With everything going on in the world right now, many of us are going to find we have a lot more time on our hands. So it’s worth stopping for a minute to think about how are you going to use it?
Many will no doubt view it as an inconvenience and imposition…
An ordeal to be endured…
Personally, I’m choosing to view it as a precious gift.
If you take a timeout from what ever you’re doing right now, and read this one through, I think you might agree with me by the end!
There’s no question the world is seriously messed up right now, but that’s no reason to sit back and feel sorry for yourself. Sure, there’s going to be some major challenges and it’s going to get bad for a lot of people, but moping around or watching 12 hours of bad-news reports a day won’t help that one iota.
Instead, I’ve decided to look at this as a gift…
A gift of time.
- Time I can spend with family.
- Time to call up friends I’ve lost touch with
- Time to work on my general fitness.
- Time to spend on my hobbies & interests.
- Time I can invest in my businesses.
A funny thing just happened though…
It’s pretty clear that I’m going to have a lot more time at home over the next few months, so I decided to make myself a to-do list… partly to make sure I didn’t get bored or stir-crazy but partly because I’m a bit of a list-tragic.
I’m the kind of guy who’ll start a new project by making a list of the lists I need to make…
I know, it’s sad, but I can’t really help it!
Anyway, once I got started, it really dawned on me that this list was different.
My usual lists are usually the high-priority to-do list that helps me get through various tasks faster when I’m in a hurry to complete some project or achieve some specific goal. Stuff I MUST do.
But this new list could be about what I WANT to do with the time now available… so I could think about all the things I’ve been putting off for years and would finally have time to tackle…
Stuff I never got to, because I was always so busy with more important things.
Stuff I never even added to my to-do lists, because they were too full of more important things.
Once I got started, the list just got longer and longer.
That was actually kind of confronting, to realise just how much I’d put off over the years. Things that were clearly important to me, but never got a moment of my time because there were always more urgent tasks I felt I simply had to do first.
What was even more confronting was to realise that even if this enforced shutdown goes on for months, there might not be enough time to do everything on the list.
And when you start to think like that, it’s a logical progression to realise that without the Corona Virus, I would NEVER get to spend time on many of these things. Ever.
That’s why I called the Free Time a Precious Gift… because it really is something we don’t get a whole lot of these days.
Now I’m definitely not saying the virus is a good thing or that I would want to to go on a minute longer than it needs to, but it does make you think…
Just like every crisis throughout history has made people assess what’s really important.
It certainly made me think about what I’ve sacrificed so I could do the urgent stuff…
And whether all those important tasks are really so vital in the big scheme of things?
There’s a Reason Business is Last On My List
Business is a means to an end.
Business gives me the money, to free up some time that I can spend on everything else on the list.
When I looked at my business to-do items, I started looking through that simple lens…
Will completing this task allow me to generate cash more easily, so I can spend more time on the important stuff?
And it was amazing how quickly I was able to drop items from the list.
For starters I looked at the tasks that have never gotten done.
I finally got honest and admitted that many of them had been transferred from one to-do list to another FOR YEARS… they’d never gotten done and yet my world didn’t end. So there was no point wasting precious shutdown time on those now.
And then there were a lot of tasks that were pure busy-work.
It’s super common among people that are active online. Any time you have a minute you think you should be traffic surfing or reading emails or clicking ads… if you’re not glued to your computer you’re wasting time.
And while I rarely do those things anymore… (I’ll explain what I do instead shortly!) … it was almost by instinct that I added them to my list… I’ve got some free time coming, I’d better do manual traffic generation…
So those all got deleted as well.
Then there were the endless making it perfect jobs.
I had dozens that started with the word … revisit… go back and rewrite that salesletter, go back and make that website look better, go back and re-record that video…
Endless tasks to see if I could make cosmetic improvements that would somehow improve my conversions and my bottom line. Realistically though, I had to admit many of them had already been revisited multiple times over the years.
So looking over my to-do list, where the tasks were focused on websites/offers where conversions have dropped off, an honest appraisal made it clear that in most cases the offer has lost relevance… so I left a few that I thought I could update and overhaul, but all the ‘cosmetic’ updates I’d planned to do got deleted as well.
Suddenly I Had An Achievable Business To-Do List
I use Trello to make my lists and I rely on it a lot. I especially like to use it for brainstorming new projects, because it it so easy to add anything and everything, and re-arrange them later.
When it comes to to-do lists, that convenience can be a bit of a problem because it’s so easy to add so much stuff the list becomes unmanageable… or plain intimidating!
My Corona-Shutdown List was getting close to that point… well over 100 items with nearly 70 of those in the ‘business list’. Potential months of full-time work.
But fortunately, the process above knocked it back to just 6 items!
Six jobs to complete over what is likely to be a 6 week shutdown.
So being a true list-tragic, I’ve broken each of those down into intermediate steps, and I think I can knock them over with just 1-2 hours a day through out the shutdown.
So What’s All That Mean For You?
Well the thing is, most of my businesses are membership based. And I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are extremely fearful about what’s coming. In a lot of cases, I sense they are frantically working on ‘anything’ just to keep busy, feeling they should be doing something, but no idea what really matters in a time like this.
After a few email exchanges with one guy in particular, I sent a shorter version of this… coaxing him to relax and think about what’s actually important and maybe view the ‘time’ aspect of all this as a gift.
And after a couple of days ‘silence’ he wrote back that it had had a major impact. Almost life changing in his words. He’d also forwarded it on a to a couple of people and I started hearing from a couple of them as well.
So once it was clear people were finding value in it, I thought it probably had a place online somewhere for public consumption.
And so here it is.
If you’ve read this far, then I’m guessing you got a little value from it too?
That’s all I wanted to do here: share a few ideas that helped me approach the current situation with a more positive attitude… in the hope it might helps a few others do the same.
So if it’s done that for you, I’ll ask that you consider sharing it.
It is a trying time for a lot of people, and just maybe there’ll be an idea or two that might help some of your connections get through it.
I don’t actually think there’s anything ground-breaking here… it’s just a few ideas on perspectives and priorities… but if it helps a few people get through this, then that’s great.
Thanks for your time, and stay safe!
I did promise to share how I avoid all the busy work most people associate with generating traffic. Well the short version is, I pay for it.
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