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Less Is More

Less Is MoreLess is more… when you can do less in your online business, and get more results.

Most of my regular readers know that I coach people who are starting or running an online business.

Most of my clients struggle with trying to do more.

And they usually want to do more, faster.

This almost always results in two things:

1. Overwhelm
2. Burn out

Trying to do more and more confuses you, especially when you become a master multi-tasker.

Multi-tasking is deceptive. It makes you feel like you’re accomplishing a lot, when you’re usually just chasing your tail.

Multi-tasking gets you going in so many random directions that you forget where you’re heading.

While you may get more done, this way, you find yourself accomplishing less.

That’s because you lose focus when you try so hard to do so many things.

What Good Is Doing Less?

The art of doing less is really the key to achievement.

I call it the “art” of doing less, because it’s about strategically figuring out what you should be doing less of, not just simply cutting down your work load in some haphazard manner.

By doing less, you can focus more on the critical aspects of your business.

That focus is what will make your achievement “more” valuable and productive.

Let’s face it, we all have our limits.

There’s only so many hours in a day, and there’s only one of us, or at least… there’s only our one team, if you’re working with others.

It’s counter-productive to attempt to do everything imagineable.

You need to craft a strategy and workload for your online business that will allow the most direct impact on your bottom line success.

Quick Case Study

Let me give you an example from my “case files.”

I was working with an affiliate marketer who was promoting a big product launch starting in 10 days.

So I wanted to know exactly what her work schedule looked like in the upcoming days.

It looked something like this:

Monday

  • Write a blog post (unrelated to the launch). [2 hours, including production and publication].
  • Visit a daily list of blogs to leave comments on (unrelated to the launch). [2 hours].
  • Shoot a testimonial video for a new product she had gained access to for review (unrelated to the launch). [1 hour,
    included post production edit, upload and send to the product creator].
  • Attend a webinar on email marketing, to improve open rates for her main email list (indirectly related to the launch,
    insofar as she planned to promote the launch mainly to her email list). [2 hours].
  • Start working on a training guide directly related to the product launch, and to be used as a bonus incentive for
    buyers (directly related to the launch). [2 hours, outlining the training, starting to collect some screen captures to
    use with it].

So that was just the first day leading up to the launch.

The rest of her schedule, through Friday, was very similar.

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Saturday and Sunday she would be traveling to a family event.

The product would launch on the Wednesday after.

Can you see what’s going on, here?

Clearly, this client had built an awful lot of stuff into her work schedule. But only a tiny percentage of it was related to the big launch that she knew was really important to making her business profitable.

But she assured me she was really good at “managing” tasks, and could get all this done.

I suggested she drop her blog post for the week, cut down on her blog visits for the week, and schedule the testimonial for after the launch.

I even recommended that she hold off on the email marketing webinar, and catch in on the replay after the launch.

She was very nervous about cutting out any of her schedule.

She insisted she could do it all, and it was all critical to her business.

So, let’s fast forward.

The launch date came and went.

She got a few commissions, was disappointed with the launch, and determined to find a better one to promote next month.

The Turnaround

Now, the turnaround in this case, was when my client finally came to realize that she couldn’t keep doing all this multi tasking.

She was buying courses she couldn’t get to; signing up for webinars she couldn’t attend; writing blog posts that were having no impact on her profitability; and getting more and more overwhelmed and confused in her direction.

Things changed when she started to focus on each product launch she took on, and let everything else go until the launch ended.

This required that she do less.

No more blogging leading up to a big launch.

No more extraneous activities like doing testimonial videos.

No more scheduling webinars, course trainings and the like during the week prior to a launch.

No more putting off the most important part of her productivity to the end of the day.

Yet, after putting together a few very successful affiliate launches, she was definitely getting more of the results she wanted, while doing less work, with fewer distractions and no more sense of desperation and overwhelm.

How Can You Do Less?

Did you notice this in the schedule above? That the only task directly related to the “big” product launch was creating a bonus incentive for buyers.

Yet, that task… the most important one of all… was put off to the very end of the day.

What does that mean?

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It means that by the time you get to the end of the day, IF you get to that task, you’ll be so tired, all your creativity drained, that you’ll be struggling just to get it done. It certainly won’t get done as well as it would if you had done it the very first thing in your day.

The reason she had it at the bottom of her schedule was that all the things she had listed before it were considered “absolutely essential.”

So here’s what happens so often.

What you tell yourself is so important to do (like the product launch), often gets put at the end of the line, and either gets done hastily and poorly, or goes undone altogether. These critical things get LESS of your time, energy and focus.

Meanwile you convinced yourself that the least important things are absolutely essential, and you must do MORE of them.

What I’m suggesting here, is that you find a way to do less in your online business.

If you want better results, and more success… you must find a way to do less.

“But I don’t know what to cut out of my routine,” I hear you say.

