3 highly effective tips to cut your work time in half.
Get more done in less time.
These 3 highly effective tips for cutting work time whenever, and wherever you have an important (or unimportant) project to get done.
Lose The Distractions!
Distractions can cause you to lose more work time than anything else. We all have distractions, and you may think that you know what they are, but do you?
The following will have you getting more done, and will free up more of your valuable time.
Some of the most common distractions are:
I can only guess that this is not a big surprise, but these three things will account for a business losing 3-4 hours every day (using a 5 day work week) in wasted and distracted time. This is time that your boss is paying you for!
10 employees, wasting 3 hours a day, for a 5-day work week, will have wasted 150 hours. If these folks are making only $10 an hour, then that is $1500 each and every week that the employer is paying for distracted employees.
Put On Your “Breaks”
I cannot tell you how many professional and business people just say “I just can’t stop now, I have so much to do”. That is certainly something that you and I have all experienced, but you also have noticed that it is often the case that you get so bogged down that you end up losing efficiency, and time as well.
You can’t cut your work time if you find that you lose efficiency due to getting mentally drained and distracted, as is usually the case with most people.
Have A Plan
Simply having a plan can save you hours of future frustration, and will ease a lot of mental conflict.
WordPress formatting issues and problems on posts and pages can often be a challenge – because. . .
These WordPress formatting issues drove me so crazy that I ended up buying expensive software just so I could make posts and pages without a lot of hassle.
I tried the major plugins that were suppose to fix these Wordpress formatting problems that keep occurring editing content on a post or a page. Even they were unreliable.
Along came several upgrades on WordPress themes, and with them came fixes to the WordPress text editor. GREAT!
But where did my formatting go? What happened to my formatting when I needed to add and make a few tweaks using the text (html) editor?
Things got dropped, code got added, everything was screwed up. Yeah, real great.
The problems always occur when you make a change in the Text Editor, and then switch to the Visual editor to see the changes.
You see changes okay, but what you don’t see are the changes that YOU made, just the changes that the WordPress editor made.
Well, here is what often happens (at least to me).
Maybe I want to change the size of several words in a sentence to make them larger. I do not want (or need) to make the entire post “H” tags. The way that WordPress is presently set up, you can’t just change the font size or style unless you use the text editing that WordPress provides, or a plugin.
In a nutshell, when you switch between editors, depending upon what you change, you can lose a lot of your formatting.
Here is what WordPress has to say on the subject:
“Switching Editors Switching between the Visual and Text editing modes is easy. Just use the tabs directly above the right side of the editing area.
A Word Of Caution
Switching between Visual and Text view can cause some of your HTML entities to be lost. This is due, in part, to the manner in which TinyMCE handles your HTML. If formatting is very important, do not switch between views. If you’re writing a lot of code, we suggest you remain in the text editor.”
Hopefully, you will never need to use any code.
Okay, if that’s how it is, that’s how it is, but how do you check all of your work, and formatting changes without using the visual editor? It is very convenient to just click on the “Visual” tab to check on your changes, but that causes WordPress formatting issues when you go back to the html (text) editor. So what do you do?
Well, here’s what you have to do. Drop everything, and go to the “Preview” button in the right column. Click it and wait for the page to load. If you page is optimized then it shouldn’t take long. Then click over to the page and look at your changes.
Now you have to start over for any more changes that you need to make.
HINT: Leave your “Preview” post page open in a new tab. After more changes, simply refresh the page or hit the Preview button again to see your changes.
Usually, you need to make a lot of changes, especially if you have a decently long post or page. So much for ease of use.
The Plugin Problem
So why not a plugin? They seem to work for a lot of people. One of the difficulties that I have had with some of the text editing plugins is that they often interfere with other plugins, or operations of the website.
This is when I gave up and bought this expensive software so I did not have to deal with all of the problems that kept occurring.
I could also start letting the hair on my head grow back!
This turned out to be fine for building pages, but for posts, the look turned out to be slightly different. I realized that I now had to go back and figure this thing out.
I am not plugging software, or telling you to go an buy anything. What I am going to tell you is how to deal with these WordPress issues that seem to continue to creep up and bite when you don’t expect it.
There is no reason to have to buy more software. WordPress gives you what you need. You just have to know how to work with it effectively.
