As I start to write this, I’m supposed to send it to you within 30 minutes.
That’s a very short period of time for getting a normal issue of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets done.
But that’s okay. I’m going to pull it off. How do I know? Because I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.
I have a secret power on my side.
In fact, this is — as far as I know — the #1 secret to greater productivity.
With it, you can accomplish greater things than you ever thought possible, faster than you thought possible.
Without it, you will be left with big dreams deferred…
Drum roll, please!
Because I’m about to reveal the #1 secret that YOU can use, right away, to get more done, faster.
Wait for it…
Here it comes…
Oh my, I hope this isn’t too much buildup!
You probably will think it is by the time you figure it out…
Oh well, I think I’m below the fold now — I think you’ve now scrolled down and are at least somewhat committed to the article, so keeping my secret worked…
So I guess that means I better spill the beans!
It’s, the deadline! And here’s how to use it to be more productive…
Deadlines and due dates are boring.
They even have a tinge of hate to them, stemming from their association with the homework we dreaded as school children…
But here’s the thing…
You should also make your deadlines your friend.
In fact, they are your tool — your secret weapon — for super productivity.
And when you work with them — instead of positioning yourself emotionally against them — you will actually grow to like how helpful they can be!
Exhibit 1: These emails…
I’ve been writing Breakthrough Marketing Secrets pretty much uninterrupted since April 2014.
Almost every weekday between then and now, I’ve put out a daily issue. The shortest ones usually clock in around 700 words — the longest have been 2,000-plus.
Let’s assume an average of 1200 words. And there’s been a little more than 450 essays.
Doing a little math here, that’s over 500,000 words — half a million! — of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets!
I’ll tell you what. If I’d sat down to write half a million words on copywriting, entrepreneurship, marketing, business, life, and everything else I’ve covered here… Well, I would have given up a long time ago.
But by giving myself a daily deadline to write these essays, I’ve pulled it off!
Have I always liked it? Do I like that I’m crunching for the deadline today to get this out to you? Not necessarily.
But do I like the results? Absolutely!
Exhibit 2: Client work…
I’ve had clients who had a mail date for copy. A date by which that copy was going out, whether I liked it or not. There was no choice but to have “final” copy by that date.
What happened? The copy got done! And it was good copy!
I’ve also had clients who’ve been more flexible. Some who’ve been happy to take all the time in the world to get a project done, and who haven’t harassed me about deadlines or time lines or anything else…
What happened in those situations? I also wrote good copy… It just took a lot longer!
It’s called Parkinson’s Law — “Work expands so as to fill the time available.”
And I’d argue that the inverse is also true, to a degree… “Work contracts to fit the time available.”
You can’t necessarily work yourself in overdrive nonstop, but if you force yourself into crunch time — in intervals, with break time in between — you’re going to get more done faster!
Exhibit 3: Exercise?!
I’ve written a couple times in the last couple months about my new exercise regimen.
I set a goal for a certain number of repetitions of both push ups and kettlebell swings, fit within a month. My goal in December was 2,000, then 2,500 when I hit 2,000 early… And I hit it.
This month, my goal is 3,000, and I’m currently pacing 3,232 reps for the month.
If it weren’t for that goal, I can tell you for a fact that there would have been a lot of days where I wouldn’t have worked out. But because I had the goal of hitting a certain target by a deadline, I did it anyway. And it was good.
I also know folks who take part in athletic competitions — marathons and other runs, lifting competitions, etc. — for this very reason.
If you don’t have a reason to train up to being able to run 13.1 miles (a half marathon), it’s pretty unlikely you’ll hit it. But with that goal and motivation, a reasonably fit person can probably be ready to at least complete a half marathon within four months.
It’s all about having that goal and deadline.
Here’s how to put your deadlines on turbo…
So, you agree with me. You see the power of deadlines. Not like you didn’t see it before, but now you’re feeling even more convinced. What are you going to do next to implement this and be more productive immediately?
The process is almost identical to what I shared yesterday. But I’ll break it down again today, because hearing something approached and addressed from a new angle can help with comprehension, retention, and application.
First, set a mid-term goal. Here, I like quarterly. Three months is far enough off that you can accomplish a lot between now and then. But it’s also close enough that you have to be realistic about what you can actually get done.
Once you have that mid-term goal, look at what all has to get done. There are likely a few sub-parts that have to be completed to accomplish a bigger goal. Break that down.
With that high-level breakdown, figure out what you can do in the next month. It should be roughly a third of what you expect to accomplish over the quarter. Get specific about what it’s going to look like if you successfully accomplish those monthly objectives.
Then, out of this month’s objectives, figure out what you’re going to do this week. What progress do you need to make this week to be on track?
Finally, look at what you can do today. This is the most important step, because there’s only every today — there’s only ever NOW — in which you can get things done. Make a plan for what small steps you’re going to take today that put you on pace for your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals.
What you’ve just done is broken down your entire goal or project into little to-dos. And each to-do has a deadline attached to it. By creating and following this little deadlines, you’ll be getting more done faster. And you’ll be on pace to have an enormously productive quarter!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,