There’s two reasons for that.

#1 Comfort Addiction

You’ve gotten so accustomed to doing certain tasks every day, week or month, that it’s just comfortable to do them.

You probably got pretty good at them, you have connections to other people doing the same things, and you just really want to do them.

Growth requires stepping out of your box. I always tell people to get out of their box. Are you happy with the results you get in your online business? Well, those results are all in the box with you. So, if you’re happy with them, stay in your comfortable little box. But if you’re thinking you want something different, bigger, better or whatever… those things are not in your little box. Your little box is a comfortable and familiar place to be, but what you want requires that you get out of your box, endure a bit of discomfort and grow.

#2 You Don’t Know What To Focus On

Chances are, you clutter your “to do” list with things that won’t really get you anywhere in your business because you don’t know what to focus on.

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Here’s what I hear all the time: “Just give me the steps to follow.”

People don’t know what to do, so they try doing everything they can get their hands on. If one thing doesn’t work, they try another. The theory is that something has to work, somewhere along the line. Doesn’t it?

No. Nothing will ever work until you know what to focus on.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this. That’s why buying 100 training course will only confuse you, not show you “the way.” You need to find and focus on what will work for YOU. Not what worked for your friend, a marketing “guru” or anyone else.

You can try to figure out what works best for you by taking courses, by readings articles and blog posts, by studying the techniques of successful people in your field… all these things work.

But they take time, money and require that you can actually put all this to use before getting burned out from trying.

The best, quickest, most direct route to achieving what you want is to work with a good coach who understands you, and what you want to accomplish with your online business.

Get the personal guidance you need.

Many people never hire a coach because they don’t know what to ask help with.

Start with this.

1. I’m doing all of these things (share a list of your daily tasks).
2. Here’s the results I’m looking for.
3. How can I whittle down my task list (do less) in order to focus on achieving exactly what I want (get more).

If you don’t work with a coach, then go through this little exercise with a friend in your business, or even ask yourself (your least reliable critic).

Whatever route you follow, copy and paste this little reminder where you can see it every day:

Less is more, when you can do less in your online business, and get more results.

My Blogging Mentorship Program

I’d love to hear what you think about this.

Do you strive to do less in your online business, or more?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below, and share this article if you’ve found it valuable.

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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65 Responses to Less Is More

  1. Jane
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 4:33 am #

    Hey Donna,

    This post has hit me at the right time. I’m actually implementing what you’ve said here. I’m working on launching a premium course in the New Year. I started working on this a couple of months ago.

    Initially, I was doing all the stuff I would do regularly and THEN also try to work on the course. I realized very soon that this is something impossible. And I was burning myself out with so much overwhelm.

    In fact, I wasn’t able to do ANY of the tasks properly with full focus. I then cut short publishing for my own blog until I was done with the course content creation. And then it all happened quite fast 🙂

    Thanks for bringing this topic up Donna. Have a great week!

    Cheers,
    Jane.
    Jane recently posted..How to write a blog post that your readers will love to read and share?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi Jane,

      So great to know you made that wise decision. We cannot do it all otherwise we get scattered or worse burnt out.

      Thank you for sharing what you have chosen to do. I went the same path as you and did find that it is amazing how quickly we can get our major task done when we let other things go.

      All the best to you!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  2. Marquita Herald
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    Hello, my name is Marquita and I’m a chronic mulitasker. Seriously, my head would explode if I didn’t brutally manage my priorities on a daily basis. In fact a few months ago I changed my blogging schedule from twice to once a week specifically to make more time to focus on product development. The one area that has suffered is social media. As a hard-core Introvert I’m not by nature one who chats easily anyway, so social media is a challenge for me under the best of circumstances, but when I’m focused on creating a new course or – like now – getting my motivational product line ready to launch – it’s pretty much off the radar. My Christmas present to myself is going to be hiring someone to help me with that in the future. But for now, it’s all about priorities which is what you’ve beautifully illustrated here!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Life Lessons We Learn The Hard WayMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 16, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      Changing your blogging schedule to once a week and focusing on product development is a wise decision you have made.

      Product development trumps blogging and social media any day. Although it is important to keep up with our blogs, it must be done in a balanced way and always give priority to production!

      What a great Christmas present you are giving yourself. Enjoy my friend.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  3. Don Purdum
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Hi Donna,

    WOW! I can so identify with your article. For one, who has experienced burn out at the hands of doing more than we should because we have our priorities all wrong.

    Your case study is a great point!!! What she was doing had nothing to do with the priority. I think you hit the nail on the head that the for many the issues are comfort zone or priorities.

    I can’t remember the last time I had a comfort zone, lol… In fact, I’ve gotten comfortable with not having one; so maybe that’s on in and of itself?

    About four years ago I was introduced to a neat little graph that really helps me learn my priorities.