First, let me tell you that it appears that some things seem to change depending on what theme you are using.
I thought that I had the editor thing all figured out, until I went to my other websites that used different themes. The WordPress editor produced different results when I used the other themes.
This maybe due to certain defaults in the theme itself, but I don’t know for certain. I do know that I had to revise my thinking when writing and editing content using these different themes.
Your Easy Formatting Workaround
Here is what I do now. It saves a lot of time, grief, and effort. Not only that, it is a really simple fix. This is what I do.
Your Format Fix
The fix is as simple as doing a lot offline.
You take a text edit program that most computers have already installed, and you create a basic formatted template of sorts and start filling in the blanks, and making changes as you need them.
For instance . . .
Here is how I began this post. I set up the font, size, and color, by using a basic html code, and added or deleted as I went. Here is the code: <span style=”font-family:arial; font-size: 16px; color: black;”></span> You need to have the brackets(<) and (>) at the start and finish. Use browser friendly fonts, but just substitute the name of the font, size, and/or color if you need to change them.
You put your text in between the <span style=”the code you use:e.g.font;”> and the </span>
Then you copy and paste that basic code 10 to 15 times (you will need more) and change the font, size, or whatever to suit your content. Then just write. When you need another paragraph, use then next code set (you should have at least 10). you can always copy and past more.
Don’t forget to occasionally check to see how things look.
If you are online you can copy and paste the entire file (all of the copy w/code) into your Wordpress editor to make certain things are formatted correctly.
If you are not online, no problem. All you need to do is copy the file and save it as a .html file (file.html). Then open it up in your browser window. It will give you an idea of how things will look. Clicking on it as you would open any file should bring it up in your browser window. There are a few differences that you should know about.
1.The <span> does not “Span”, or create a space as it does in the WordPress editor. What this means is that you will need to use an extra <br> or “Break” code.
2.This then poses more WordPress editing issues and problems as the WordPress editor does not recognize the “Break” <br> code symbol, but your browser will. Which means that if you don’t delete the “Break”codes before you format in WordPress, you will have double spacing between lines.
And what if you are online?.
This makes it easier. Even though your browser shows a good representation of the formatting, it will not show exactly what you will get with your WordPress editor.
Here are several WordPress formatting issues that can cause you problems. The DO’s and Don’ts.
DO #1: Only use your browser to check the general look of your post or page if you want to check your work offline.
Different browsers will generate different looks, but should give you a good idea of your general formatting.
If you want to check your work with your browser, then remember that the <br> will give you an extra line. Always remove those tags before you copy and paste them into your post.
when you use the WordPress editor to create a new line, you simply hit “Return”, or use the <span> </span> coding. The span tags will automatically create a new line./span>
DO #2: Use the WordPress Visual Editor if you don’t need the paragraphing code (i.e. <p>), are okay the the default font, don’t need to change the font sizes, or won’t be making any straightforward changes in the post.
DO #3:This is something that I highly recommend, and that is keeping a file of your posts and pages. When you have your copy formatted, and your content looks the way you want it to, then copy and paste it into the respective file.
DO #4: if you do need to go to the WordPress Visual Editor for formatting, then copy and paste your code into a text document so that you can re-install the code if you lose formatting.
HOLY WOW! Can this get more simple – MAYBE?
This method is really easy, if you have a compatible word processor. You can do your entire page or post in a word processor and simply copy and paste it into the WordPress VISUAL Editor. Supposedly there will be no WordPress formatting problems and issues.
I will believe it when I see it. Nothing I have is compatible. BUMMER!
Is circular thinking keeping you working in circles?.
The circular thinking process, also known as Circular Reasoning, is basically just that. You create a thought that does not go beyond your original starting point.
Let me take something that everyone is familiar with – making money.
Some of us have a grasp of how to create and have an income, but even with that many people still feel the need to have more. What do you do?
The starting point for your circular thought is that “I need more money”.
So you explore some ways to bring in extra cash. You rule out a second job, you don’t want to ask friends and family for cash, so you think that starting a business is a good idea. Then you get to thinking, “Well, I can’t start a business because “I will need more money“.
Whether you are in business online, or just trying to get through life, the way you deal with your own thoughts can make or break your success.
