15 Productivity Killers That Are Keeping You Away from Your Goals

What Kills Productivity? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, yet some seem to get way more done than others. Let’s take a look at a few of the more common productivity killers. These can be killing your productivity in either your personal or business life.

productivity help

Killer #1: Too much on your plate is one of the top productivity killers. We take on tasks even when we already have a full plate. Often times we do this because we are confident and overly optimistic. We believe we can get everything done. Or maybe we just haven’t learned to say no to those things we really don’t want to do.

too much work

Killer #2: Which leads to the next killer: You don’t know how to say no. By spreading yourself too thin, your quality of work, your health and your sanity often suffer. Taking on too much, filling your plate with every request made of you, can be overwhelming and cause you to not get done half of what you normally could.

Killer #3: Not getting enough sleep can kill your productivity. I’m not telling you to get 10 hours of sleep. Everyone’s body is different. But research says most people need 7 to 8 hours to be fully rested.


Killer #4: Not getting enough exercise can kill your productivity as well. Physical activity keeps your mind healthy as well as your body. Just a simple walk around the block can clear your mind so you are ready to start on a task when you return.

Killer #5: Not enough time for yourself. Not only do you need enough sleep, you need time to yourself. This means taking short breaks throughout the day and regular vacation time. This helps your body renew itself.

Killer #6: Not eating a healthy diet. Junk food, sweets, fats and processed foods all make your body weak, overweight and sick while slowing your immune system.

Killer #7: You’re not motivated by what you’re doing. Are you bored with what you are doing? It is hard to get motivated in the morning because you don’t enjoy what the day has to offer? Figure out what you love to do to; being passionate and excited leads to being more productive.

Killer #8: Your personal relationships aren’t in balance. Frustration, fighting and friction among your family or friends can take a toll on your energy. Find ways to reduce this stress.

stress money

Killer #9: Your finances are causing you stress. Financial stress is a big distraction to a lot of people. It takes our mind and time away from doing things we want to be doing.

Killer #10: You rely on your own willpower to get you started. If your willpower is running on low, you won’t get to the tasks done.

Killer #11: There’s no one to hold you accountable. If you aren’t held responsible for your actions, you can easily not get things done.

Killer #12: You don’t know what to do next. You don’t know what your next step should be.

Killer #13: Interruptions are a constant in our fast-paced life. Email, people, phone calls are all interruptions that can affect your productivity.


Killer #14: You haven’t set clear goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, emotional, and rewarding.

Killer #15: Not planning regularly. Your priorities change and your plan of action should be changing with it.

Not all these things are a problem for everyone. You will have to determine which are affecting your productivity and learn ways to deal with them. You might need to change your eating and sleeping patterns or your financial situation. Whatever is causing you to be less productive can be changed.

5 Steps to Plan and Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy

One thing that’s very important, if you plan to leverage the power of audio, video and text, is to have comprehensive content marketing plan. Here’s a little checklist that might help you do that.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Missing-the-goal All your content creation should have a purpose and that purpose should not only benefit your readers, but benefit your business as well. Some purposes might be:
  • Search engine traffic
  • Word of mouth and viral effect
  • Pre-selling and warming up the audience to a product
  • Establishing credibility and authority
  • Reader satisfaction
  • Boosting your opt in list subscribers
  • Boosting customer relationships
  • Selling your products  
Just remember, the goal or purpose of each content piece is aligned with your overall marketing strategy. This may also help you decide whether content should be in audio, video or text format. For example, if your goal is to boost customer relationships, you might choose a video of yourself to do that. Make sure your content includes a call to action that supports your goal. For example, “For more information about how to manage debt, grab our free report 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt in 12 Months.” – tell them what you want them to do next. 

Step 2: Research


Carving out time for research is very important. From brainstorming topic ideas to finding supporting information for those topics, there is plenty to be done. You also want to research potential places to distribute your content as well. Here are some things that will make your research easier:
  • Keep a list of content ideas throughout the month. 
  • Use the following to generate content ideas/topics:  
    • Social networking
    • Keyword research tools
    • Blog comments
    • FAQs
    • Client interaction
    • Brainstorming 
  • Review the analytics and results of last month’s content and evaluate which pieces generated the most interest or results. Know which pieces your audience responded to and are use that information to create content topic ideas for this month. 
  • While you’re researching topics, take note of interesting articles, statistics and other items you might reference later as you’re creating your content. 
  • Keep your eye out for places where you might publish your content. Connect with other website owners who might publish for you. Connect with them by subscribing to their sites, on Facebook, Twitter and more. 

