In yesterday’s post I talked about how managing your time appropriately is one of the biggest drivers of success.
Today I want to elaborate a little more on that idea, and talk about some hidden habits of highly effective marketers.
The Quadrant Theory
If you’ve read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, you may remember that he gives overwhelming evidence in favor of focusing on tasks that are important, but not immediately urgent.
That is, given that tasks are either important or unimportant AND urgent or not urgent, we tend to focus on the urgent, important quadrant, which is surprisingly ineffective.
The Key Lies With Your Perspective
Focusing solely on the urgent tasks leads us to think about immediate, short term results.
Non-urgent tasks, by nature, tend to be centered around longer term developments.
From an affiliate perspective, for example, an urgent task might be making sure you make the deadline for today’s posting schedule. This is certainly a necessary and important task, but it might not be as important as “that other thing” you keep putting off. For example, analyzing user trends, or cleaning up your site’s structure and organization.
How To Step Back By Planning Ahead
My solution has been to try to reduce the number of urgent tasks I face on a day to day basis.
Affiliate marketers have the rare luxury that few things are ever really, truly urgent. It’s one of the great reasons I love this business.
We don’t have to deal with customer complaints or development breakdowns. Pretty much the worst that can happen is you don’t hit your traffic or income goals, and even that is rarely urgent, since most affiliates are in business for themselves and don’t have anyone to report to.
Practically, that means that I try not to create posting schedules I know I won’t be able to keep. I like to work ahead of my schedule, so I’m never feeling like I’m at the end of the line and have to hit a specific deadline.
Only when I can constantly achieve and surpass my goals do I increase them.
This leaves me feeling centered, confident, and flexible enough to think about my business from a long term perspective.