Setting Limits on Distractions Part Two

If you haven’t read the first post about Setting Limits on Distractions I’d suggest you read that first as this post continues that one.

So now that we’ve set hours and we’ve learned how important it is not to use your job as an excuse, the next thing I want to talk about is when you are actually working and how to set limits on things that could distract you while your working.

Email

Email is great! In fact, it’s probably the number one way that I communicate with people I work with…even more so than Social Media or Instant Messaging networks.  While email is great for business and essential, it can become distracting.  If you are anything like myself, I probably get close to fifty emails a day!

I love receiving emails from people and I try to respond to every single one of them, but the bottom line is that I’ve realized I can’t send a paragraph or two email back to every single person that writes to me.  It’s just not possible for me to do it!  There is just too much, so much in fact that I could spend most of the day responding to each one and I’d still keep falling behind!

So how do you do it then?  Well, I don’t really think there is a great way, I think you just have to admit defeat haha!  I try to write back to as many people as possible, and I even have a folder saved on my computer with answers to questions that I get all the time that I can simply copy and paste in to an email and send whenever I get asked that question.

Mostly, I’ve learned to simply hit the delete button on some emails instead of trying to answer them all…

Instant Messaging

This is probably one of the biggest distractions for affiliate marketers or any internet marketer that exists when they are working.

I use to be horrible at this!  I use to have my instant messaging program up all day long while I worked and even if I was just on doing recreational stuff online, I’d have it open.  I’d be chatting with people online all day long everyday!  It was a huge distraction!

Eventually I had to learn to set hours for having IM up, and now I don’t even do that, I only get on for about a hour late in the evening.  The funny thing is you hear people talk about how much networking helps them, and that’s their excuse for keeping their IM programs open, but guess what, I haven’t noticed a drop in revenue since I’ve quit using it…now my friends simply send me an email…

imagine that… haha!

Statistics

Another thing I see affiliates get hung up on is all the stats that are out there, it’s so easy to start looking at your stats with the affiliate network and offers your using, your Google Analytic  stats, split testing stats, heat map stats, etc, etc, etc that before you realize it, you spent the day looking at stats and never actually applied those stats on anything that will help you grow!

Stats are great and they are the key to affiliate marketing, but if you are always looking at stats and never putting those stats to use, it does you absolutely not good!  Glance at your stats then make the changes you need to make where ever you need to make them!

Conclusion

There are so many more distractions when it comes to working from home, but those are the ones that I think can take most of your time and are the most common for all affiliates.  If you have any others, I’d love to hear about them in the comments and also give us an example of how you don’t allow them to become distractions!

Comments

  1. You’ve touched on some other big work-at-home distractions in this post Derek. When you are not focused on your work it can be very easy to check your e-mail and stats continuously throughout this day. It is a tough habit to break out of. When sitting down for work allow yourself to check e-mails & stats once at the beginning of your ‘shift’ and once at the end. In between force yourself to focus your efforts entirely on other specific tasks.

  2. This is a great subject the Internet can be extremely distracting as we all know. But if your trying to start your own Home based business you need to put all the time killers on the back burner until you get your daily work done.

    I t is literally amazing how much more you can get accomplished on a daily basis without all the distractions just you and your work.

    Great points to touch on every Internet marketer needs to really apply your tips to their own Online business great read!

  3. I just commented about internet messengers in your part one blog. I’m glad you agree they’re a huge time grabber. I do stay in invisible mode sometimes, so if there’s something I need to talk to someone for, I can catch them when they come on. So it’s a good thing most current internet messengers have an invisible mode. :)

    Till then,

    Jean

  4. Jimvesting says:

    I’ve found that switching off of regular IM clients and on to Gmail Chat has really sped up my overall efficiency. I like the Gmail Chat because it runs alongside my work email… so I am usually getting stuff done and there are a lot of quick synergies when someone DOES eventually GChat me. In addition, I think that the Google interface makes it a bit more of a “big deal” to GChat someone… so people will bug me less often and I get more done that way ;P

  5. Jim I may have to try out gmail chat. I normally use msn, but I avoid using it when I am trying to concentrate on work. It seems that most freelancers I deal with use gmail. So I should probably get on there if it won’t be too much of a distraction.

  6. Sometimes you just need to tell yourself to get to work and avoid checking everything, including stats! That can be very hard though.

    What I tend to do is try to do something productive and then when I complete whatever I was working on, I can break for stats, email, AIM etc.

  7. @Profit Addiction: I agree that it is a good idea to force yourself to be productive before wasting time on things like stats. Oftentimes when I am working on something I will set goals that I have to reach before I am allowed to take a break.

  8. Distractions are definitely all over the place when it comes to just simply being on your computer. Lately I’ve been leaving Skype up alot, and have been getting phone calls from friends, after reading this post, and some of the other comments, I should really be turning it off, so I can be much more productive!

  9. Working from home has many advantages, but sometimes it can be challenging to limit distractions and to work productively.

  10. @Komodo Dragons: yes your computer is one big distraction. Within a click or two you could be wasting hours on a random website. Or you could have a pc game loaded up and lose the better part of a day. When you work on a computer you have to have especially good willpower towards those distractions.

  11. Yes many people forget about the challenges one faces when working from home. They just see the benefits like the extra freedom. A big part of working from home is managing all distractions and finding a way to still stay productive.

  12. I’m a regular visitor at many discussion forums so I keep getting e-mails whenever there’s a reply to a discussion thread that I’m subscribed to. This can get rather distracting if it’s a popular discussion because I find it hard to avoid reading what’s been said next. So I turn off the IM client because that way I won’t know there has been a reply to a thread, nor will someone be able to message me.

  13. @car battery: why not just disable the subscription e-mails? On some forums you can even change the notification to just once per day. I just do whatever possible to reduce the amount of e-mail I receive.

  14. Derek I think you may need to set a limit on your own distractions. It has been quite some time since your last blogpost. It would be great to hear what you’ve been up to.

  15. Laptop, that’s a good idea and I do it sometimes but almost all forums have it set to auto subscribe to a thread as soon as you post on it. I keep forgetting to remember to uncheck everytime after I make a post and then the e-mails start. :-(

  16. Yea, that can be a problem if you frequent forums a lot. Best to uncheck default subscription in your profile settings itself, so you can manually enable subscription for any discussion you like.

  17. The biggest distraction for me is the telephone. I’ve now set my cell phone so it only rings when certain people call me, which means close friends and family only.

    My concentration levels are bad enough as it is, without being sidetracked by a call that will suck up my time for someone else’s benefit so I’ve just had enough.

    With email I try and do it once per day. I remember when I had a j.o.b. that I would often keep hitting send and receive to see if I had anything new in my inbox which was a complete waste of time, but perhaps indicative of how bored I was doing it. And instant messaging, while it can be fun, can be a huge time suck.

    Now I’m using the pomodoro technique to get stuff done. It means setting a timer for 25 minutes and working solid, then having a 5 minute break followed by the next 25 minutes. It’s surprising how much pf a leap in productivity it has made.

  18. This is in regards to answering emails. I have ecommerce websites as well as blogs across a variety of topics and get a lot of email too. What I have tried to do to help manage my time better is to make some generic emails in answer to the questions I get asked most frequently. For example, at the site I show here in my url, potential customers always ask about pricing and materials. So I send out a generic email that details all the information- of course I personalize the email and add any details they ask about that aren’t covered in the generic email. I do the same for my niche blogs as well.
    that way I can still answer every email but not type the same thing over and over again.

  19. Parkcouture says:

    I agree with Komodo Dragons. I unsubscribe immediately if I am getting pissed off.

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