Step 3: Creation and Distribution

create_ebook Here are some things to plan and keep in mind, so your content gets out there to your audience.
  • How much content will you need? Will you write it all yourself, hire a writer or use PLR? If you’re using a writer, ensure they have all the information they need well ahead of time, so they can meet your deadline. 
  • Have you created your content publishing schedule? Plan ahead, so that you can match content topics with products you’ll be promoting. Decide where each piece will be published and which pieces will be published in multiple places. For example: 
    • Autoresponder
    • Blog
    • Guest blog
    • Website
    • Social networking page
    • Video sharing website (ex. YouTube)
    • Audio sharing website (ex. iTunes)
    • Other   

Part 4: Repurposing

repurpose content The best way to make the most of your monthly content is to find ways to reuse it and repurpose it. However, when creating your repurposing strategy make sure that you’re still focusing on your goals. Each repurposed or reused piece of content still needs to serve a purpose and support a goal.
  • You’ve created a plan to reuse or repurpose some or all of your content. For example, an article published on your blog can be rewritten and published on an article marketing site. Or an article that resonated with your readers, could be made more visual and viral by turning it into a video. 
  • Each piece of content that is repurposed or reused content has a goal/purpose. You should always keep benefiting your business (and your audience, of course) in mind. 
It may seem overwhelming to have to plan all this content in a variety of mediums, but over time you’ll learn what your audience responds to and where you should focus your efforts. And remember, quality is more important than volume, so focus on delivering the best content you can to your audience.

Back to Basics: 10 Facebook Marketing Tips to Get Off to a Good Start


Facebook continues to grow amongst most demographics. It’s widely used by many target audiences and can be an effective tool to grow your audience, and ultimately your sales. Use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss a step as you plan and implement your Facebook Marketing Strategy.

#1 Choose a Facebook name that is consistent with your business. Customers will be able to easily identify your business Facebook page and profile.


#2 Create a vanity URL that you can use to promote your Facebook page. For example, Facebook.com/yourbusinessname is professional, consistent and apparent to your customers. (Go to Admin panel, Edit page, and Update info to set your Vanity URL).


#3 Design and brand your Facebook page with current photos, logo and other images that are representative for the business. Upload a stylish cover photo and a header image that are also relevant to your business. Your tagline should be present on your Facebook page (usually in the cover photo).


#4 Create an “About” page that embraces the company brand, voice, and communicates current and relevant information about your business.


#5 Create a goal for your Facebook page and social media marketing activities. You can use Facebook to:

  • Drive traffic to your site
  • Provide valuable content
  • Promote/sell products
  • Build opt-in list


#6 Establish a message for your Facebook page that supports your goals for Facebook marketing.

  • This message supports your brand and is authentic.
  • This message is engaging and provides value to your friends and followers.


#7 Create a content schedule that provides a steady and consistent flow of valuable content that supports your goals and message.

Social Media

#8 Set aside time each day so that you can consistently connect with potential prospects and build your followers while building your business and reaching your marketing goals. For example, set aside fifteen minutes two times each day to share, comment, and post. Schedule one post for each day of the week.


#9 Integrate Facebook with other marketing tactics including:

  • Blog
  • Website
  • Email signature
  • Email marketing
  • Other social media pages


#10 Leverage technology and automate the process as much as possible. For example, your weekly email newsletter is posted on Facebook.


#11 Create systems to test and track your Facebook marketing results. Set tests for:

  • Content
  • Delivery/posting time
  • Clicks
  • Subscribes
  • And measure the results as they relate to your specific Facebook goals. 

Facebook can be a useful tool to connect with your prospects and begin to build a community around your business. Create your message, follow through, and track your results.

Pinning for Fun? Why Not Becoming a Pinterest Expert

Pinterest Best Practices for Beginners and Not Only

Pinterest is providing amazing results for small business owners who have jumped on the bandwagon. If you want to use Pinterest to gain influence then you need to be strategic in your actions. As you get started with Pinterest understand what you’re doing and do it with purpose. Pinterest can drive traffic to your website, products, services and more, but you need to go about it the right way.  

#1. Know Your Audience 

audienceIt’s not enough to simply know how to use Pinterest. You also need to learn how to conduct market research. It’s an imperative, if you want to understand your audience. If you don’t know who you want to influence, it’s hard to know how to proceed. Take the time to research your market so that you know who they are, what they like, and what they like to do on Pinterest. Your market is the group of people who are interested in the products or services that you want to promote. The products and services that you want to promote should be solutions to your niche market. If you can provide solutions to a group of people that really work you are bound to become influential.  