Everyone has a tendency to fall into the trap on occasion where they get sidetracked by something.
The internet marketing, blogging, or doing anything online where you are trying to make a few dollars, or even just get people to your site so that you can provide them with information, can be a challenge for most of us.
There are really only a few things that you need to do to get a business going online, but those few things can get really complicated very quickly. Why? It is because of circular thinking. This is a common problem, especially if you are just starting out online. It even affects those of us who have been working online for a while (guilty as charged!).
The circular thinking that takes place is the idea that you have to do more, spend more, and worry more, but you still seem to end up in the same place that you started. The worry comes from all the spending and doing that doesn’t seem to work no matter how much you do. Ever been there?
Now it’s time to straighten out those thoughts. Bear in mind that you will no longer be a “Big Wheel”:) No more circles! br>
Here are a few suggestions that may help keep you from running in circles.
1. Before you start any project, large or small, write down EXACTLY what you br>are going to do, how much time you want to take, and how you are going to do it. br> The less time that you waste going from thing to thing, and trying to figure out br>everything as you go, the less time you will waste, and the more focused you will be.
2. Give yourself 30 minutes and check yourself to make certain that you are still on task and not engaging in circular thinking again. If at the end of the 30 minutes you are still on target, then run another 30 minutes.
3. Did you meet your 30 minute goal? Maybe you you initially set out to write a blog post. After 30 minutes, br> you are now trying to adjust the color of an image. Maybe that image br> is part of the post, but you haven’t gotten the post written. You can br> always add in the images later, or add the image, finish the post, br> and go back and adjust the image.
When you get distracted by things that keep you from your original goal, you will end up getting very little done in the end.
I was recently asked “How do you stay motivated?”. I do speak about motivation, but usually not on a personal level. So, forgive me, but I will be talking about me, myself, and I for the next few moments.
The fact is, I am not always motivated. Motivation is not something that just happens. If you are human at all, you know that you do not always want to be productive.
The 3 “Selfs”
You like to sit and watch a movie, take a vacation, take a nap – maybe take another nap. That’s okay. I enjoy those things, but there is more. The “More” part is self-responsibility, self-reliance, and self-respect.
I would feel worse taking that nap when I knew that I had things to do that are going to keep my family fed (self-reliance).
I know that there are a lot of people who rely on the information that I give them to help keep THEM motivated, and that I need to keep up with reliable content (self-reponsibility).
Self-respect is something that I would lose quickly if I fell into the trap of allowing myself to get lazy.
Let’s begin with Self-Responsibility. Being responsible for the things that you do, and taking that responsibility seriously, is a major milestone inbecoming successful – at anything! How do you know if you are a responsible person? Do you always begin work on time? This means that even if you are working at home, you begin your day at approximately the same time each day. Do you manage distraction effectively? If you can’t control the things that take you away from your work, then you are not managing your time very well. You may mean well, but to others you may be tagged as irresponsible.
Self-reliance is important because it shows others that you are confident in your abilities. If you have confidence in yourself, then others will be drawn to you, and will be more willing to give you their time, and their business.
Self-respect keeps you in touch with yourself, and helps tie together your other two “Selfs”. When you have self-respect, you have personal guidelines that help others like and respect you. Self-respect holds things like honesty, integrity, and trust at the forefront of personal and business dealings. Your self-respect keeps you in touch with what is important to you. As with anything else, some of these things are learned through trial and error. Even though we are often taught these things growing up, listening, understanding, and believing is often a difficult concept for youthful desires. I was a hard study. I often thought that I was working hard, but would fall short of my goals. It wasn’t until I learned to control myself (mind, body, and soul) that I finally was able to overcome most (unfortunately not all) of the obstacles that were standing in my way of success. I did become successful by working harder, and becoming stronger. I later realized that I had gained a close relationship with my 3 “R’s” which made my successes possible. By mind-body-soul, I do not mean that you must be able to drop into some state of sub-conscious enlightenment at the drop of a hat, but that you recognize what directions you need to be taking – and when. You need to be able to control your body so that you can get up and get to work, instead of continually hitting that “Snooze” button on your alarm. When I get tired, but I still have work that must be finished, I finish it. The soul part has nothing to do with being religious, not that religion will not be helpful at times, but it is keeping in touch with your “Self”. Something that I have been talking about for a number of paragraphs!
