Getting up at 8am, having breakfast and checking your email by 9am and then off to craft some campaigns for a few hours. That’s what many people think they do when they are starting in the affiliate world.
However, the REAL process many times looks like this:
- 8am – wake up, take a bath, do your stuff, etc.
- 9am – have breakfast and maybe a little talk or check the news
- 9:30 – Sit down in the computer and realize you’ve got to check all of your stuff
- 10:00 – Checking Facebook and email
- 10:30 – Checking and answering more emails
- 11:00 – Got to answer those 200 Skype messages. Can’t let my managers and readers know I’m not responding.
- 12:00 – Start doing some work. Check your campaigns stats and realize you’ve got Whatsapp Messages on your phone
- 13:00 – It’s almost time for lunch, but before let’s see some funny videos of cats
- 14:00 – Lunch time
- 15:00 – After lunch time (A.K.A. feeling full and tired. Maybe take a nap).
- 16:00 – OK, time do do some work. Let’s launch a few campaigns, setup tracking and traffic sources
- 17:00 – Modify landers, craft banners
- 18:00 – Answer more emails, Facebook and Skype messages
- 19:00 – Finally launch the campaigns and wait for the traffic to start coming in
- 20:00 – Time for dinner. Let’s chat with my friends, check all FB updates, watch some TV Series and call it a day
- 21:00+ – Get back to work because I feel like I didn’t do enough. I wish days had 32 hours!
- 23:00 – keep working past midnight.
If this feels like you, then keep reading.
Even if you don’t work until midnight I’ll give you 3 small tips I’ve used for months to improve my focus and concentrate while working. This results into faster and better results, more revenue/profit and also results into having a less stressful life because you actually feel you’re being efficient and doing some work while still having extra time to enjoy with your friends and family.
Nobody said working hard is bad, but working too much, without actually accomplishing anything can be a really bad thing for your business. So here are 3 tips I use to focus my mind and do some work.
Of course, this is me thinking you’re an affiliate working from home, but these tips work well even if you’re in a 9-5 job inside an office full of co-workers.
How to improve focus
1. Put your damn phone down
Ironical, isn’t it? I’ve been doing mobile marketing for the last year and the best tip I’ve used lately is to put down my phone.
Not only I put it down when I’m working. I actually like to leave it in my bedroom while my desk is in the living room so I can’t hear any notifications. It’s just so damn tempting for me to check Whatsapp/Facebook/Telegram etc. and see the latest updates on Youtube/Feedly/etc. that I just can’t avoid it if the phone is pinging me every 5 minutes.
For every minute of distraction you could be losing 10-30 minutes of pure work. The problem is going into focus mode can take a while. You know, that moment when you feel you’re working like a laser and nobody can’t stop you or interrupt you. But how many times per day or per week do you feel like that? I bet not too many, and if you’re just starting to get focused and you receive a dumb message with a viral image via Whatsapp you’ll have a hard time to go into that mode again.
Leave your phone out of your sight and focus on your computer. Which brings me to the second tip…
2. Set a time for email/messages/reading
If you receive dozens or hundreds of emails per day (I know I do) the best way you can get out of it is by setting aside specific times to check all that stuff. For example, if you want to check email before you start working because you feel it’s highly urgent or important, then so be it.
Check your email from 9am to 9:30 (this is just an example) and then close that email tab or outlook and don’t open it again until the next assigned hour which could be maybe before dinner or after lunch. This is where not having a smartphone comes handy because if you had it with you it would ring every time you’ve got a new email, resulting into multiple distractions per hour. Just close the damn email tab and don’t open it until next time.
The same applies for everything else you need to do when you’re in the computer. Checking Facebook, Twitter, Feedly and having your Skype account online can lead to several distractions and you won’t be able to focus your mind and be efficient.
Finally, set up some time to read and learn every day or at least 1 few times per week. Every new affiliate goes through that stage on their life where their brain is like a sponge. They just want to read read read. They buy courses, pay forum subscriptions, add 30 affiliate blogs to their bookmarks and every time a new article goes out, they have to read it no matter what they’re doing.
