March 6


Nuts and Bolts

By Kristen

March 6, 2012

productivity, project management, task management

This is about you. But to get started I need to share something about me:

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I really wanted to write something inspirational today, but I don't really think that I can. Frankly, I'm having a really horrible day. In case you thought my life was all roses, it's not. Let me tell you, parenting and having a family are much more challenging than running an internet business. And trying to get a business to really take off while dealing with home stuff can be maddening. It's like being ripped in two.

Anyways, so when I'm having a really, really horrible day, I try to get back to the nuts and bolts of things just to get through. I'm really not sure what to do about kid issues right now, so I have to pray and think on that. But business stuff is sometimes easier to address. So I think about what's frustrating me most right now. Here's what's going on in my head:

A. My product isn't done and it should be done so I can move on to the next product
B. I'm not getting regular content up on my sites
C. I'm not writing articles for article marketing
D. The backlinking project STILL hasn't really taken off
E. Email copy isn't done
F. Content refresh on my two bigger sites is stalled

There are a few other things, too, like being behind on emails and not keeping up with social media, but they aren't as big.

So what do you do when you're facing a situation like I am, where there's a lot of unfinished “stuff” sitting there, really aggravating you? Especially when there's a whole bunch more “stuff” lining up behind that, and family issues aside?


First, think priorities. My family and my home are my big priorities. That's just core. Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of that while I'm working so hard on launching a business.

If business tasks have to be shuffled over for you to address something in your family life, that's fine. If you can't take as much time on the business because you need to take care of your family and home, that's fine, too. Parenting and being a spouse are huge jobs in and of themselves.

Don't use that as an excuse to do nothing. I don't think I need to explain this. You know if you really need to take that time for family, or if you're just feeling frazzled and wasting your day away surfing the internet. Don't do that. Build your business instead.

Dump Everything Else Over the Horizon

I'm a huge fan on Michael Linenberger's Master Your Now system. He has what's called a “horizon” — this is about 10 days out or so into the future. Here is where things are put that are not urgent/mission critical/very important.

I understand you have some obligations that you'll have to meet. But outline what you really want to get done — and dump everything else over the horizon. Look at it in 10 days time. It will be there.

For instance, I'm in the middle of a redesign of my biggest website. It's going to look really nice when it's done, it will be great for branding, etc. But it's really not super-important. It can wait. The things I listed above are far more important to me right now because they will form a sustainable backbone for my business.

What's the Next Step?

The “next action” methodology comes from David Allen's Getting Things Done. He urges you to think in terms of “next actions.” What's the next thing I have to do to move a project forward?

This is really important when you're building an online business because a lot of what you do is on a large scale — build a website, create a product (or an entire funnel of products), write an email campaign, carry out an article marketing campaign, etc.

But you can't think like that. I've been thinking like that and it's really crushing me… instead of me getting out there and crushing it!

So I need to think, “what's the next action for me to take to get this product online and ready to sell?” The next action is to complete the bonus products… then I need to write the bonuses into the sales letter… then I need to proof the sales copy… then I need to format the sales letter… and so forth. It's a huge project to bring a product online (even with it “finished”!!!!) I get overwhelmed and upset when I think over all I need to do. But finish one bonus up? Tedious, but do-able.

Attack the Next Steps

Now comes a harder choice — do you follow one next step after another until the project is done, ignoring everything else? Or do you work on a few pressing projects, tackling their next steps in rotation?

It's really up to you and I've heard of different people having success doing it different ways.

I've thought about it some, and this is how I'm going to try addressing things:

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I really want to keep regular content on my sites. I have 2 hours every afternoon where my kids are napping/playing quietly/working on their own projects. So during that 2 hours on Monday and Tuesday I will write content for my sites. I hope to do 3 posts for Milk and Mud, 2 for NBBC, 1 for GP, and 1 for GSC. Some of these may be blog entries, some pages. But 7 total articles is not a lot for me to write over 4 hour's time.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I will attack the next actions for another project, trying as hard as I can to go one thing after the other to knock out projects. Some of these next actions, like for the backlinking project are good to get done because they set the stage to bring in an outsourced worker.

Some things, like article marketing, I already get help with part of (my hubby does proofreading and submits to Ezine Articles).

Saturdays will be dependent on what the family is doing, and Sundays I try and relax, do a little reading, etc.

I'm going to try and use evenings to work on cutting through email and dealing with some social media.

It's not easy to balance everything, and this is just what I'm going to try. I know that something has to be done, though, because the frustration from business is not helping with anything in life right now. I've found that getting back to basics and really focusing on a plan helps.

Even if you find, after a few days, that your plan isn't working, you now know what doesn't work — and can go back to the drawing board and figure out something that does.


About the author

I'm a wife and mother who loves working online. This is my little home on the web. I run Milk and Mud to share what I'm discovering as I run my own business and explore personal development.

  1. Hi Kristen,

    I’m really enjoying your blog posts. This one in particular has a lot of useful information that needs to be digested slowly for it to sink in.

    As of now I’m bookmarking this page so that I can revisit it again and dissect the information bit by bit.

    Can’t wait to receive your newsletter.


Comments are closed.

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