As a Performance Psychology Specialist/Coach (God I hate all this hypey credential crap, but you need to know what I do) I know that you go through a lot of varied emotions during your working day.
Whether you are working online or offline, you still have those elements that drive you NUTS!
You know what I’m talking about. You’re right at the end of a new section you are writing, and your computer decides that it’s time to take a nap. It quits and you are S.O.L. (in case you don’t know what S.O.L. is, you might be able to find one on Ebay – kidding of course).
You’re on a road with no one behind you, yet someone decides that they need to get out of their driveway before you reach it. The catch is that they wait until they can read the VIN number on your windshield!
You are either holding your breath in hopes that you will pass out, stretch down your foot so that it pushes down hard on the gas pedal, and you can take out that crazy S.O.B. (also on Ebay) but not yourself (you’re relaxed, remember?).
We all have our good days (been waiting for 27 years now), and our bad days (yep, today was another one for me). But, they come and go.
How To Maintain Yourself
Now how do we combat, and work with the things that we really can’t do much about?
I have mentioned getting organized. Getting more organized can take a lifetime of aggravation away for many people.
Not everyone is very good at it. Actually, most people are not. I am one who is not, even though I know most of the tricks, tips, and ins and outs of the “How To’s”.
I think it is mostly inbred. I have a step son who when he was only 3 years old used to line up his toys in lines.
His sister was different. She would take all of the books off of a shelf and throw them in piles on the floor, also all of the pots and pans she could manage to get out of the cabinets.
Sister has a PhD, and brother is in the Navy. Sister still make piles on the floor, and brother has no choice but to line things up in an orderly fashion – including himself.
Damn! went off on another tangent. See, I’m not all that organized. So, if you are not, and if something helps me, it should certainly help you.
On the other hand, if you ARE organized . . . HELP!
I want to know your secrets!
Okay, back to not being serious.
When you have to deal with things that are just ungodly awful, and you want to vomit on your boss, do-worker(s), dog, wife, or whatever and whoever, you will want to do one of two things:
1. Go ahead and vomit! Do the projectile thing so that you get the most benefit out of it.
2. Open the door to the box that you are presently in, and take a look at what is happening – from the outside.
If everyone else is nuts, do you have to be? No!
You always have choices. Sometimes it is more effective to stand up, stand your ground, and be firm. At other times it is just as easy to just listen, don’t take what is said personally, and move on.
Yes, when do you stand firm, and when do you listen.
If you are trying to be efficient, which is turn leads to better productivity, the sooner that you get out of any turmoil, the better. Agreed? Okay.
When you are in a situation that is very important, affects others (as well as you), and you KNOW that something is the wrong thing, then it is good to stand your ground.
On the other hand, if someone (like the motorist who likes to read VIN numbers) take you on, or a co-worker gives you grief, then isn’t it best to grab a cold drink (well, maybe that kind, just don’t drive), and give yourself “Brain Freeze” and “Chill”?
This is easier to do for some people, but not so easy for others. That said, it is never really “Easy”. What you do is just mentally tell people off and keep your mouth shut. Take those deep breaths, and walk away.
Efficiency, organization, work habits, and a multitude of other facets all go into being more productive.
If you want to get more productive, then you really should check this out.
Goal setting and following through on a plan are usually not compatible.
Goal setting, and actually achieving that goal, are not always compatible. Just because someone attempts a goal, does not guarantee a successful experience.
Once you have learned how to achieve your goals, it is not uncommon to see you come back for more.
There have been numerous athletes and business people who have supposedly retired, and have ended up coming back to do more of what they like to do. They now have new goals to achieve.
It is not uncommon for people to decide to drop the things that they are doing for a number of reasons. Therefore, if you stop your quest for something that you are trying to achieve, make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. It is possible that your reasons involve your health, or a move, or it could be that you are changing to something that is working better for you, and offers more opportunity. What you don’t want to do is to just give up on what you are working on, because you don’t seem to be making the kind of headway that you think you should have. It is often the case, when working toward any goal, that you must just put your head down and “Charge”! Go full out, stay focused, and work hard. It is often that distractions will keep us from reaching our goals. Unless you have some major, personal reason for stopping your quest, you really have no good reason to give up. RE-establish your motivation, focus on what is important, and get mentoring help if necessary.
