I see a lot of people who talk a big game about wanting to start an online business and never do it. I don’t think it’s because they’re lazy, I think it’s because they’re not being productive enough when it’s time to do the work.
In this episode of the podcast, I share some tips that I use to boost my own productivity in hopes that it will help others accomplish more with their time.
This is based on what I’ve learned myself from tracking when I’m productive and feel most accomplished.
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Hey, what's up everybody? Anton Kraly here, and welcome back to The eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. Today I want to share some tips that you can use to boost productivity.
These are things that I use myself, they work for me, so hopefully they work for you. Or at the very least, if you feel like you're lacking to be productive when it's time to do the work, you can try them out and see what you can get from it.
So, the reason I wanted to talk about this in today's episode is because I see a lot of people online that talk a big game. They say they're going to build online businesses, do all these amazing things, and then you don't hear from them anymore.
And listen, maybe it's because they're out there building it, which is great, but I do feel like a lot of the time it's because maybe they didn't see the momentum, maybe they realize there's actually work involved.
And not that I think that they're lazy, but what I think happens is that for a lot of people when they actually sit down and start doing the work, then the productivity is not really there. So a lot of time that somebody might be on the computer for example, that they think I'm working, maybe you're not, maybe you're not actually being that productive, right?
It may seem like it to you, but I'll tell you what I do to make sure that when I am at the computer, that when I'm doing the things that I need to get done, I'm getting the most out of them. Everything I'm going to share, again, it's based on my experience, and it's based on really just how I feel day to day based on my lifestyle and based on how I structure my work. So, just keep that in mind.
The first thing that I want everybody to know which is the biggest game changer, is that the day before is always more important than the day of. And what I mean by that is let's just say that you have a full time job and maybe you're trying to build a business and you have Friday off, and you're like, "Okay, Friday, that's the day I'm going to get it done. I'm going to work all day Friday, and I'm going to knock out all this work." Right?
Well, that's great, but if on Thursday night you maybe go out to dinner with a couple of buddies or coworkers or your husband or wife, and maybe you have a few beers and don't eat the most healthy meal, even if you go home at a reasonable time, guess what? The next day you're going to feel it. And it's a sad truth, but it's reality.
The day before that you're going to actually be the most productive, the way you exercise, the amount of sleep you get, obviously the diet you consume, the amount of alcohol you drink, it needs to be as clean as possible if you want to be as productive as possible.
And listen, I don't enjoy saying that, right? I love food, I eat plenty of it. I love beers, but to be honest with myself, I know for example tonight is Thursday, right? So Thursday night football, the New York jets, my football team is playing.
Even though they're going to get crushed by the the Ravens, I would love to stay up and drink five beers and order a pizza, and then wake up early tomorrow and get to work. But if I do that, even if I wake up early tomorrow, I might as well not even try because I'll have 30% the efficiency as if I have a glass of water, a healthy dinner, and watch that game tonight, right?
So, that really is the beginning of it all. If you start with a bad day before the day of, it's not going to out. Again, for me what that comes down to is exercise, diet, and sleep. So, figure out what works for you in those three aspects, and get it done because you'll wake up with a much better chance of seeing great results with your work. And I should also know it is a routine.
So maybe what you do today, tomorrow you feel a little bit better, if you do it again and again and again it's going to build on itself. So, it really does compound. So, the day before is always more important than the day of.
Another thing for me personally that works amazing is waking up early, because I like to kind of get a start before the world is there with me, before everything is happening. So, my best day is, my most productive day is I wake up at 5:40 AM.
And the reason I wake up at five 40 is because I go to a gym where I go to a class that's down the block from me that starts at 6:00 AM. So I could wake up at 5:40, I can get there right away. And that moves on to the second thing. I do recommend because for me it works is exercising before you actually start to work.
So I do this both ways, I don't work out five days a week or seven days a week. I typically do go four days a week now since I found this new gym, but I realized again by tracking this the days that I am going to sleep, that I'm waking up early, that I'm going to the gym and then starting my work after the gym, I am much more focused, things are much more clear, I get a lot more done, bring a lot more energy to the table rather than if I sleep an hour later, wake up, get a coffee and go to the computer.
You would think the gym would make you tired, but no, it actually gives me more energy to start the day, makes me more focused, it makes me work more clear. So, kind of counter intuitive there, but that's how it works.