    At the top are four columns from left to right: Task… ease of task… impact on the biz…Total

    You put the task in and score the two columns from 1-10 with highest number being easy and the most impact.

    You have define these somewhat subjectively each week and day. So in this person’s case she has to score high anything to do with the upcoming event. It has to take priority.

    It’s not perfect, but it is amazingly helpful.

    I appreciate your wisdom and insights Donna!

    I hope you have a great week.

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..Why Digital Marketing is Complex and How You Can Simplify ItMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 16, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Don,

      I can see how you can identify with this because I just read your recent article. You sure elaborated on this idea. Looks like we are on the same wave-length this week lol.

      I do like that graph you mentioned to help you with your priorities. I work with David and we do something similar to that every day. Because we work hand-in-hand, we have to have our priorities straight.

      As for being in a comfort zone? He He I think you are comfortable out of it if that makes any sense. But that is such a great thing Don! I know the feeling quite well.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  4. lisa thomson
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Hi Donna, this is a profound piece of advice. I’m not a huge multi tasker but I recognize that I may be in a comfortable box right now and should think about ‘growing’. I am in the middle of a personal issue that is taking up my emotional and intellectual space. It’s a life challenge that I’m up for but is certainly interfering a bit with my passion of blogging and online presence. I always enjoy and find your words very practical and inspiring. Thank you, Donna for some monday motivation!
    lisa thomson recently posted..We RiseMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 16, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      Going through an issue that is personal and taking up your emotional and intellectual space is difficult. That’s a good time to “retreat” and stay in your comfort zone. Otherwise, you won’t be able to give it your “all” and you don’t want to mess that up!

      I hope this passes soon for you. It is great to know I have given you some Monday motivation.

      Be well…

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  5. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    Hey Donna,

    I run into a lot of the same issues with my clients as well. They just aren’t sure what it is that they should be doing and a lot of what they’re currently doing really isn’t getting them anywhere. I think what each person really needs to do is sit down and write out what it is that they need or want to accomplish and then hire a coach to help them.

    In the past I was really big on figuring this all out on my own, I’m SO guilty. I wasted so much time and had I just done that much sooner I would have been so much further along. We don’t know what we don’t know and in the case of your client, she obviously learned the hard way that she had put way too many things on her schedule that were not helping her move toward her immediate goal. That’s what we all have to consider, will it help us achieve our immediate goal.

    I love that you shared this and of course I’ll be sharing your post as well. Thanks for giving us examples too.

    Enjoy your week.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Not Sure This Whole Blogging Thing Will Work Out For You?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Never feel guilty my friend! I had similar stuff going on when I first came online too, but I’m not guilty. I met many great people along the way and learned so much!

      I agree…each person needs to sit down with themselves, get a good old piece of paper and pen and start writing down what exactly they need or want. Then go hire a coach to help them. I did it myself and it was a life changer!

      It all starts with knowing deep inside what we want to achieve. I love list writing because sometimes we think we know what we want….then by page 3 we realize it isn’t that at all. We get to see ourselves in a different light. Then go out and get the specific help we need.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  6. Mark
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    Way to finally help us uncluttered our routine Donna!

    And boy is it so easy to get sidetracked and lost in a
    never ending sea of activity, but not productivity!LOL!

    What you’re sharing is so spot on and really cuts to the chase!

    It’s easy to fill your time with various activities,however, once you start consistently
    searching for some bankable results, you can’t find them with a flashlight!LOL!

    Thanks for sharing such an awesome and true to life, “how to” guide!

    because there are so many ways to appear productive, yet not be!LOL!
    Mark recently posted..Why Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Don’t Just Market Their Businesses They Leverage Their Efforts!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Love your response, especially when you wrote

      “It’s easy to fill your time with various activities,however, once you start consistently
      searching for some bankable results, you can’t find them with a flashlight:”

      Bankable results is the one thing we need to put into priority. With so many tasks at hand, that is the most important one of all.

      Thanks so much,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  7. Corina Ramos
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    Oh my gosh Donna, I so fall into that category – always multi-tasking and feeling like I accomplished nothing by the end of the day. I can definitely make changes to work smarter, not harder.

    Your client’s schedule sounds like mine and you’re right, after a while it does become overwhelming and burnout soon follows.

    I think the whole blogging community took a big gasp when you recommended your client cut back on blog posts and blog commenting to focus on her launch, hehe. 🙂 But it makes total sense and I’m definitely going to follow the same strategy for my projects and put my focus where it needs to be.

    You are so right in that there is no one-size-fits all. If only it were that easy, right? I’m going to sit down with my coach and take a close look at my daily work routine and see what I can do to work smarter in 2016.

    Great post as always Donna! Hope you’re having a great day.

