A good while back, I wrote a post sharing a series of books that I thought every blogger should read.
One of those books was The One Thing by Gary Keller.
This was and still is to this day, one of the most inspirational and eye opening books I’ve ever read as a blogger and solopreneur.
Gary’s vision and theories based around focus, time and task management and productivity, really paved a new way in which I thought and operated as a blogger and online business person.
The bullsh*t concept of multi-tasking
In one of the chapters of The One Thing, Gary talks about the concept of multi-tasking, and how many people believe that they’re actually good at it, and how they’re getting lots of things done by doing it.
The truth however is that they’re actually getting less things done, and making a bunch of errors in the same process. He shares countless startling studies and theories that actually prove this concept.
In the book he also quotes a saying by Steve Uzzell, which has really stuck in my mind, and which goes like this:
“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time”
Gary goes on to talk about how multitasking has become the mainstream element in all our lives, and how we often do it without thinking about it, not just in business, but also in life too.Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time - Quote by Steve UzzellClick To Tweet
I started reflecting on this and thought about how I was organising myself on a daily, and even weekly basis to run and manage my blog and online business.
Yes, I was multitasking a lot of things, and more often than not, making a bunch of mistakes too, and really not getting much done either.
I once believed that simply just having a to-do list, with lots of items on it was enough to keep me on the right path to getting things done, and ultimately finding success.
Seriously, I would create a list of 15 to 20 items. From content writing to promoting a new post. From blog commenting to finishing off a client project, to tweaking my own blog, to doing keyword research. Literally everything I wanted to do went on my list.
Moreover, I was obsessed with multi-tasking everything, I mean that’s the way I was taught to do things in life and in work too, way before I came online. It was engrained in me.
As Gary rightly says, it has become mainstream in all our lives. We multitask when we’re not aware of it. We eat food and watch TV at the same time. We walk whilst texting on our mobile phones, and perhaps even whilst listening to music.
So anyway, going back to my monster to-do lists. Guess what happened each time I made a ridiculous list with 15 to 20 items on it?
Yep, that’s right. I would get nothing but just a few items on my list done each week.
The rest would be forgotten about, or I would write another list of 20 things to do for the following week, and once again hardly get anything done.
Something needed to change. Because my focus was clearly on too many things right?
And as a result of starting something, not finishing it and moving on to something else. I would actually end up achieving nothing, or completing nothing.
This strategy wasn’t going to move me forward very quickly, I realised that.
I decided to take some inspiration from Gary’s book and started to create something called, ‘success lists’, instead of ‘to-do lists’.
What the heck is a success list?
Check out the screen capture below to understand the core concept and purpose of a success list. It’s taken from The One Thing book of course.
So how I would structure this for myself, I would write a list of just 4 or 5 items.
These would be specific things that would lead me to succeed in completing something greater.
For instance, let’s take blog writing.
So if I wanted to write an epic piece of content about ‘blogging productivity‘, and have it completed by the end of the week. My success list would look something like this:
- Research topic
- Collect resources
- Write post
- Edit and format post
- Schedule or publish post (Success)
Or let’s say I wanted to put out a new YouTube video. My success list would look something like this:
- Research topic
- Write notes or rough script for video
- Record video
- Edit and format video
- Upload video to YouTube and publish (Success)
I think you get the drift here.
So I started doing this about six months ago, picking one thing and focusing on that one thing each week. I can’t begin to tell you how much more I’ve been able to do and achieve.
Before, I would write a crazy list like this:
- Write blog post
- Comment on 10 blogs
- Record new YouTube video
- Create visual content for social media
- Schedule posts on HootSuite
- Schedule posts on Facebook
- Finish Bob’s website project
- Update featured post images on 4 blog posts
- Update this, that and the other…
- Send this email, reply to that email…
- Chat to Mandy on Skype…
- And it goes on, and on, and on, and on…
How boring and tedious does that list above look? It’s enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel and give up right? It’s uninspiring too.
Focusing on the one thing, whether you’re a blogger, marketer, solopreneur, who ever! Will help you move forward, and take you a step closer to finding success online, or closer to your goal. I truly believe that.
I can create two success lists like this each week, have them completed by the end of the week, and over the course of a month, I will have done more, and achieved more, than I would have sticking to the routine I was once lost in, with a to-do list.
Take the one thing approach with your blog
If you want to check out Gary’s book for yourself, perhaps you haven’t read it yet or even heard of it before, I really recommend that you do.
You can find it here on Amazon.
Now let me get back to creating more success lists in my business and in my life too. I think you should do the same, enjoy.
Enjoyed this post? Why not subscribe to my email list for more awesome updates like this. Don’t worry about spam, I hate the stuff, plus as a valued member of my blog community, you’ll get instant access to a host of awesome goodies and exclusive content.