The auto responders are doing their job, dripping more and more content to your inbox. You click the link; you end up online looking at something.
That leads you somewhere else. The inbox ‘pipes’ up that another message has come in – the same thing happens.
It’s now lunchtime and you haven’t done a thing you intended!
After lunch, you quickly check your Facebook and Twitter accounts. More interesting stuff, you follow the links.
Then a friend you haven’t spoken to in ages notices you are on instant messenger and you have a long conversation about life in general. In the meantime, the inbox is pinging away again.
You cut off your friend saying you are busy and check it out. It’s a video on YouTube about a product that you ‘really need’ for your business. That links into the sales page, which you read with interest.
It’s now 6pm! You have achieved nothing!
Sound familiar? I bet it does. I hate to think about the number of hours and days I have wasted in exactly this same manner.
Sadly, all I ever had to show for it was lost days, sore eyes (squinting at a screen too long) and a depleted bank balance (buying a number of products that I really didn’t need – more on this later).
There are only a certain number of hours in a day when you can be productive. Sure it gets easier in time when money has been made and you can afford to outsource, but in the early days of an internet business, the concentration needs to be solely on getting your business off the ground.
I learned this the hard way.
My solution was an easy one. First I unsubscribed from every list I was on, bar the ones I found to be most helpful (that giving value thing again).
At 4pm every day, I write a list of all the things I want/need to accomplish the next day, with times next to them. Then I follow it to the minute. I give myself 30 minutes twice a day to check e-mail and 15 mins to look at Facebook and Twitter (unless I am doing something proactive on those sites).
I then simply shut everything else down (including my internet connection) and follow the schedule I set out the day before. If I get to the allocated time without finishing my objective, I move on to the next and allocate more time to finishing that task the next day.
My productivity has increased ten fold if not more! Things took weeks to complete are now done in days. Traffic is flowing to my sites, where as previously they sat dormant.
The inquisitive side of my nature is no longer on high alert because my inbox is quiet.
And in addition, I am actually spending fewer hours locked in my office under the pretence that I was working.
Underestimate distractions at your peril!