    Cori
    Corina Ramos recently posted..Maximize Space When Decorating Your Exercise RoomMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 17, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

      Hi Cori,

      Multitasking does just that; make you feel like there is nothing you have accomplished. And even though you may have juggled around some things during the day, you can never give it full attention unless you are pin focused.

      No, there is not a one size fits all out there. But the one thing we all have to do is to put what we need to do to monetize our business First…. Have a plan and stick to it no matter what. Well we are allowed sick days he he he

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  8. Renard Moreau
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    [ Smiles ] One of the best methods for spending less time online is to do some outsourcing; for example: you can hire someone else to update the theme of your blog, or a company that specializes in proofreading articles.

    Also, all bloggers should use blogging calenders; it makes the blogging process so much easier.

    Have a blessed week, Donna!
    Renard Moreau recently posted..13 Things That Every Blogger Needs To KnowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      Hi Renard,

      So true…outsourcing is one of the best ways of spending less time. I do a lot of that myself, especially when it comes to the mechanics of my blog. I don’t want to spend time in the back office playing with plugins, themes and so on. I leave that up to a pro.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  9. Sherman Smith November 16, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    If I didn’t follow thus a couple of years back then I would be stuck in the same place right now. It’s crucial to figure out whats more crucial durine that point in time.

    This is why I created mini goals and started focusing on the smaller problems. This lead up to solving the much bigger problems, and in some cases without me touching them.

    Once I was able to get rid of the problems, this cleared the way for me to work on and accomplish some other goals. In all, it worked out for the best and kept me progressing.

    Thanks for sharing Donna! Have a great week!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..7 Tips For Growing A Blog While Working Full-TimeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 18, 2015 at 11:11 am #

      Hi Sherman,

      Creating Mini Goals is so great! Each time we complete one, we get to check it off and that is one of the best feelings! Plus, it gives us incentive to go on to the next goal. They are like steps to take to achieve a big task.

      Each step has to be focused on 100% and that is the smartest way to get things done.

      Glad you got rid of those problems and cleared the way to accomplish all your goals…keep up the wonderful work.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  10. Lea Bullen
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    The initial schedule mentioned looked very daunting, especially prior to a launch. I would be more worried about everything going smoothly for the launch.

    I aim to do less but end up kind of doing more before I can chop it down. That’s why I try to keep track of what is working and what isn’t so I don’t waste anymore time on fruitless or unfocused efforts.

    ~Lea
    Lea Bullen recently posted..Stop Being Lazy! Simple Ways to Get In the GrooveMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Lea,

      Keeping track of what is and isn’t working is a key component to our time. Thanks so much for adding that Lea!

      Things can be daunting if one isn’t working smartly. Frustration sets in and even worse, one can throw their hands up in the air and just walk away.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  11. Stella Chiu
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Hi, Donna

    Your post just came in right time for me.

    I just changed my blogging schedule from weekly to monthly. I couldn’t find time to implement some features into my site and start some of the pending projects. That weekly schedule gave me no place to reach my higher level.

    Your post gave me the confident that this is right thing to do.

    I love the example in your post. How often we are clouded by all the distractions that we can’t see the most essential element of the project.

    Always enjoy reading your post!

    – Stella Chiu

    .
    Stella Chiu recently posted..How to Get Effective Prayer for HealingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi Stella,

      Glad you made a decision that fits well with you. We all have to take some kind of “inventory” from time to time to see what our main priority.

      Just this week alone, I myself started a new exercise program. I needed to prioritize that in order to keep up my health. This is why I’m writing such a late response to this post lol.

      We all need to do what is most important for ourselves. So glad you have made a wise decision.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  12. Ryan Biddulph
    Twitter:
    November 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Good God; did I EVER suffer through Comfort Addiction. I did stuff for the sake of filling my schedule and this filling my day deal was comfortable, normal and it was what I identified with. I became a Doing Monster. I did stuff all day and became the sum of my actions. What a freaking nightmare. I did this for years, or at least until I honestly felt the resistance and tension behind each and every one of my acts it seemed. I did from a place of fear. I did from a place of lacking. So I got results I felt fearful about. I lacked, and lacked, and I struggled and had so many breakdowns and nightmares and what a hellish journey I was on.

    I eventually chose to do things from a clearer, grateful, present space, for fun. Much of the time at least. Night day difference. I simply do for fun much of the time and let go attachments to outcomes and do less and less each day, and of course my reach is expanding to new, exciting levels.

    Love this message Donna.

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging Audio Course (Plus a Bonus Audio Course)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom here with us. Indeed, doing things from fear, frustration or any other kind of energy like that will only beget the same kind of energy.

      You’ve come a long way and now doing things from a clear, grateful and present space and having fun will attract the same energy. So now “work” becomes more of a exciting and fun thing to do.

