Because content is a core part of my services, I live, eat, sleep and breathe it.
Too much of it.
I was consuming way more content than I was producing. I call it “Information Constipation”. No one wants to talk about it but we all get it sometimes.
I knew something needed to happen because it was so frustrating and distracting so I implemented three small things that have helped my businesses immensely over the past few years.
It’s made me more productive, more profitable, a better marketer and freed up a ton of time.
So what’s my secret? Here’s how to free up more time without changing your entire schedule.
Do you know what your day really consists of? How much time you really spend on email?
Use a free time tracking app like Slim Timer or do a 30day free trial of Time Doctor to figure out exactly where your time is going. Try doing this for at least one or two weeks. After your finished, export your results and categorize them into urgent vs important. What did you spend more time doing? Reacting or being proactive? Putting out fires were executing your plans?
In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferris talks about how we learns rapidly by actually cutting out all of the information he consumes that does not relate to his goals. So instead of reading the newspaper back to back or a blog post that pops up because it has a catchy headline, he suggests ignoring everything that will not move you closer to accomplishing your goal.
Instead of consuming information just in case you need it for Jeopardy later, shift your focus to consuming only the information you need at that moment to accomplish whatever you are doing. You will retain more because you’ll be motivated to learn it and you won’t waste time on useless things you probably won’t remember.
Think for a second about all of the little information sources that you pay attention to throughout the day. It’s tough to make a list off the top of your head but here’s a few common ones: Mobile apps, email newsletters, Facebook, Tweets, Linkedin, Newspapers, TV, mail etc…
Have you ever heard someone say that they are sick of Facebook? If you think about it, it’s not really Facebook you’re sick of, it’s your friends on Facebook. It’s the same group of people that you groan out loud when you see them at the top of your newsfeed complaining about the same thing. So why not get rid of them? Unfriend them, they won’t get notified. Promise.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to live by: if you can’t think of why you are following something or somebody then unfriend, unsubscribe or unfollow them!
I’ve found that making any change starts with inspiration. Being a content marketer, it isn’t easy to cut back on my content. But after I tracked my time for just a week, I was so shocked by all the useless time I was spending on seemingly small distractions that it spurred me to take action on applying information just in time and vetting my sources.
If you want to modify my approaches to something you know you can implement, go for it! These are just suggestions for finding places to start.
Try one of these three ideas and let me know what happens in the comments below!
Image by Thinkstock
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.
Great advice, Joel! I’m a BIG fan of tracking time. It’s so helpful. That, and I try to work in time chunks. So, I give myself 15-20 minutes to read blog posts if I want, but once the timer dings, I need to switch back to something else. It prevents me from looking up and realizing an hour went by and I’ve gotten nothing done!Reply