If you are not putting olympic effort into your business, then you may need to re-focus.
I did not have anything close to Olympic Effort for my business when I first began my internet venture. I was ready to burn the letters off of the keys on my keyboard, because I was so excited to start my internet business. Things worked so slowly at first that I thought that I was going to be a miserable failure at this internet marketing stuff. I therefore turned down my “Burners” so to speak. As a result, I never got off of the starting blocks.
I didn’t really lose interest, but I wasn’t putting in the time that was required to get my business off of the ground and moving forward. I was working hard, but due to not paying attention to the correct things that were going to make my business a success, things did not work out as I had planned.
So where does this “Olympic Effort” come into play? It comes in every time that you even think about your business, and in every step that you take when you are building a your business.
There are 3 major things that you must focus on when you start a business in order to drastically improve your chances of long-term success.
These 3 things are:
1. Olympic Effort and Motivation.
Without staying motivated, you may not find you or your business advancing. Motivation helps you to work more effectively and have an olympic focus on your goal.
Just because you start a business today, and are motivated to do great things, it certainly does not mean that you will still feel that same motivation 6 months from now. It is also not uncommon for your enthusiasm to drop off as time passes, especially if your business is not thriving, and you find that you need to put in even more time and effort than you do now.
With the online failure rate in excess of 90% it is more important than ever to create a style of work that increases motivation, and allows for the enjoyment and profit that comes from being your own boss, and helping others.
To help you maintain your motivation you can begin by asking yourself “Why Did I start my business?”. You had a reason, a purpose, and a dream. Re-connect with those early feelings that motivated you in the beginning. Your motivations are still there, you just need to go back for a visit so that you can keep that Olympic Effort going strong.
2. Olympic Effort and an Open Mind
Creating a mental “Rut” can be as dangerous to a business as not having a focused goal, or knowing the dynamics of the potential customers to whom you are going to market.
Pay attention to the details of your business. All businesses will need some tweaking to make them more streamlined and profitable. by keeping track of your business analytics you can greatly improve your bottom line and attract more potential customers.
Don’t fear change when you find that something is not working the way that you expected. Give your strategies their chance to work, but when they are not producing the way that they should, then re-evaluate where the problem might be and make the necessary changes.
Pay attention to what is working for others. Don’t be afraid to adopt another, or a different strategy with new ideas that you think might benefit your business. Be innovative, but remember that the things that successful marketers are doing are the things that are working. Also, keep tabs on the needs of your market as they may change. Remember, sometimes it is the little things that can make the biggest difference.
3. Olympic Effort and Consistency
You have your goal, you know who you are marketing to, and since you have worked hard to get your business strategies in place, you now need to continue to stick with your program.
If you have a blog that requires new information each day, then it is especially important that you provide that information. If you have a membership site where your members expect new information on a daily or weekly basis, then it is up to you to provide them with what they are paying for each month. Also, this will increase your credibility.
Keeping up with your business analytics is something that many marketers fall behind on, and lose track of early on in their first months of business. It is important to keep up with the numbers and the market that is bringing in your potential customers. Remember the statistics are that 90% plus end up out of business within their first year online.
Maintaining consistency of effort in your productivity, motivation, and your focus, is an often overlooked key to having success both in business and in life. Finally, consistency will create a business that will attract attention, bring in customers, generate business success for years to come, and will give you a “Gold Medal” rewards for all of that Olympic Effort that you have put into your business.
How would you like to send your distractions running?
In the opposite direction? You can do it. There is nothing more distracting than a distraction.
You are a runner and your shoe lace comes untied.
You are driving along and it starts raining.
You are trying to type with a sore finger.
These are distractions that we live with from day to day.
Each and every day we are confronted with distractions that we did not expect, and are at the very least, quite annoying. The interesting thing about getting distracted is that many distractions can be controlled.
You say “B.S.” Okay, let take a look at your typical day.
You’re running late for work again. Why, because you got distracted by something. What did you get distracted by? Let’s check it out now.
===> You got distracted from your sound sleep by the alarm clock. If you don’t want to get up for work, then don’t set your alarm. You lumber out of bed, and you turn on the television to see what is going on in the world, and maybe check out the weather for the day.