One more thing I would recommend to you if you're thinking of exercising in the morning also, which again I recommend, what I like about it instead of just getting blood moving is that I do these group classes. So instead of me just walking into a Gold's gym or something and doing curls and bench presses for an hour, I'm with a group of like sometimes 10 other people.
And what's cool about that is it's motivating, you're interacting with other humans, especially if you work from home where you work alone. It's just a good place to like see other people to start the day, have some conversations and then it just snaps you out of the oh, I'm so tired thing, to the oh, my body feels good now, and here's people and here's the day it's time to go. So if you could do that small group classes in the morning, again that is what works for me.
I work out like moderately. So, I don't go to the gym and go to a CrossFit and try to set a new personal record for the gym in the hardest workout. That's not what I'm talking about, right? It's a good workout because I'm like high intensity training but just enough to get me to feel good but not to the point where I want to come home and take a nap because everything is destroyed. So, keep that in mind as well.
So, another tip for me is with breakfast. Again, I'm a morning person so I like to get stuff done then. Most days I don't eat breakfast because I'm just not hungry at that time, I don't know why I get hungry around 11 or 12. But when I am hungry have to tell myself, make sure to eat a light breakfast because sometimes I'll be like, "Oh, I'm hungry, whatever." It's 8:00 AM now and I'll make myself this huge breakfast.
And then even if I slept great, even if I had a great workout, if you eat a big breakfast or at least if I do, I start to feel sluggish, get to the computer and the clarity is not there, and the clarity is what you need for productivity.
So, make sure again you're not overeating and shouldn't be anytime, but I definitely have trouble with that too. But in the morning especially, keep it light. I'm a huge fan of coffee as you could probably tell, because I typically have one of these on probably the background of every video, but I start the day with a Venti pike. My two year old son orders it for me now, which is funny. And that just helps even if I didn't have breakfast, that's enough to get me in the zone.
One more thing I'll say is I don't take any other supplements. I don't take... I know a lot of entrepreneurs are big into Adderall and stuff. I tried it in college, it was great but not my thing. The only thing that I will do occasionally is if the coffee seems to be too strong and I'm not able to focus and things are... I guess you could say jittery, or I find myself getting distracted. It's probably the best way to put it.
Then I will have this stuff [Elthinian 00:07:06] . I think is how you say it, Elthinian. And I like the liquid, just like a little dropper. Probably one or two days a week max is when I have this. But it just makes you feel kind of calm and again brings the focus back. But wouldn't do anything with coffee if I didn't sleep good, if I didn't eat good the day before.
So again, that's most important. Okay, so now let's talk about getting to work, right? When I'm actually done with the gym, when I maybe ate or didn't eat, drinking my coffee and I'm at the computer. So, the first thing that I want everybody to take into account when they're getting to work is if you always find yourself doing something first that you just don't like and that just brings you down right away, either don't do it first or find a way to eliminate it.
I've done a previous podcast called Cross It Off, and I'll share that in the description. I'll post a link to it. Really good podcast, it goes through my whole strategy for this. But I'll tell you a personal thing for me was I always used to want to answer every email I got, whether personally or it's my businesses.
And I wanted to do it first things first to make sure nobody was waiting on me. And I got to a point where I was getting so many emails, I just didn't enjoy it. It actually stressed me out, and I still wanted to get it done though because I didn't want people to be waiting. So my day started with, oh my God, now I have to be there and start to respond to everybody. But I realized that I couldn't maintain, I eventually outsourced most of it, at least the responses that could be to my team. And now that's not how I start my day.
So, I don't get dragged down by my first task. So, if your task is something that drags you down, either find a way to move it, to outsource it, or just to eliminate it from your business completely where it's not even there, because you definitely don't want to get started on the path of something that's bringing down your mood if everything else has already where it should be. So, the next thing that I would say is important that I do is check my KPI reports. This we have all automated, I don't think I've ever done any podcasts about this, but I teach it in drop ship lifestyle and my coaching program.
So if you want to learn more go to dropshipwebinar.com, but basically I have different automations set up where all of our sales, our ad spend, all of our expenses get pulled into different Google sheets automatically.
So, I like to check that right away in the morning to see how we did the previous day. This just lets me know if anything is a big red flag, right? Did sales get cut in a huge way? Did they go? Is ad spend where it should be? And based on that I can make decisions like do I need to solve any problems right now that maybe I didn't hear about yet?
So, that's how I like to start, look at the KPI reports. If they're good, I like to find out why they're good and do more of that. And if they're bad, then I want to figure out what happened sooner rather than later. So, I personally start there.
