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Internet Productivity--Lofty Goal or Oxymoron?
When you work for yourself and do business on the internet you have to be a great strategic leader and a skilled tactician; even under the best of circumstances, it’s hard to be both.
In the corporate world, goals and milestones are the absolute measure of productivity and success. But when you work for yourself there’s no objective-other than to hold you to your goals and keep you on track. Add to that the untamed complexities of doing business online and suddenly setting and achieving goals takes on the magnitude of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Despite its promise of efficiency, the web has for many home-based and small business owners become a seductive quagmire of distracted action, chaotic click-thrus and paralyzed productivity.
It’s natural to look to others for advice and information on how to navigate the landscape, but in the process, you often get distracted, take detours, follow the road that leads to nowhere, and before you know it you’ve lost sight of your ultimate goals.
What does it take to get where you’re going
No one knows for sure “where” success lies in wait for you. But we do know the road is often longer than the Nile, more twisted than San Francisco’s Lombard Street and only partially paved to boot. Factor in the occasional mud-slide or wash-out that’s bound to crop up along the way and the battle to overcome loss of focus and lack of direction soon becomes a way of doing business.
As the commander-in-chief and your most loyal employee, you have to be able to flip your view between the big picture and all the personal and professional micro-tasks that have to get done in order for you to realize your goals.
You can try grabbing a map and some tips from those who've made it and come back to share their success secrets. But separating myth from money-making often takes as much time as blazing your own trail. Not to mention, one person’s treasure map quickly becomes a roadmap to mediocrity depending on how many people are all trying to play and win at the same game in the same space online. Golden nuggets gleaned from your success mentors need to be adapted for your journey and your circumstances.
Without knowing how long your journey is going to be, it’s important to establish milestones that stretch you beyond your comfort zone, but are still attainable with the resources you have at hand. Short-term wins create wind-at-your-back-momentum to keep you pushing forward instead of crumbling in a heap of disillusionment or even disgust.
Before you get on your way you also want to take stock of what you’ve got. Now’s the time to be brutally honest with yourself about what you’re good at, what you love doing, and what you’d give up in a quick click if you thought you could afford to never do it yourself again.
Every hour you invest trying to accomplish non-core tasks or working in areas where your skills are weak has an exponentially negative effect on your results. Not only are you depleting your precious resources, you’re unlikely to see a return on your efforts that provides sufficient reward and motivation to keep you moving forward.
What you need is a system that’s structured enough to keep you on course, fluid enough to alternate your view between the big picture and the micro-tasks at a moment’s notice, and flexible enough to adapt to the unforeseen and the unexpected as, and when, they inevitably arise.
Using an e-business Goal and Productivity System (GPS) can help you:
* Establish realistic goals and immediately set a course for action from right where you are.
* Balance your business and personal values and desires when defining your goals.
* Hone in on your own strengths and pass off as much of the other stuff to those whose strengths better match the task at hand.
* Provide direct access to quality knowledge, resources and tools that can help you prioritize and achieve your goals.
* Know where and how to multi-task, undertaking several projects simultaneously to gain leverage and when to focus exclusively one project at a time.
Rarely is there ever just one right answer to the challenges you face in your e-business or only one path to your desired goals. You don’t want to become so mired in the task or problem at hand that you lose your way or your will to continue on the path to your success.
Using a GPS can help you quickly view and investigate all aspects of running a successful e-business and fluidly guide you from “know-how” to “take-action” and ultimately to your goal.
About the Author: Yvonne Bailey is Managing Director of www.innovationworx.com a customer-driven internet marketing firm. She is co-creator of the My eBiz Director Goal and Productivity System (GPS) – a centralized command center that enables small and home-based businesses to manage their e-business development goals, strategy, projects, and activities all in one place.