Tag Archives: Time Management

The PLURfect Way To Run An Online Business.

I write this article not just for you but also as a strong reminder for myself. You see, I am paid to write content for the Tim’s Minions Digital Academy and this blog/newsletter but I am also required to test out new methods and ideas as well as figure out new ways to make money online.

There is a lot of work involved and there are a lot of tasks that I need to perform and this means that I have a lot of distractions and my focus and attention can soon be lost when I remember the other tasks I need to do.

What happens then is I generally start something new, do it well for a few days then I begin to move onto other stuff and then I realise that I haven’t done an important ‘new’ specific task for a week or two. The tasks themselves are not overly hard; the hardest part is sticking with them and doing them religiously.

Because I am trying new things regularly I need to constantly update my planner and if I forget to do it every now and then I can soon forget about the ‘new‘ tasks and the whole system that I am doing can fall apart… or at least not grow the way it should do or how we expect it to.

Sometimes the boredom of doing the same old things can become an issue or the results are slow to come and so you find yourself doing less of the things that really need doing. For example, I am currently testing out YouTube, I am seeing how easy it is to create a series of unique videos which are simple and fast to make which can generate money from being a YouTube Partner.

The Great YouTube Experiment

the great youtube experiment

The creative side of me loved getting the preparation done, I got the green screen up and ready, I created the script, I sourced clothing and music that I needed and I set about creating my first videos. It was fun as it was new territory for me, I wasn’t sure that the green screen and video software that I was using would work. It was all about playing around and trying new things.

Well I am happy to say that it went well, I got six videos recorded ready to be edited into the final productions that I would upload to YouTube. I spent time editing and adding the music and images to five of the videos which have now been added to YouTube. So far so good as they say.

I got the YouTube channel created, and the channel images made and added, I also got a relevant website page set up which I added to the video description boxes as well as an affiliate link to a T-Shirt I was wearing in the video. I can safely say that most of the hard work is now done… or is it?

I know that these five videos will not make huge amounts of money; it is possible that they do better than I expect but realistically I need to add loads to YouTube and get them shared out so that I get more advert views and clicks. So now I have the ‘easy’ but ‘hard’ task of creating more videos.

It is easy because as I now have a system and a plan, I simply set up my camera again and record the video as I did before without the concerns like ‘whether it will work or not’.

It is hard because I now have to make sure that I spend some time each week recording new videos, editing those videos and getting them on YouTube whilst still doing all of my other weekly tasks. This is the hardest part for me and for most people. It is the continuous repetition of important and often ‘boring’ tasks which makes a business or project a success.

I believe that if I add new videos to the channel constantly then I can generate a good following and a decent monthly income from it but if I do not keep creating videos then I shall not get the results that I plan or expect.

In my mind’s eye I can see the success, it is there instantly and I can enjoy it but what my imagination does not comprehend is the long term ongoing project of creating those videos.

That can become tedious and boring and if I manage to upload ten or fifteen videos and still see very little traction I could become disheartened and disillusioned which will lead to me possibly giving up or I just simply forget to ‘keep on top’ of the important task and let it all slip into failure.

Failure And Success Are Often In Our Own Hands

Failure is often no one else’s fault other than our own; most people procrastinate or give up too soon. People do not like a lot of hard work no matter how easy the tasks really are especially if they are not seeing results fast enough. We allow ‘other things’ to get in the way of the important tasks, those tasks which will eventually make the business a success.

We can flip from one idea to another when things are not working. We have all heard of the saying ‘don’t flog a dead horse’ with many people using that as the excuse for packing in. But you can see when a ‘horse is dead’; you cannot however know that a business idea is dead or will not work so easily. As the results are future based and rely on what you do, only time will really tell if something is going to work and be a success or not.

I want to say that if my YouTube trial was not making any decent money after one year and one hundred video uploads then it is probably safe to assume that I am flogging a dead horse but again the truth is this… it might be video 102 that really goes viral and gets the ball rolling and brings in the success that I expect. It is not always easy to know when to really stop, oddly though many people stop when they think they know based on results which have not yet had time to come to fruition.