      Glad you mentioned letting go attachments to outcomes. It is one of the worst roads we can follow. Staying the course and reaching new levels with ease is the road I like to be on also.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  13. David Hartshorne
    Twitter:
    November 17, 2015 at 5:08 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I really enjoyed reading this post and I liked the real-life examples you included. When you break it down like that and step back you can definitely see where priorities got all mixed up.

    It is very easy to create a routine of a,b,c and think that is that the way to do things. But in reality we have to be flexible in our daily routine and make sure it meets the needs of that day specifically.

    Thanks again Donna!!
    – David
    David Hartshorne recently posted..4 Things I Learnt From A Game Of ThronesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi David,

      As we can create routines, we do need to keep our flexibility. We also have to know that as we go on we grow and that always means change. So yes…flexibility and room for growth is something that is a must in our mindset.

      Glad you enjoyed this post!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  14. James McAllister
    Twitter:
    November 17, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    Hi Donna!

    Wow, do I really wish I could’ve seen this post when I was first starting out. Even up until very recently, I suffered from a severe lack of focus. I used to work 12+ hours a day and I still do often times, but I could’ve yielded the same results in less time if I would’ve focused more time on what was important and less time on things that ultimately didn’t have much of an impact on my business’s bottom line.

    I have suffered the consequences of trying to expand too fast and take on too much at once before. It’s not fun. The problem was I had it backwards – I had something I wanted to do and told myself I’d find the time (that I didn’t have) instead of having time, and finding a productive way to fill it. My mistake.

    Now I know that if I want to expand, I need to be in a position where I can allocate significant time to whatever the new project is. I have focused on freeing up time this year by ceasing to do things that don’t really help me achieve my goals, along with outsourcing tasks that can be done better and quicker by someone else.

    As more and more of my traffic comes from paid sources and I spend more and more money outsourcing work I would have otherwise done myself, I have truly began to realize the value of my time. Perhaps I am still tackling too many things, but at least I am not doing it with my time – I’m doing it with someone elses. This has allowed me to really focus on what’s important for me, focus on the real important tasks that only I can handle, and the results of doing this have been huge.

    Thanks Donna, this one really hit home for me.
    – James McAllister
    James McAllister recently posted..The Biggest Change To Help Start My Site Since Its CreationMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

      Hi James,

      Just wrote a long response to you and some kind of glitch took it away….but here I go again lol.

      I am so glad you have learned this valuable lesson and thank you for sharing it here. I can resonate with you 100% because I’ve done it myself. Call it control, fear or whatever, I too have put in long hours juggling everything in my business. Not until I truly burnt out did I get that wake up call.

      Outsource! Letting go and leaving other things up to professionals in certain fields. It does save us so much time and stress. It leaves us to focus on what is really important.

      Again, thanks so much for sharing your journey

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  15. Sylviane Nuccio
    Twitter:
    November 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Focus, focus, focus. According to a recent study I’ve seen somewhere, there is no such thing as multi-tasking, but it’s more like we fool ourselves into thinking that we are multi-tasting. That’s because no one can truly concentrate in two things at once.

    Especially in preparation to a product launch, we need to focus on what is at end and not be all over the place. Actually that’s what we should do all the time, not only for a product launch, but even each time we write a blog post, to make sure that solve one problem for one person with that one article.

    Great information again, and have a great week.

    ~Sylviane
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Why Are You Still Broke?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      You my friend are spot on! Multi tasking is something we do fool ourselves into. It’s doing things half way.

      No matter what we are doing we do have to focus on solving one problem for one person at a time. I do so in blog posts and also on my videos.

      It is not only effective for others, but alleviates my mind so it is not cluttered.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  16. Dana
    Twitter:
    November 17, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I can see by reading some of the comments above mine that I’m not the only one who tries to multitask.

    My husband has pointed this out to me – mentioning that if I spread myself too thin, I’ll never be able to focus on any one thing. Of course, I’ve been able to justify it by saying that what I want to accomplish has many related components and I need to learn about/tackle all of them, but as you pointed out, it’s exhausting.

    I had realized some time ago that I think us humans almost create things to do because we like to feel “accomplished”. It gives us the sense that we’ve been productive. However, as Mark pointed out – when you’re looking for something bankable, you can’t find it.

    My blog discusses the intentional use of the imagination in all areas of life – and here, I am capable of being all over the place – trying to do many things at once.

    I KNOW that when you use your imagination in a focused and deliberate way, you create something solid and tangible – whereas a scattered mind produces scattered results.

    I thank you for this timely reminder to get my butt in gear and start working a little smarter. That’s basically what this is really about – working hard vs working intelligently.
    Dana recently posted..How I Overcame My Eating DisordersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Dana,

      Thank you so much for sharing your take on multi tasking.

      I also find that humans sometimes crate things to do because we like to feel “accomplished” and it is so true.