#2. Set Realistic and Specific Goals

set-goalsBefore you get started with creating even your first board, it’s important to understand what you hope to accomplish with the board. Do you want to get more followers, get more traffic, cause some other action? Know what it is so that you can create relevant boards. Once you know what your goal is, write it down in a very specific way. Remember that a goal should be possible and specific. Your goal in this case is to become an authority, or influential person to your niche using Pinterest as the catalyst. Write down what you are going to do on Pinterest to achieve those goals. How many boards are you going to create per week or month? What will the topics of the boards be? How will you create the boards? Will you hire someone, or will you do it yourself? What data will you use to create the boards? Be specific, and you will succeed.   

#3. Define Your Boards by Subject, Topic or Category 

boardsEach board should have its own topic or subject. That’s how you keep them organized and relevant to different segments of your audience. Every board should be relevant to your overall audience. Just like you have different categories on your blog, or pages on your website, so you should also have different boards on Pinterest. Start with four or five different boards covering the different categories that you have determined are important to your audience. Most people will not follow every board. They will choose a specific board to follow. Once you create a board, ensure that you keep it updated on a regular basis. Starting with more than four or five boards will be too much work because you want to keep boards updated so choose your categories and topics carefully.  

#4. Be Visually Creative with Your Boards 

creativeDepending on what type of business you have it can sometimes be hard to come up with creative ideas. In order to be super creative use mind maps and other brainstorming ideas to come up with ways to present your information graphically. The more original pins you can create the better. If your pins are created by you then it will show as you being the originator so when it’s shared people have the opportunity to find you. Your creativity will really matter when it comes to creating boards. Pinterest, as you know, is a very visual medium. You’ll have to think outside the box to create images that represent the message you want to send to your audience. If you want people to pin your blog posts, ensure that you’ve added a creative visual element to encourage pinning.  

#5. Engage and Be Engaging with Your Followers 

social_mediaPinterest is social media, and the idea of social media is to be, guess what? Social. Therefore, interaction is key getting people to re-pin your Pinterest content and to follow you. When you think about social media realize that it’s a conversation you’re having with your audience on a regular basis. You wouldn’t just ignore comments made to your face, don’t ignore them made on Pinterest. Don’t just communicate on your own boards either. Engage with others on their boards, and mention people by name when relevant. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going, and bring other people in. Sharing, commenting, and being social is what social media is all about so ensure that you are engaging, in more ways than one.  

#6. To Be Super Influential Seek To Be The Hub 

google-hangoutBeing seen as information nucleus of information that’s interesting to your audience should be one of your goals when seeking to influence others. To succeed, you need to study what they need to know and want to know. That may mean creating new boards, but it might also mean curating other boards of interest for your audience. You can not only curate other people’s information, but your own too. People are very visual and this lets you curate the information in a beautiful way. If you are super organized, and only allow the best quality information to be on your boards, you are creating an image for yourself too. The image of an someone who can influence others.  

#7. Give Credit Where Credit is Due 

When you use an image or idea from someone else, always be kind and credit the information. If they have a “pin it” button on their site you can assume they want you to pin it, but it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. When Pinterest started there was a lot of buzz about plagiarism and copyright infringement. You can avoid any problems with this by following a few simple rules. Only re-pin other people’s stuff, don’t down load it to your computer, then upload it back as an original board or pin. Try taking your own pictures, or using only legal images in the boards and pins that you create. Be sure to credit properly all images that you use. Don’t separate an image from the creator without express permission to do so. Even when given permission it’s a good idea to credit the source. (Note: Watermark your own creations with your name and website information to avoid being copied.)  

#8. Nothing’s Done until the Numbers are Evaluated 

computerIt’s kind of like the saying that “Nothing is complete until the paperwork is done.” Well, paperwork always involves numbers. As such, nothing can be deemed successful (or a failure) without studying the metrics. Look at how many followers you get for different actions. How many people re-pin something you’ve pinned. Can you figure out why they re-pin one thing over another? How many people pin a blog post with no images compared to an infographic? How many click-throughs you receive and any other factor that can help you determine the effectiveness of your boards is an important metric to understand. Pinterest has its own analytics tools today that are quite good at giving you the information you need. That combined with Google Analytics and there isn’t much you can’t determine by looking at the numbers. If you want to be a real influencer and an authority in your niche, it’s important to know what is working and what is not working. Getting started with a goal in mind, and developing your Pinterest presence over time will reap many more benefits than going in without a clue as to the direction you want to go. Having goals and understanding your topic and your audience will go far in helping you pin your way to influence. One way to become more influential is to build your following.