Take the legendary Manchester band The Stone Roses as an example. They released their debut album in 1989 which has become an all-time classic but they originally formed six years earlier in 1983. Had they decided that after three or four years of performing at gigs and trying to get record deals that they would never make it big and that it was time to give up they would never have become the band the world knows and loves.

the stone roses

But they didn’t, they kept on and they kept practicing and churning out music until it went crazy for them.

I am not saying that if everyone sticks at something for a long time they will all become a success but you are more likely to become a success if you do not give up too early and make sure that those important and dull tasks are done regularly.

That is what I need to remind myself of now; the green screen is set up in another part of the house away from my office. I need to make sure that I take my laptop and second monitor to that room and record more videos each week otherwise I am not going to become a YouTube success story.

I might have to look at my workload and see if there is something I can and should drop to free up the time I need otherwise the YouTube experiment could soon join the popular club of ‘many failed attempts’ that were the fault of nobody else but the people themselves.

As you might notice in a lot of my writing, I talk about longevity and persistence and that is because I see on a regular basis a lot of people starting something new and then giving up way too soon before they have even had a chance to plant the seeds that could grow into something really good.

PLUR Your Way To Success

Write on a piece of paper PLUR and put it somewhere where you can see it every day. I have borrowed the saying from the old rave community… it stood for Peace, Love, Unity & Respect which is a great philosophy to live by but I have modified it for people who want to grow a profitable online business.

To us, PLUR stands for…

Persistence, Longevity, & Unrelenting Repetition.


To grow a successful online business you need …

Persistence – You need to keep at it otherwise you will not get the results you desire.

Longevity – You need to give the business time to grow and breathe. You cannot plant the seeds to success if you pack up too soon.

Unrelenting Repetition – Whatever it is that you are doing you need to be unrelenting in your repetition of those long dull tasks which help to grow the business. If you enjoy those tasks that is brilliant but there are tasks that you will hate and those are the ones that most likely need to be done weekly or even daily like writing articles, writing books, creating videos, designing T-Shirts or sharing your work over social media.

Whatever it is… love it or hate it… you need to constantly do it!

I shall bring this article to a close and wish you a PLURfect day… 🙂

Which Is Best? To Do Lists Vs Time Schedules

This week I read an article on Business Insider by an author who had interview many successful business owners and sports personalities trying to find out what made them differ from the normal everyday folk.

The big thing that he found was that the real successful people did not use ‘to do’ lists as you would expect. It has been thought that people who are seriously focused and ‘get things done’ would be following some kind of plan or ‘to do’ list.

Well it seems that this is not the case, they do have a plan but instead of having a list of tasks to do each day or week they prefer to have a schedule. They set aside specific chunks of time to work on stuff and they stick to these schedules religiously.

These schedules become a daily norm which they do not deviate from, they become their routine and they focus 100% on what they are doing in each specific time slot.

Many of those who were questioned were asked about to do lists and they replied that a to do list does not always mean success because the tasks themselves do not indicate which ones are a higher priority and that human nature means that most people will chose to do the easiest tasks first so that they can cross things off and appear to be ‘busy and productive’.

In fact many people might not do the tasks that are really hard at all; they may do the easy tasks then start on the next day’s easy tasks. If you completely ignore the tasks which are necessary and important because they are hard or a lot of work then you are not going to go forward.

The successful people prefer to do whatever needs doing in an allocated time; instead of focusing on a list of tasks for them their focus is having a time to get things done in, no matter what the tasks are.

Obviously they will have a plan of what they need to do otherwise how would they know what needs doing and in what order but instead of the actual list being their main focus throughout the day they prefer to give it their ‘all’ in short allocated time slots.

It kind of makes sense when you think about it, if you had a to do list for the day but had no time schedule or structure you would have a relaxed approach to the working day picking and choosing what tasks you do and when. This is where those harder but important tasks are overlooked.

