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The 2 Changes that Made a Big Difference in My Daily Routine

Two routine changes that can also help with online marketing

I'm all about routines.  I think they make life more manageable, especially when things get hectic.  Routines are also a great fit for my Type A personality.

About a year ago, I adopted two changes that have made a big difference in my daily routine.  I'd like to share them here, with hope that they can do the same for you.  They're also quite applicable to online marketing, as you'll see at the end of this post.

Change #1: Put the "Worst" First

We all have it, I think.  It's that one thing on your to-do list that never seems to earn a check mark.  It's that one thing that you keep putting off, even though you know you have to do it. 

This "cycle of undoing" added two major stressors to my life:

  1. Dread, because procrastination only prolonged the amount of time I had to keep that thing in my brain, and
  2. Guilt, because I felt bad for not getting it done.

I also noticed that the one thing I kept putting off was often the thing with the ability to make the most impact for myself and/or my clients.  I kept putting it off because it seemed like the "worst" and hardest item on my list.

When I dug deep, I uncovered the true reason for my procrastination.  It was fear.  The fear of inadequacy.  That I couldn't do what I had never done before.  That I wouldn't get the results I thought I would.  That my end product wouldn't be good enough. 

But then I realized something else.  That fear was delaying my chance to produce results and achieve success! 

Once I realized that, I made the change to my routine.  I made a promise to myself to do the thing that seemed the "worst" on my to-do list first every day.  It has forced me to get the big stuff done, and delegate the rest whenever possible.  Overall, it has boosted my productivity on the things that matter and reduced my stress level. 

Change #2: "Clean Up" at the End of Every Day

When I say "clean up," I mean a few different things.  On the work side, it means clearing out my inbox, getting small but pesky tasks done, and making sure my team has what they need to be productive during their next work day.  On the personal side, it means doing the dishes, tidying up, and making sure my family is ready for the next morning.

I added "clean up" time to the end of my day every day because it lets me:

  • Do the things that are important but don't require much brain power at the end of the day when my brain is already fried
  • Create a prioritized to-do list for the following day (with the "worst" item first) to keep me organized
  • Unwind and put the stress of the day behind me

This change gives my days an "end," and puts me in a position to be more productive the following day.

How These Changes Apply to Online Marketing

These changes in my routine are also directly applicable to online marketing practices

First, it is important to remember that the thing that seems the hardest or most daunting to do is often the thing that can produce the most results for your online marketing program.  A good example is content writing.  Sometimes, writing good content is the hardest thing to start and finish.  However, it can have the biggest impact on several aspects of your online marketing program (especially SEO).

Second, a "clean up" time after each of your online marketing initiatives can be a very worthwhile exercise.  You can tie up loose ends, figure out next steps based on your progress, and make sure your colleagues have what they need to be effective in their own initiatives.  You can also take a look at your online marketing metrics to be sure you're moving in the right direction, and that you have a good handle on what you need to track going forward.

Do you already do these things?  How have they worked for you?  If not, give them a try and let me know what you think!


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