How to Write Quickly – Get Your Thoughts and Ideas onto the Page and Published In Less Time


How long does it take you to write a blog post or article? For many business owners, the answer is an hour or more. Yet an experienced writer can write three quality blog posts in the same amount of time. It’s not because they’re better writers. Rather, it’s because they have embraced writing systems and practices that support productivity.

As you read through the following ideas, know that not all of them will work for you. However, if you’re able to embrace just a few of them, you’ll cut your writing time down significantly.


#1 Work in Batches

blogJoe is a business owner and writes all his own content. On a productive day, Joe can write four or five blog posts in an hour. The trick that works for him is to focus on writing his content in batches.

For example, he might spend an hour writing reviews. Later, when he sits back down to his writing desk he might focus on writing a handful of tips articles.

There are many reasons why this system works. One of the primary reasons is that the batch approach doesn’t require Joe to shift focus. In his case, each article in a batch has the same basic format. He can approach them almost as if he’s writing from a template.

Batching content by format isn’t the only approach you can take. You can batch by topic or subject matter as well. For example, someone in a coaching niche might focus on writing motivation content for the first hour. When they return to their computer they might shift gears and focus on writing a few how to stay confident articles.


#2 Set a Time Limit and Goal

timerAnother common practice is to set a time limit for your writing session. Give yourself an hour to write and set a goal. For example, if you’re writing a report, then maybe you want to have three pages completed by the end of your hour.

Once the hour is up, get up and take a break. Nothing slows down the writing process faster than forcing yourself to sit at your desk and write until you’re bleary eyed and exhausted.

If an hour seems like too long, set a timer for twenty or thirty minutes. Experiment and find a length and goal that works for you.


#3 Outline First

5-outlineYou can make writing a speedier process by outlining the content first. You don’t have to get too detailed with your outline, unless you want to. What’s most important is to identify the key points you want to make in your piece. That generally includes your subtitles and bullet points.

An outline helps you stay focused on what you want to say. You may likely find that you don’t pause to determine what you want to say next because it’s already outlined. You can flow from one point to the next without stopping.


#4 Templates

If you tend to write similarly formatted content, consider creating templates. For example, a review article or blog post will likely have a recognizable structure. You can visit the reviews you’ve already written and published and use them to create a template for future reviews.

The same is true for how to articles, tips articles, and lists and so on. A template approach means you simply have to fill in the blanks and can really speed up the writing process.


#5 Eliminate Distractions

social media 2It’s tempting to sit down in front of the television at night and work on tomorrow’s blog post. However, it’ll take you five times longer to write that blog post than if you wrote it without distractions.

You see, contrary to what many people have been taught, multitasking really isn’t possible. Each time you pull your eyes away from the television to write, you have to shift focus. It may take an entire hour to write an article if you’re distracted. Sit down in a quiet place and it may take you a mere ten to fifteen minutes.

Distractions aren’t always on television. Consider the following and ask yourself if they’re distractions for you:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Music
  • Phone
  • Family members
  • Chores

You may find that the longer you sit at the desk trying to write, the easier it is to be distracted. The next tip may be a perfect solution for you.


#6 Write When You Can Focus

6-focusAre you a night owl? A morning person? Chances are there is a time of day that you feel more focused and productive. And there’s a time of day when all you want to do is take a nap.

The ideal time to write is when you feel focused. That might be first thing in the morning if that’s when you’re most alert. Get to know your personal productivity patterns and schedule writing time when you’re more likely to be successful.


#7 Be Opportunistic

Are you having a creative day? Are you feeling inspired or motivated to write? Seize those moments and capitalize on them. Those are the days when content will flow freely and you’ll be able to write quickly.

Even if you don’t “need” to write, allow yourself the opportunity to get ahead on your content. Or create something extra. Additionally, if you find you have free time during your week, and you’re feeling productive, use it to create content. Be opportunistic.


#8 Write Now, Edit Later

7-opportunityDo you find yourself rewriting the same sentence several times because you’re trying to make it grammatically correct? Do you use spellcheck more often than the “enter” key on your keyboard? If this sounds like you then you may benefit from trying this tactic.

Write your entire piece of content without editing anything. Let all those red lines under misspelled words sit there without being corrected. Don’t run to your thesaurus or your Chicago Manual of Style. Just write.

