ROI.
- Delete servers with ‘stagnant’ sites
- Pause campaigns taking too much maintenance time and returning very little
- Analyze existing projects and cancel any with outrageous scope
- Remove clutter from desk and computer (desktop icons, bookmarks, etc.)
Removing clutter always helps me feel more organized and for some reason it helps me work better. Downsizing my server space helped save money and was way more than necessary at the time, so it was a very intelligent business move. The other 2 aspects are business related and have ALWAYS proven to be successful.
When working on less projects, more time, effort, and attention is put on them. This does not mean you should only ever have one or two projects, but if you spread yourself too thin, especially as a small operation, you dilute your business and begin performing tasks you should not be spending time on.
Why This Works – Real Examples
A couple years ago when I created what was my biggest successful campaign at that point, it was necessary to downsize my project load to create that success. I was working with 3 different networks running 4-5 different campaigns. When I saw the opportunity to have a massive campaign, I paused (and eventually deleted) all other campaigns but this one. I poured all of my resources into this campaign and it turned out to be one of the best business investments I have made, still to this day.
When presented with a similar opportunity earlier this year, I reacted extremely similarly, with a slight twist. Instead of canceling all current projects, I built campaigns extremely similar to the existing “home run” and that ended up being extremely effective. Like I explained in the post, I still expanded to additional traffic sources and worked on a few different niches, but I was not spread entirely too thin to be successful.
The point is, if you feel overwhelmed and like you are not putting enough effort into your current workload, either spend more time building, or decrease the number of projects you are working on. I always find myself more excited when I know I can spend more time on a couple projects I really care about than on 8-10 smaller ones I don’t exactly care for.
After all, it is your business.
You decide what happens.
You decide when it happens.
It is entirely up to YOU!