If however you had a stricter time routine where you knew you had only 2 hours to get the new website live for example then you would use that time to do whatever needed doing to get the site live. Once those two hours are over then you know that you move onto something completely different.

Knowing that when the time slot is over you can move onto something else is also powerfully motivating. Unlike an open all day to do list which seems to be never ending, having time slots feels like you have just few specific things to focus on during the day and when that time is up it is over for another day.

Yes there probably is a lot of tasks to be done in that time slot depending on what the time slot is for but the successful people work 100% focused on the tasks at hand and try and get them all done in that time frame and it is finished so they can forget about them.

It is a bit like having a shopping list, that list is in effect a ‘to do’ list but of items to get, it is a ‘to get’ list and you can only use that list when you go shopping. So if you planned to go shopping between the hours of 2 and 4 one afternoon you would not worry about the list until you got to the supermarket and then you would focus all of your time and energy on getting those items, paying for those items, bagging them up and then getting them home.

Once you have got everything you no longer worry about the things on that list, even before you have got home and put the shopping away the list is redundant and no longer thought about.

This method can be used to make general life better, you might not want to build up a successful business but you could be wasting a lot of time and feel that life is not taking you to where you want to go.

Maybe you need to dump the to do lists and focus more on time slots and build a weekly schedule. Getting up at 7 am everyday no matter what happens or how you feel could do more for you than a to do list. Deciding what night and at what time you do the shopping could also be a huge benefit to your life.

Many people think that a strict time schedule is too ridged and robs life of its flexibility but this is often not the case. Being too flexible and relaxed means that a lot of valuable time is wasted and a lot of important things never get done and this can in fact be far more detrimental to your lifestyle than being rigid and time strict.

If you get things done efficiently you generally find that you have a more relaxed life with the opportunity to be more flexible. Non-productive people can often get overwhelmed, the things they need to do become a big drama when they are left to the last minute which really robs them of the flexibility they crave and results in them ‘getting their knickers in a twist’ as we say.

Here is an example time schedule for one day in the week (based on someone working from home with a life similar to mine)

  • 7AM Alarm clock goes off,  get out of bed.

  • 7-8AM Gentle Yoga, stretching or meditation

  • 8-9AM Have shower, get dressed and have breakfast.

  • 9-10AM Go to office and answer emails and messages

  • 10-12NOON Work on new article for website including researching, writing and making screenshots.

  • 12-1PM Lunch

  • 1-3PM Record video, edit video, add to websites.

  • 3-5PM Social media sharing and interaction

  • 5-6PM Dinner and wash pots

  • 6-8PM Read, watch videos and research industry news

  • 8-9PM Go to supermarkets and do the weekly food shop with the better half

  • 9-11PM Chill in front of the TV with the better half

  • 11PM Bed

Parts of the time schedule will be the same for most if not all the days of the week such as the time I get up, do my exercise and eat but other things such as doing the weekly shop or recording videos might be a once a week thing so those tasks will be replace with other tasks on different days.

You might even chose to plan a lay in at the weekend, the idea is not to make your life restrictive and rigid to the point that it is miserable but make your lifestyle a more positive one which works better.

Successful sports people will go to the gym, the track or the swimming baths every day at the same time and practice their craft come rain or shine. Nothing stops them bar serious incidents, it is this schedule and sticking to it which turns them from people who enjoy a sport to a serious contender and a winner.

Knowing what they are doing each day at each time takes away the guessing that most non successful people generally do each day. A lot of people will spend their days trying to decide what they should do at set times of the days or even worse, do nothing and just idle the time away while wishing that there life was different.

If you are a person who uses to do lists you might want to take a few minutes and look at how you use them.

  • Are you using them effectively?
  • Are you doing the easy tasks and ignoring the others?
  • Are you finding them long and demotivating?

If so then you might want to drop them and start to use a time schedule instead.

I shall bring this to a close and say that if you want a more productive and enjoyable life then you might be better off using a time schedule. The benefits that result from managing your time better might just surprise you.