===> You wash up, take a shower, whatever. You check out the T.V. again because the weather is on.
===> Before the weather there is an interesting celebrity story in the news. You need to pay close attention to, and you do.
You always save time by setting the timer on the coffee, so thank goodness that is ready. You sit down with your coffee an watch the weather lady tell you what your weather is going to be like today. They told you yesterday that the weather is going to be about the same for the next 5 or 6 days, but you need to make sure, because you want to go golfing tomorrow.
Right! Good weather. You grab your cell phone and send a text to make sure, that your friends know for sure that you will joining them tomorrow for that round of golf.
Okay, now you need to get ready for work and your time is now getting short. You do the personal hygiene things, and you’re ready to leave, but where are your keys? What did you do with your glasses? I know, why not check your cell phone again to see if you get any clues?
Great! A text from that girl that you just met yesterday. What does she say…, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you”. Bummer. You check your other messages, look at the weather one more time before you leave (you found your keys and glasses), and now you are 10 minutes late for work and have not even left yet.
Can you count how many “Unforced” distractions that you had?
1. You didn’t need the television, you already knew the weather.
2. The celebrity spotlight was a major waste of your time.
3. You did not need to text anyone – they know you are coming because you have already told them so.
4. Did you really check you cell phone to find your keys? You really checked your cell phone so that you could look at your text messages. Another waste of time for you.
5. C’mon, how many times do you need to check the weather? You didn’t need to check out your hopeful girlfriend’s text either, it could have waited, and it only made you depressed. And, by the way, that was number “6”.
We find so many ways to waste our time that we don’t even realize what we do. The major battle that we have is with ourselves. Knowing what is consuming our time is our major tool for knowing how to use our time wisely, and will eliminate most of the major distractions with which we clutter up our days. Some distractions we cannot control, but many we can.
Distraction can be your worst enemy – but only if you allow it.
Distraction is like one of those sneaky little devils that likes to hide under and behind places that you can’t see. Then when you least expect it, a distraction will jump out at you and say “Surprise! Now, what were you doing?”
My vision of a distraction is one of those cute little horned devils with the pitchfork and the triangle at the end of its tail. Pesky, annoying, and a pain in the a… – you know.
Why does it seem like whenever you are in the middle of something important that one of these pesky little critters comes out of nowhere and lands on your face?
Like trying to write this article. I get started, finally get my thoughts together about what to write, and my dog starts barking. I have to get up and see what’s wrong. I could let it bark, but that distraction is one that I simply cannot ignore.
Different people handle distractions in different ways. For some people a distraction can ruin their entire day. I’m talking about those little pesky distractions. These poor souls allow distraction to be their own worst enemy. It doesn’t need to be.
While some cannot deal with distraction very well, there are others who find distraction annoying, but allow it, organize it, and deal with it. These people manage to keep those pesky little critters in labeled boxes so that, annoying as they are, they do not take over.
How do you keep these distractions from becoming your worst enemy?
Some distractions are major. If you are driving along and in a hurry to get to work, but you see a head on collision in front of you, then you would likely stop to see if you could do something to help. At the very least you would try to get help. This is a major distraction.
A minor distraction is when you are running late and trying to get out of the house, and you spill milk all over the floor. It takes a few minutes more of your time to clean up the mess. Another distraction that is annoying, but not one that is going to alter the course of your life.
Distractions take on many forms. They can be sounds, visual distractions such as a dog running across the road in front of your car, or they can be technical like deleting something from your computer that you really wanted to keep.
Those little (and big) distractions are annoying to be sure. It is your perceptions of those distractions that can transform distractions into huge critters that stomp on you, or small things that you can put in a corner until they settle down.
There are a few things that you can do to help keep those small distractions from ruining your life – or day.
1. You can make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to get those important things done. By waiting until the last minute, you set yourself up for an emotional tornado if something goes wrong.
2. If you are working on something that is important, then make your space as distraction-free as you can. Turn things off, keep kids and pets in another area.
3. Allow yourself a few moments of distraction. These “Critters” will always be around trying to get to you. Give them their way on occasion, but do not allow them much time. Keep your distractions on their leash and in their place. And, keep yourself in your place.