I’m excited today to kick off a personal challenge here, and hopefully some of you will join me.
If you could tell by the tone of my last income report, things weren’t looking all that great. My income was down for a variety of reasons, and even though April as a whole didn’t turn out too badly, I could tell that a further decline was in store for this month.
As result, I’m launching this personal challenge to see if I can get myself back on the right track. If everything goes as planned, I’ll have some great things to report at the end of the 31 days.
Let’s get into the details…
What is the “31-Day Workaholic Challenge”?
Basically, this challenge is about one thing: laser-focused productivity and hard work for a period of 31 days. I feel like my productivity online has been slipping for quite some time (possibly dating back to some point last year), so I wanted to buckle down and turn that around.
For me, productivity is about two things:
1) Eliminating distractions
2) Finding your focus
If I can conquer both of these, I think I can boost productivity significantly.
Eliminating Distractions: Not Easy!
The biggest problem I have with distractions is that there are a couple in my life that I can’t eliminate and don’t want to eliminate. I’ll call these “obstacles” instead of “distractions.” Those two obstacles are my “9 to 5” job and my girlfriend.
Obviously, I have to go to work so that I can earn my salary (at least, for right now). As for my girlfriend – I live with her, and love spending time with her, so there’s going to be a certain amount of that which is unavoidable.
Now that we have these “obstacles” defined, I’m going to put a temporary end to a few distractions that can be eliminated:
- Watching TV – During this 31-day period, I’m not going to watch TV, with a couple exceptions:
- The first exception is my typical late-at-night-before-bed TV watching with my girlfriend. In my mind, this is dead time that wouldn’t be productive even if the TV was off.
- The second exception is Memorial Day, where I will be off of work and likely marathon-watching the entire (highly anticipated) new season of Arrested Development.
- Video Games – I periodically play various video games on my Playstation 3 system, and this tends to be a major distraction when there’s nothing on TV and I don’t have any real obligations after work. I actually think this will be an easy one to cut out.
- Blog Reading – Over the course of a day, I probably spend a significant amount of time reading different blogs online (some related to internet marketing, some that are not). Although much of it is helpful and educational, I think it can also be counter-productive. I’m going to do my best to avoid reading blogs during these 31-days.
Finding My Focus
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I’m notorious for spreading myself thin and juggling multiple projects at one time. I know that this isn’t the most productive way to operate, and this was only further confirmed by a recent podcast from Pat Flynn at SPI (which I highly recommend).
Basically, Pat’s podcast explains that you’re generally more productive when you focus on one project at a time. Take a project from start to finish (or at least, to a point where you can’t currently work on it further) before starting something new or working on another “in progress” project.
I do have certain obligations with my online business that I’d like to maintain during this focused 31-day period – in particular, blogging here at My 4-Hour Workweek as well as my authority site. During this 31-day period, I’d expect to write 4 blog posts here (including this blog post), and 1-2 posts on Slow Carb Diet Experiments. Outside of these obligations, I will be fully focused on one project.
What I Hope to Accomplish
I have two projects in mind for this 31-day period that should take 15 or so days each. I will not work on these simultaneously – I only plan on starting the second project if/when I fully complete the first one. If I don’t get to second project during this 31-day period, I’m okay with that.
These are the projects I hope to complete:
1) A new niche site – I want to take a site from start to finish, with most content and SEO work outsourced. I think I can complete the majority of this within 15 days, but there will of course be some on-going maintenance (for example, you wouldn’t want to build all your backlinks within the first 15 days of the site’s existence).
Although I’ve done work on an authority site recently (where I write 100% of the content myself), it’s been a long time since I’ve set up a site where I establish the site myself and outsource the content creation.
Given the current state of my online business, I do need some new passive income “assets” in my portfolio. The goal would be to build something in a low-competition niche with the potential to earn $250-500/month (obviously more would be better!).
2) An information product for my authority site – I don’t think my authority site (Slow Carb Diet Experiments) is going to ever earn much from ads or Amazon affiliate links (until I have substantially more traffic), so I decided that I want to create my own product to sell on the site and via the e-mail list I’m building.
This is lower in priority than the niche site, which is why I will only start this once the new niche site is complete. I already have some ideas for the product, but have yet to begin writing anything.
What About You?
That’s my plan, and I’m going to stick to it. The 31-day period will begin when this post goes live, and I’ll provide a full recap once the 31 days are over.
If you’re interested in doing something like this, feel free to write about your plan in the comments – we can all hold each other accountable.