The Internet (and technology in general) is the reason / tool of most of my achieved success . It is the reason why you can build a business earning six figures (over $100.000) or more, per year from a laptop or even your phone.

In the same time, the Internet is making everything harder. This is because it is dividing our attention in such a destructive manner, that in a few decades, ADHD will be as common as owning a mobile phone. (I have ADHD, but I’ve learnt to take the full advantage of it)

Let’s take a example of how this happens. You wake up and you check your Facebook and your email. Then your RSS feeds for new articles. You start your day and you have 50 different small tasks. Some are important, most are not.

If someone needs you, he’ll call or Skype you (it is interesting how Skype became a verb , denoting any form of VOIP, voice over ip or IM, instant messaging). This will break your focus since you will stop whatever you are doing to give attention to that person.

Then your phone will ring, because you have a new email, Tweet or sms. All of these seem urgent. Not important, but urgent. It’s no wonder that if we live in such a environment, it is harder and harder to focus.

Focus!

But the most important things in life require focus. To write a book, you need the focus to invest 1000 – 2000 words every single day. To build an online business, you need the focus to work on your most important tasks and not get too often on a tangent.

Stephen Covey wrote in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Efficient People” and “First Things First” about the quadrant of priorities. Every one of your tasks fall withing four categories. These are:

  • Q1 – Urgent and Important.
  • Q2 – Not Urgent and Important.
  • Q3 – Urgent and not Important.
  • Q4 – Not Urgent and not Important.

We spend most of our time in quadrant 1 and 3. Q1 are those things that you must do now or there will be dire consequences (if tomorrow I have a product launch and I have not wrote the sales funnel, this is a Q1 task). Q3 are trivial things that appear urgent but they are not. Most calls, emails, Skype conversations fall within this category.

In order to succeed, online and in life, you need to:

  • Spend as much time in the Q2 – Not urgent and Important.
  • Eliminate through proactive actions most Q1 tasks.

A Q1 task was before a Q2 task. An important project on track is Q2. An important project that is overdue is Q1. So by doing what you must do in Q2, you’ll eliminate the Q1. There will always be Q1 tasks (for example, as a funny fact, if you run out of toilet paper when you need it the most, it becomes a huge Q1 so it is if your computer crashes) but these can be proactively eliminated.

Q2 are those things that focus on building. The fact that I’m writing these posts are a Q2 task. Exercising, creating sales funnels in advance, creating materials in advance, tweaking my systems are again Q2.

For Q3 and Q4 I have a VA that will take care of most of the tasks. Why spend 10 minutes uploading a blog post and optimizing it for WP when I can pay $5-10/hour to a VA to do this. I could simply spend my ten minutes to write 500 words of valuable content that will bring me money.

Another way to prioritize tasks and your life in general comes from Eben Pagan. He mentioned this in his $10.000 program called „Get Altitude”. This paradigm is:

  • 1. High Lifetime Value.
  • 2. High Financial Value.
  • 3. Low Lifetime Value.
  • 4. Low Financial Value.

High Lifetime Value

A high lifetime value task is spending time with my daughter, now, while I can. When she’ll be 16, she’ll be more interested in going out shopping and dating guys (I’m NOT eagerly expecting this) than to spend time with me. So if I have a free hour, it goes to my family. Networking, speeches that builds recognition, my health, my productivity, creating systems, are all high lifetime value.

High financial value are the high leverage business tasks. Hiring people, tweaking the systems that make me money (as my sales funnels), finding new ways to bring traffic, etc are high lifetime value. For this, I apply the Pareto principle. I know that 20% of what I do brings me 80% of the money and I’ve identified that 20%. So before doing anything from the 80% generating 20%, I will get all the other tasks done. That’s how I prioritize.

Low Lifetime Value

Low lifetime value and low financial value are trivial tasks. Read-proofing may be a low financial value so it is wasted time on Skype. Sometimes these must be done but if there is someone else to do it for me or if it can be somehow avoided, I’ll do so.

Since I only have 24 hours in a day, just as you do, I have enough high lifetime and high financial tasks to fill up my time. For years now I’ve never found myself running out of them so that I am forced to focus on a lower priority task.

How you prioritize is based on your own life. What’s important for me to focus on may be not that relevant to you. However, if you are curious, here are what I consider the critical tasks to focus on each day from a business point of view:

  • System creations – step-by-step procedures that will get me a predictable result.
  • Hiring the right people and pushing them towards the right direction. If a person is competent, this doesn’t mean that he can read your mind.
  • Creating content and value for my list and subscribers. The more free quality value I offer, the more I’m going to be able to influence , help and make a difference in peoples lifes.
  • Tweaking my conversion devices. This includes sales pages, landing pages, sales funnels, etc. A 0.1% increase in conversion can mean an extra $5000 per year so this is a hugely important task.
  • Testing and tracking. This applies especially to traffic generation and marketing campigns. I want to know exactly what I’m getting for each dollar invested. I’ve tracked this for so long that now I can estimate how much a campaign will make me with 80% certainty before I send it.
  • Building passive income systems. Right now, I’m still trading my time for money. I am still writing emails, content, products. However, every single day I’m also investing in things that can work without me, on auto-pilot. A sales funnel that is optimized can work for months or years before it starts to decline.

If I were to simply and make things more abstract, I would say that 30% of my time is spent on improving existing sales funnels, 30% on creating value and 30% on hiring the right people and managing them. The other 10% is for miscellaneous tasks.

So what does this means to you?

To succeed, you need to focus. To focus on the right things, at the right time. Work in itself has no value. The only value is the ROI you get on your effort. Don’t confuse movement (doing something) with results (getting something). You can spend an entire day working hard and get zero results or you can spend one hour on what matters and get a lot.

The choice is yours. You’ll always have a lot of emails to answer. You’ll always have a huge list of tasks that requires your attention. The choice between good and bad results is in which of those tasks you do.

So before starting each day, write on a piece of paper everything you need to do. Then pick three tasks that would bring you the biggest ROI.

Do them. Then pick three more. Make sure that each task is no longer than one hour. If it is longer, divide it into one hour units. So if you have to write a guide of 50 pages, this may take you 5 hours. Five different tasks. Pick your three tasks as page 0 to 10, 10 to 20, 20 to 30.

Yours truly,

Rob_Paris_Signature_big

About the Author: Rob Paris is a rock composer and player turned entrepreneur. On his website and through his books and courses, he promotes a healthy and rational framework for achieving financial freedom. He believes that anything is achievable as long as the effort, technique and passion is poured in. If you would like to understand his life and business philosophy, click here to get your free copy of “FREE INSIDER MAGAZINE”.

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