      Whenever we are in a funk, depressed, or just brain dead at times it is good to do a small task. Something mundane like washing dishes. You have a beginning…the process..and the end result. It makes us feel accomplished.

      Doing small tasks like this re-groups our brain and emotions. It makes us feel good and then we can go to put our nose to the grindstone of our business.

      I do this quite often when I start to feel “overload”

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  17. Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:
    November 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    Hello Donna, Great advice my friend, and one I need to take note of and DO!

    I have really slacked off in the department of making lists, not sure as to why either because I do know they work GRRR

    Thank you so much for the reminder, I have been trying to cram way to much into my schedule, no wonder nothing really is getting done DUH!!

    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Infinii “A New Era of Domination in E-Commerce”My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      There you go…you said it! If you try to cram way to much into your schedule, nothing gets done.

      Now that’s a terrible feeling isn’t it? Just take your time, follow a plan and do one thing at a time with pure focus, not thinking of anything else. Before you know it…stuff gets done!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  18. Kurt Kummerer
    Twitter:
    November 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Boy is this a good one. In the case of your example there it was clear to see that the person you were speaking of confuses being busy with being productive with your time. I.E. focusing on the important tasks (product launch in this case). Most people fall into this category, which leads them to doing a crappy job on all of those things, rather than spending their time where they have the most return.

    I think society has kind of programmed all of us to act this way. Certainly if your roots are working in Corporate America before starting an online business. I think if that person spent all of her time on the product launch she would have gotten the desired results.

    Personally I take the most important task I need to do that will have the biggest impact and only do that until it is finished. Why? Because I know I will achieve the results I desire. If I do not read, comment, or publish any blog posts for awhile – I only published one blog post in October so be it. I don’t feel the need to do something for the sake of doing something.

    In a typical day I only have 2 to 4 things that I set out to do at most. I start with the most important – will provide the greatest return on my time. It keeps things simple and assures that I do not dilute myself.

    I love how mentioned “Get out of your little box” if you want something bigger and better. I definitely hear you on that. You need to look at your business differently and employ an outside-the-box approach, because if you do not you will not achieve the “big”results you’re looking for. For those that are not afraid to do that are the ones who will achieve everything they are looking to achieve. Personally I live outside-the-box and love every minute of it.

    I’ll be sure to share.

    Kurt
    Kurt Kummerer recently posted..Blog Color Schemes: Their Impact Discussed [With Infographic]My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Kurt,

      I too live out of the box and it is a wonderful life! Problem is, many people need to be lifted up and thrown out of the box…he he he

      I like how you live your “typical day” and sharing this is a great lesson to all! We do have to start the day with the most important thing that will provide the greatest return of our time. When we do this, we can see the results we want to attain come in. It is realistic!

      It helps us focus and be on point. If we cannot put up a blog, or keep up with a social site, whatever the case may be, we do have to let that go like water through our fingers…easily.

      Thanks so much!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  19. Neena
    Twitter:
    November 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    This is such a typical trap – and I have been in it far too much!
    Focusing on the money generating activities is key, not only because you reduce the overwhelm (which is a huge benefit) because you get results you feel successful and that your work is worth it – you can’t put a price on that.
    Less is definitely more when the less is on the right stuff.
    Neena recently posted..AP0026 – How To Organize Your Photos and Eliminate the Overwhelm with Regina SanchezMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

      Hi Neena,

      I love what you wrote “Less is definitely more when the less is on the right stuff” You put it all into one sentence Neena…Awesome.

      It is a typical trap and I think we have all been in it until we learned our lesson.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  20. Andrew
    Twitter:
    November 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    Hey Donna

    This is a really good post.

    It’s really interesting because a lot of people myself included always try to do so much more when it comes to various things.

    And like Neena said, it’s just a trap.

    The example you shared is so on point and it’s something that I see people doing from time to time. They prepare so many things, seem to think they have all the time in the world to get those things done, and then end up stuck in the end.

    Thank you so much for the great advice to you later precisely in this post. Keep on inspiring and advising others and how to really make their business worthwhile.

    – Andrew
    Andrew recently posted..10 SureFire Techniques To Get More Traffic To Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      I can really related to thinking you have time for everything. It always seems that way when we casually say, “Today, I’m going to do A, B, C and D.”

      You might breeze through “A” and then take 5 hours on “B” when you thought it would be 30 minutes.

      It’s like that on a bigger scale, too.

      Easy to say you’ll manage a Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn and YouTube. But when it comes to actually doing it, you’re almost always much more effective if you just focus on one.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Less Is MoreMy Profile

  21. ikechi
    Twitter:
    November 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Donna

    This is a wonderful resource and I read this at the right time. There is the temptation to always do more and more. Yet the results are not always worthwhile.

    You remind me of the difference between Smart Work and Hard work. They might look the same but the results differentiate them.