Don’t get me wrong. Learning can be wonderful as long as it doesn’t lead you to avoid taking action because you’re “too busy learning“.
Even those knowledge bombs in the internet have a time and a place to be read. Don’t let them distract you from your duty. Instead, create a bookmark folder and save them for later. Take 30 minutes per day to read all the forums or articles you wanted to read. I like doing this at night before going to bed or before dinner. I also like to read sometimes on weekends when I’ve got nothing to do or family isn’t around. I just save them on my phone and read them when I’m not busy. It works.
3. Increase focus using headphones
This is a concept i really liked when i saw the movie “The Social Network” back in 2010. There was a term they were using when somebody was working 100% focused and using headphones so nobody could distract them. They said they were “wired in”. I’m sure many people do the same and they probably call it different, but this works wonders for me.
I’ve come to train myself so good while using headphones that I can concentrate better even if I’m not listening music just because of the headphones. The truth is, even a cheap pair of headphones will help you block outside noises (including your phone, the mail, the neighbors and a cat’s fight). This really gets you concentrated and you’ll see you can do a ton of work just by working 1-2 hours per day. You might be able to do all your stuff in less than 4 hours if you do it right. Talk about some efficiency.
Of course, the main idea of using headphones is listening to music, so make sure you create a good list that gets you in the mood to do some work. Don’t put sad songs or songs that bring you memories that can become a distraction for you. I like to hear classical music or some tecno music. I’ve found the key for me is to hear music where nobody really sings (hence, classical and tecno work) when I’m writing something, but I can pretty much hear anything when I’m doing stuff like banners, preparing campaigns, setting up landers, etc. Your best songs can get you in a work mood easily while making you happy at the same time.
Everybody has its own style. Find what kind of music works for you.
Whatever works for you, train your brain to feel like you’re wired in when you use headphones and ignore everybody around you. Focus so much that you won’t notice when someone walks by and then you’ll definitely get work done.
If you get this done, I promise you’ll feel a change on how you work and how long it takes you to achieve your goals.
You’ll find yourself in a position where you can stop working at 6pm or earlier and still do the same amount of work. If you want to work more, alright, but you’ll be doing the work of a week in just 2-3 days instead.
That or you can use that time to relax, go out with friends or just have some family time. This will keep you motivated and you won’t feel burned out after a few weeks like many affiliates end up feeling. Some people end up hating their home because they feel they can’t work there. Don’t be like them.
Genius. Headphones are a major difference between the office where i focus hard and home where it’s a struggle. Going to try that tomorrow.
Ramanvir sodhi says
Great Article Servando!
José M. Rodrigo says
Great advice Servando!! now stop writting great articles so I can concentrate!! 😉
Servando Silva says
LOL. Just save them and read them later while you’re not working 😉
Servando Silva says
I’ve used it and yes, it works.
However, after a few days or weeks I was able to just not visit those sites when I’m working without blocking them.
I guess that’s the next step.
Bruce Cat says
Great article Servando.
I find that waking at 5am, gym by 6am and not checking emails until noon has been working well for me. I usually leave the phone in the other room when I go to bed. But will also try leaving the phone in the other room whilst am working as well.
Servando Silva says
Sounds like a great routine. When I sleep my phone goes into “night” mode so no problem there. But try it while working and see if it works for you.
As for the gym, I’m more of a night owl. I can pump some great work between 11am-3pm and then again after 7pm-2am. Waking up early has never worked for me as I feel like crap… and no, I don’t drink coffee so 8-9am is the best time for me to wake up LOL.
There’s one thing I have noticed. See you in Bangkok.
Bruce Cat says
LOL nice. I also run an SEO and Apps Development agency, so I have to be at work by 9 am.
Igor Sorokin says
It’s all about habits, you know… Otherwise how to explain that when you change your timezone you come back to the same schedule
Servando Silva says
For sure i could make it a habit. Not that I want to at this point.