Another tip that I've given before, I got from the book Eat That Frog or Eat The Frog. Eat That Frog, I don't know, by Brian Tracy, doing the hardest thing first, right? So, if there's something that you do have to do and you can't outsource it and you can't hire anybody, you can't take it off your list, it just needs to get done, and it's just going to be sitting on your to do list, just do that first, right?
Just get that done with, now it's done, now you can move on. And I know that's a little bit mixed with what I was just saying about not wanting to start your day with something that pulls you down, but the truth is there are things that need to get done.
So, they are usually not ongoing projects because if they are, that's when you can outsource it. But if it's something like have a call with a lawyer, have a call with my accountant, hire somebody to upload these CSVs for me and like you're stressing out about those things, do them earlier than later so then you can move on, and not put it off indefinitely to the point where it causes a problem.
So the biggest other thing I can give you is once those things are done and now it's time to actually get onto your responsibilities, your day to day. One thing that really helped me is I previously had structured things where it was like, okay, Monday I'm going to do this thing, and every Tuesday I'm going to do this thing, and every Wednesday I'm going to do that thing. And I didn't really like it cause it was almost too structured.
So instead what I did was tracked how I worked for a while, and saw what my time was going into. And then I set different amounts of time that I want to put into different tasks. Not a day, but a week. And I'll give you some examples with videos, right? I record at least three hours of video every single week. That could be a podcast like maybe you're watching on YouTube right now.
That could be training videos for members of drop ship lifestyle.com, that could be coaching calls that I do, that could be videos for our team that show how to do different tasks, that could be different ads that we run, that could be thank you messages to customers, like anything, but I know every week I'm going to do at least three hours of video. And I don't say again, I'm going to do that on Monday, I just say I'm going to do that.
And what I find myself doing is mostly doing it towards the beginning of the week just to kind of get it out of the way because it can be a process. But what I also know is I can do that task on the days that I have the most energy and the days that I have the most mental clarity.
Because previously when I was using the daily routine thing, let's just say Monday was my video day. Well, what if on Sunday I'm out watching football all night, have way too many wings, way too many beers then Monday rolls around, and I'm like, I don't want to do this and I can't think. So yeah, don't do that.
I would recommend taking all of your activities for a given week, decide how much time you want to put into each of them, but don't assign them to days because then you can base it on how you're actually feeling. And the days that you have more energy, you can put those into the tasks that require it.
For example, that might be making new ad creatives, that might be copywriting, that might be web design, that might be talking to suppliers and negotiating deals, whatever that is, if you don't separate it by day, you can do it just when you feel the best. So, other than that, that's pretty much what I do. Then I usually have lunch and I don't want to eat too much for lunch either because again, it makes you tired and groggy.
So, I usually eat a lot at nighttime, which is bad, but better for work productivity at least. And then in my afternoons I spend a lot of time I'm doing what I would call filling in the blanks. So, the other projects that we're working on, things that don't require my full attention but things that I can fix up. Maybe that's looking over base camp with our team and seeing what projects we have going, and seeing where I can step in and lend a hand.
Maybe that's doing product research, but this is important too. If I'm doing things like that, like product research let's say, I'm not just blindly clicking around on different products and looking at them and being like, Oh, this might be good, that might be good. Instead, I already know what I'm going to achieve, right?
I want to find products that meet my criteria. So when I do something like that, I'll have my spreadsheet pulled up with all my criteria. I'll put in the different products I'm researching, I'll go through all of them to see if they meet my criteria.
And again, I'm not just clicking around on something I'm going to forget about four hours later and then wake up and repeat the next day. So, when you are working, when you're putting time into your business, it all starts the day before. So take care of yourself and you'll be able to accomplish pretty much anything online or anywhere else.
And then make sure when you are working, it's moving towards something, whether that be that you're tracking KPIs and seeing if something needs to be fixed, whether that be taken care of whatever your main responsibilities and duties in your business are, or whether that be you're looking into new growth channels, don't just do it blind me by listening to every podcast there is, or reading every blog post there is. Instead, find a structured way to do it where you're putting everything into a system like I do for product research, that allows you to actually track results and make sure your time on the computer is valuable when you need it to be.
So, I hope you found that helpful guys. As always, if you did, please go over to Apple podcasts and leave a review. Search for eCommerce Lifestyle with Anton Kraly, should be right at the top. I appreciate you, and I'll talk to you on the next episode of the podcast. See you.