    I agree that being focused is what will make anyone running an online business to be successful. Thanks for sharing this awesome truth to us. Thanks for sharing.
    ikechi recently posted..When Positive Thinking Goes Crazy and What You Should Do About ItMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

      Hi Ikechi,

      Focus is absolutely the key, here.

      You’re right that Smart Work and Hard Work look the same, but they are not.

      Smart work is being focused on achieving a specific goal and going straight to it. But if you’re not really, really clear on what your specific goal is, then you’ll probably mask your confusion by just working hard… doing lots of things, spend much more time doing them, and even though you’re not getting anywhere, it feels like you are. That’s what I call being “busy” instead of “productive.”

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Less Is MoreMy Profile

  22. Chris DeeWaard
    Twitter:
    November 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Donna.

    Thanks for another great post. I’ve heard it referred to being a busy fool.
    That is, someone thinks they are doing good because they are doing a lot
    of things, but they aren’t doing enough of the right things.

    My problem has been that I haven’t done enough. I need to blog hop more to
    get out there, finish the free traffic training video I want to give to my readers and
    a few other things.

    I’ve been overwhelmed, not by the things I want to accomplish, but the thoughts
    that go with having no job and no income. It’s not where I expected to be at this
    time, but…….

    Sorry, I digress. Time to focus, write down what NEEDS to be done, put those time
    management techniques I mentioned to you on your scope the other day to use and
    get going in the right direction again.

    Have a great rests of the week and weekend…….Chris
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted..Blog Hopping We Will GoMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      Sometimes we feel like we haven’t done enough, but one has to consider all the other things we need to do during the day. If you want more people coming to your blog, you need to blog hop and/or join a blogging community where there is reciprocity.

      But then there are so many other things that are part of that…Content, social media, etc. It can drive us crazy, but the good news is to make that list. See what priorities you need to take. But never expect to make money overnight…it is something that does take time.

      As long as you have a plan and stick to it…it can work!

      All the best to you and see you on Periscope!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  23. Di Downie
    Twitter:
    November 18, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    Hi Donne

    really relate to you comment about over whelm.

    There is always so much to do and Im only just getting to a flexible but in concert work flow for my online business.

    Always love your blogs Donna

    Di
    Di Downie recently posted..How to overcome jet lagMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi Di,

      Overwhelm is so easy to fall into, and it’s probably the main reason that I’ll see a student give up on his/her online business.

      It’s really too bad, because these people quit because they just can’t keep up with all the things they’ve given themselves to do, when the answer is to do far fewer of them, lighten up and enjoy the ride.

      It’s something that requires a combination of mindset training and a clear path to follow for your business.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Less Is MoreMy Profile

  24. Ravi Chahar
    Twitter:
    November 20, 2015 at 2:24 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You will find many people who want to earn more, but they don’t want to work more. Isn’t that sad for them?

    I like the example you have given above. The case study will help many bloggers to learn. There is always a good way to reach the goal. But what if you don’t have time to do the task you should do?

    Doing less and getting more isn’t the matter to think about. People should push themselves to the extreme if they want to achieve their goal.

    Informative post.
    Hope you are having fun today.
    ~Ravi
    Ravi Chahar recently posted..Couldn’t You Find Your .htaccess File? Create a New OneMy Profile

  25. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    November 21, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi Ravi,

    I like how you said “there is always a good way to reach the goal.”

    That’s the “way” we all want to go.

    The problem is, the “good way” is not always so clear to see, especially if you haven’t been working an online business very long, or if you’ve never been successful with one.

    It’s not clear because there are so many “ways” and often, there are multiple “good ways.” Too often, I see people work very hard in search of the “best way.”

    Well, you what, pick ONE “good way” and start implementing, every day, without fail and without switching courses. That’s what will work in almost every case. The truth is, nobody really knows the “best way” to do anything, but many of them spend a lifetime trying to figure it out while nothing meaningful gets done.
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Less Is MoreMy Profile

  26. Joy Healey
    Twitter:
    November 22, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I’m an incorrigible multi-tasker – taking it as far as multi-tasking in multi-businesses, online and offline – because that’s how I pay the bills. Even my personal life is a whirl of multi-tasking too. Burn-out and overwhelm – too right 🙂

    Every so often I have a bit of a clear out, and at the moment I’m trying to make my personal life more fulfilling in the hopes it might help me focus more on my business. That probably sounds contradictory… but by having “nothing but business” in my life, I found I had too much time to drift down various unproductive routes.

    If I have other interesting things going on in my life I’m hoping that might force me to do less in my business – which might turn out to be more. Phew – hope that makes sense?

    Sort of like when a ray of sun focuses on a piece of paper and sets it alight.

    That reminds me of a story my son told me…. he was sitting in the sun with his phone on the table and a concentrated ray of sun actually exploded his phone. Honestly. Lets hope my business will explode in a good way!

    Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..Premier Cashback TestimonialsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      It makes perfect sense to me! We cannot devote all our time to business if our personal life is empty, unbalanced or just plain stagnant. We do need to create our personal life to a point where it is satisfying and fun. Then devoting our time to business is a breeze.

      It is called balance…and to do anything in life we do need balance to do so.

      I love the story your son told you! Looking forward for the explosion of your business!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  27. Monna Ellithorpe
    Twitter:
    November 22, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You must be psychic. It seems every time I have a focus problem, you are right there with a post that puts things back into perspective for me.

    In my own defense, I joined NaNoWriMo 2015 this year, so that has me off track somewhat from my regular days. But I am determined to win this year.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..Pay Attention Someone May Be ListeningMy Profile

  28. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    November 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    Well, you hurt my head reading this in more ways than one! lol

    I fully understand the overwhelm of trying to do too much. I certainly know I probably need to cut back some and work on the more profitable part of business.

    At least, when the more profitable part of my business is a reality. That’s often when I start the scramble, looking for something to catch hold and generate income until the big thing comes along again.

    At least I have Fridays; that’s my “less is more” day. Course, that usually means doing nothing; maybe I need a better strategy for all those other days eh?
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Are Women Targets On Social Media?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi Mitch,

      Sorry for the bump on your head lol. I do believe we all experience overwhelm. But when we do it is a wake up call for us to focus on generating income with our business. We all need an efficient plan of action in whatever business we are in.

      Having that Friday Flex Day…or do nothing day is well deserved my friend. I usually use my Sunday’s for that.

      If we work smart, we find there is more fee time.

      -Donna

      P.S. I just read your last blog (above) before I commented and wanted to say THANK YOU
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Does Story Telling Work On Your Blog?My Profile

  29. Susan cooper
    Twitter:
    November 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    Hi Donna, in theory I’d agree with you that less is more. Even better because it would mean I’m working smarter, but harder. But when it comes to putting this into practice that’s a different story. Why is it so darn hard to narrow it down and know what to cut back on?

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Susan,

      Yes, when less is more it does mean you are working smarter and not harder. It is difficult to cut some things back, but when you do, you get into a great groove and become more productive.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..5 Blogging MistakesMy Profile

  30. Rob McDonald
    Twitter:
    November 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I can really relate to this as well. So much to do, and little time to do it.

    We somehow get the idea, when we first start, that we need to do all this stuff to get our blog going and the business started.

    Blog posting daily, social media updates daily, hourly, on my gosh, really?

    I don’t know how anyone can post daily, I am lucky to post once a week.

    It is so easy to get overwhelmed with you business, that you have to step back and decide what is really important. What can I do that will have the greatest positive impact on my business? We need to discover this by making a list, and stepping back to take a look at it, maybe with the help of a coach, or a friend, whoever’s available, and then pick the ones on the list that we can reasonably do today. It will be less then we thought. So yes, less is more.

    Donna, thanks so much for sharing this with us and I hope you have a wonderful week and a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Rob McDonald recently posted..How To Increase Your Traffic And Build Relationships Using TriberrMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      Hi Rob,

      It sure is easy to get overwhelmed…happens to me often and I have to stop it before it progresses. We do have to step back and decide what is important. Making a list always works for me.

      I too don’t know how anyone can post daily unless they have nothing else on their plate or they had hired someone to do it.

      -Happy Thanksgiving!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..5 Blogging MistakesMy Profile

  31. Mary Sloane
    Twitter:
    November 29, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    OK Donna Guilty as charged.

    Oooh boy I sure see myself in this blog post… Yikes

    Fear is the problem I fear I don’t know what to do therefore I try to do something hoping that something will work

    OK New Plan start with a strategy and work it for a week and assess the results: drop what isn’t working and keep what is, improve and repeat!

    Boy calendar here we come!
    Mary Sloane recently posted..Why Does Shopify WorkMy Profile

  32. Rachel
    Twitter:
    December 7, 2015 at 3:20 am #

    Hey Donna,

    As I am reading down your post, I am thinking about my schedule and how it compares to your case scenario you wrote. You are right I am focusing in on some things because they sit inside of my comfort zone.

    While I have a few projects I am working on, I have not working on my business plan as much as I should.

    Mind you saying that, I am keeping a wonderful pace and am enjoying my days. They do go fast but I can’t say there is anything too painful about them. I always do attempt to step outside of my comfort zone, but when I am running behind, developing marketing skills, reaching out and connecting gets less attention. Well that was until now.

    Thank you – I just about to do a revamp of my plan.

    Rachel.

  33. Michael Belk
    Twitter:
    February 3, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    That is true Donna I concentrate on one thing at a time. It is not because I can not multi-task. Like you said, that activity leads to getting nothing done.

    I am a little perfectionist also. I can not stand half done tasks.

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