Once the content is completed, then go ahead and start the editing process. Use your spellcheck. Fix awkward sentences and format the content the way you want to.

The reason this approach works is simple. Each time you halt the writing process and edit, you’re stopping the thought flow. When it’s time to return to the writing process and putting words on paper, you have to shift gears again. It may not seem like the shift in focus is significant, however it does slow you down.

Give it a try. You may be surprised by how quickly you are able to write content when you don’t stop to edit. In fact, you may need to experiment with several of these tactics to find the strategies that work best for you. For example, you may find that outlining your content actually slows down your writing process because you feel too restricted. Conversely, you may also find that working in batches cuts your writing time in half.

Because content often needs to help establish credibility and authority, it’s important to take a look at the content research process. This is where many people lose precious time.

What to Include in Your Social Media Plan

socialmediaYour social media plan is like the rails that your social media train runs on. Without the rails, the train could still move quickly – But it would just run everywhere, and quite possibly be dangerous. The same goes for social media.

You can spend a lot of time on social media without actually getting much done. You can even damage your brand by spending too much frivolous time on social media. On the flip side, with a strong social media plan, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for building your brand and your following.

So what should you include in your social media plan?

Core Goals and Metrics to Track

To start with, you should have your core goals and your core metrics figured out right at the very beginning.

Begin with your goals. What do you want to use social media for? Are you trying to meet JV partners? Are you trying to land speaking engagements? Are you trying to expose your brand to more people? Are you trying to build up your follower count? Are you trying to drive traffic to your site and get actual buyers?

The metrics you’d track stem directly from your goals. For example, if you’re trying to build up your follower count, you might track virality and new followers per day as your core metrics. On the other hand, if you’re trying to make sales, visitors to your website might be your most important metric.

You can’t have a good social media plan without clear goals. Start your planning by figuring out what your goals are, then pick your core metrics to track.


What Social Media Sites You Plan to Cover

Your plan should cover exactly which social networks you plan to be on. The networks you use depend mostly on who you’re trying to reach.

Let’s say you’re trying to land more speaking gigs. In this case, being on Facebook might not be the best way to reach your target audience. Instead, getting on LinkedIn is probably your best avenue, followed by Twitter.

Don’t neglect smaller social networks either. For reaching an early adopter crowd, Google+ could be a very viable option. Smaller communities might have their own social networks setup on Ning (as shown below).

The long and short of it is this: Go where your audience is.


track_timeBreakdown of How to Spend Your Time

Your plan should have a detailed outline of how you plan to spend your time. For example, your plan might look something like this:

Monday: 30 Minutes Scheduling Facebook Posts, 30 Minutes Scheduling Twitter Tweets
Tuesday: 30 Minutes Replying to Messages, 30 Minutes Posting on LinkedIn Q&A
Wednesday: 60 Minutes Post on Forums, Comment on Blogs
Thursday: Repeat Monday
Friday: Repeat Tuesday

Try to segment your activities into different “buckets.” When your time in one bucket runs out, move on. Don’t let yourself get sucked into one thing for too long.

List of Essential Actions

What are the most important things you have to get done every week?

If you’re trying to land speaking gigs, then an essential action should be to respond to any conference organizer within 3 business hours. It doesn’t matter what else you’re doing, this takes precedence.

If you’re trying to build a social media following, your essential action might be not missing a post. You have a schedule and you stick to it rigidly. If something might detract you from hitting your posting deadline, those things have to wait.

Having a list of your essential actions can help you prioritize tasks in a busy work environment.

A Plan for Outreach & Connection Building

Two things you should have as part of your plan are building your audience and deepening your connection with your community.

Your outreach strategy should be, again, tailored to your goals. If you’re trying to reach influencers, you might comment on their blogs for several weeks before shooting them a direct Twitter message. If you’re trying to build a Facebook audience, your strategy might involve putting out innovative content every month.

As for building connections, the most important thing to realize on social media is the value of a single person. It’s easy to get lost in the statistics and the crowd of a thousand likes. But often time’s your biggest breakthroughs – PR7 links, JV opportunities, speaking gigs, etc – Will come from the most unexpected places.

Whenever you can, reach out and get in touch with people one on one. Acknowledge your fans and build real connections.

Adjust Your Plan When Needed

Don’t treat your plan as something that’s set in stone. Treat it as something that’s organic. Your plan should grow as you grow and as your audience grows.

Figure out what’s working and what isn’t about your social media plan, then adjust your plan accordingly. Treat your plan as a living document. Use it as a tool to keep yourself and your company on track as you head towards your goals.