One of the things affecting all internet marketers is how they manage themselves around required daily activities. If you do not currently outsource any of this you can follow my simple plan. For the benefit of Internet Marketers here are a few things I check once (or twice) on a daily basis. This is called ‘batching’. Doing all related tasks in one go.
All my emails run through Gmail. Gmail strains the spam and has powerful filters and I have a local backup for my messages. By having a backup I can prune my inbox aggressively without fear of losing information. I am looking to remove or unsubscribe from anything that does not need to be there.
Any marketer or business who sends me useless or overly self serving messages will be nuked. They are trying to steal my time. My goal is to get to the leanest inbox possible. Every email I need to read is taking me away from something important. The trick is to only have the emails you must read and nothing else.
You may want to use RSS feeds to keep this task down to a minimum. If a site has an orange RSS symbol you can use this in a feed reader, browser or outlook. That way you can unsubscribe from the email version.
In gmail I archive things I may want to refer to again. Emails that require no action get filter rules set to go straight into the deleted folder. I action all emails in a batch. if you use outlook, turn off all email alerts and set outlook to retrieve emails every four hours rather than the default setting.
See my course called Inbox relief to get your inbox down to nothing.
When I log on to Twitter I do it through the standard interface. I only follow people who I want to. I then answer and acknowledge all @ replies. Next, I check direct messages. I update what I am doing in the ‘what are you doing’, reply to a few others in the general time line.
Disqus moderates my comments well. I reply to comments. This will give you great feedback about what you are posting on. If I have something pre-prepared or fresh on my mind I may add a post while I am in there.
I go and reply to all new messages and visit every new post in my forum. I then add new content. Running a forum requires frequent attendance. If you attend daily it shows you care and also keeps your forum under control. This is one of the best uses of you time for recurring membership income.
I have a team in place to see all my support requests and bonus product claims. If I get the same request more than once I will reply with a general post on the blog relating to that site (for others to see). If I get a lot of people ask me I make a training video and that way I can avoid the questions through education or point the person to the video to answer the request. (update – I have now outsourced this entire task).
My team send me a daily report to make sure all is in order.
You can ditch 90% of the email that clogs your inbox. Use Google alerts to get competitor data emailed directly to you. Author names, full site URL’s and product names are good keywords.
I use one computer.
You are only making money when you are adding value, learning, or innovating. You can now do skype calls, interviews, product planning, product creation, market research or whatever you like when you are free to think about it rather than be continually interrupted.
Stay under 50 minutes at a time for any computer session and always know what you want to achieve before you sit in front of a screen.
Get a computer with a lot of Gigs so that is can handle heavy tasks. It will be faster.
Doing this once or twice per day in a batched task will eliminate that backlog and keep you remarkably effective! I hate to think about the wasted hours people spend just reading emails! Remember who put yourself there? YOU!
Now, get your self out of there. Here is a quick hack. Make a new folder and call it SORT. Move your entire inbox to that right now and start fresh. Over time you can prune your inbox by unsubscribing and setting filters to go direct to delete.
Make sure you measure your processes so you can continuously refine your process. Not only that, continue to look for breakthroughs and ways to outsource not just to people but to systems and automation as much as possible.
Everything you do you should ask questions. Asking better questions gets better answers:
– Is this a high value activity?
– Can I get someone else to do this?
– Will this give me a return on investment?
– Is there a better way to do this?
– Can I automate this?
– Is there software that will do this?
– Can I have software designed to do this?
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