Focus Mapping: An Exercise I Perform Every Morning Before I Get To Work (Part 2 of 2)

In this video, I continue on the subject of my last video. In this one, I talk about focus mapping. This is a simple exercise that I do every single morning before getting to work. It guides me on the tasks I do that day, and most importantly… it helps me weed out the ones which are a waste of my time (or that I shouldn’t be doing). In this video, we go right to my screen and I’ll show you exactly how it works.

In this video, I continue on the subject of my last video. In this one, I talk about focus mapping.

This is a simple exercise that I do every single morning before getting to work. It guides me on the tasks I do that day, and most importantly… it helps me weed out the ones which are a waste of my time (or that I shouldn’t be doing).

In this video, we go right to my screen and I’ll show you exactly how it works.

Transcript

In this video, I’m going to talk to you about what a focus map is.

This is a tool that I use every single morning which really helps alleviate waste of time during my day and makes me a lot more productive. In this video I’m going to show you how it works and you’re going to find that it’s really, really simple.

I’m David Risley from Blog Marketing Academy. And in my last video, I talked about this little black notebook and how I’ve used it to become a real powerful productivity tool. Basically, when I leave the house or when I go most places, I don’t bring my laptop or anything unless I’m going to really do work. I bring two things… I bring my iPad mini and I bring this notebook.

And what do I bring a blank notebook for? To just jot down random ideas?

No, it’s very specific and I mentioned that in my last video.

One of the things that I do in this is the “focus map”.

I want to show you how this works. In order to do that, I’m going to get off from this camera and I’m going to go sit down on my computer and I want to show you this on screen. Because trying to show you a focus map in this book on the camera is going to be hard. 😉

The Focus Map

Okay, the idea behind the focus map is very simple. We’re talking about “focus”.

What is focus? It means that you have a particular thing that you’re trying to get done. And we put a little bull’s eye on that bad boy. And the big thing is that all of our actions need to be aligned with getting that done.

If we’re out there goofing around on Twitter or reading other blogs all the time or watching TV, then you’re doing actions which really don’t add up. You want to be actually focusing on the things that are actually going to get you to where you want to go.

So, the idea behind the focus map is to keep your eyes on the goal. It’s very numeric. Let me show you an example of a focus map.

Let’s say that one of the chief metrics for your business is that you want to have one sale per day of whatever it is that you’re selling. It could be your own product, it could be an affiliate thing; whatever. But you want to make one sale per day. So how are we going to do that now?

Well, let’s break it down…

Let’s say that we’re going to make a goal of 100 visits per day. And this would have to be to the offer itself. Not just your blog. Now, if you have 100 visits per day and you want to have one sale then you’re going to need 1% conversion rate, right? That would bring you to one sale.

Now, in order to have any of this work, to have any landing page at all, to have anything that converts and actually collect money, you’re going to have to make a good product. So, there’s going to be the delivery aspect of it on actually creating something of value.

So, those are the big three components off the top of my head to have one sale per day. You would need to do certain actions to get 100 visitors to the page a day, you have to get that 1% of conversion rate and you have to have that product worthy of doing that.

None of these is very difficult, by the way, because 1% of conversion rate is pretty freaking average, actually, on a halfway decent offer. And a hundred visits a day is not a hell of a lot of traffic. So, when you really look at this, this idea of having one sale per day, it becomes a lot more realistic, doesn’t it?

But let’s give another example here of the focus map.

Let’s say you got a membership site and you want to do something like, add 20 members per month. So, that’s not quite one per day, but you just want to have something like that. You want to have 20 members per month. And so, in order to do that; and since we’re on a content marketing business, so you would set a number for how much content you’re going to release.

So, let’s say you do something like what I do and you do; 3 content releases per week. In my case, I have a written post, I have a podcast and I have videos like the one you’re watching right now. So you have the content marketing.

NOTE: I no longer keep this pre-defined weekly quota. Instead, I concentrate on The Daily and I use The Redwood Strategy on the blog.

You want to put calls to actions on that content because you want to make that quota. I’m just going to round it off and say, one member per day. Now, if you have some days where you don’t sign up a member, that’s going to be totally fine because our overall goal here is 20 members per month and there’s usually thirty day(ish) in a month. So you have 10 days there that you don’t hit your quota and you’ll be perfectly fine.

And then, of course, it’s a membership site and there are those things that you call member drop-offs and things like that. So if you want to have a net gain of 20 members per month, you’re going to have what we had on the other page of the focus map which is delivery.

By the way, you can have more than 3 of these boxes. In my personal one, I have a fourth one. That would be something along the lines of “systems”. And for that, it’s not something that I quantify quite as much but it’s basically, in order to have this whole thing work, you got to have a business in such a way that it can happen. So I personally have that fourth box.

But here’s what I want you to get out of this; is that you’re breaking down your goal. It’s a smart goal, it’s something that is realistic, it’s something that is numeric and you’re breaking it down into individual pieces.

And there’s what I do. I have content that needs to be released. I work on that content because I have a quota of three per week. Now, will this something be like one member per day? With these types of goal there are going to be some days when you don’t hit it. But basically what it is; is a guiding principle. It’s more the matter of asking oneself, “What can I do right now that is going to get me closer to one member per day?” It doesn’t mean that if you end the day without that new member then you’re a total failure. It just means that you’ve done something that day that will lead to this idea of getting one member per day. It could be setting up a new webinar that you’re going to promote things with. It could be setting up a new call to action. It could be setting up a commercial or something like that to go on your YouTube videos.

Whatever that might be, it’s an action that is toward this goal of one member per day. And same thing with delivery… if you’re doing actions to deliver to existing members and making so where they do not drop the radar, then you’re doing a task on that.

But here are the things that are not going to fit on this focus map:

  • If you are spending lots of time tweaking the design of your blog, that would not fit on this focus map.
  • If you’re sitting on Facebook all day, it may not fit on your focus map.

So, what I do every single day is I put this focus map at the top of my page for the day in my little business journal. And then it guides my tasks. Every single day I have that root goal. This would be my root goal and I have the tasks lined up toward that. And then these four boxes are such where I’m actually guiding my tasks toward those four boxes.

Now, if a particular task doesn’t align with that; like I can give you from my own business, doing accounting. I mean it needs to be done but, man… does me going to QuickBooks and goofing around with that can get me any closer to 3 contents a week, one member a day or delivering to my members? No, it does not. So that would be a prime example of something that I would try to get off off my daily schedule so that I don’t waste time doing that.

That’s how focus maps work. It’s a tool to guide your tasks so that you’re not spending your time doing busy work that doesn’t line up to the main metric that you’re trying to increase.

Alright, so that’s the focus map. Now, what I want you to do is two things. One, I want you to implement this. I want you to put it into use. It doesn’t have to be in a little black notebook. It could be on a pad of paper, whatever it makes sense. In fact, if you want to do this digitally on your computer you can do that as well. The second thing that I want you to do is I want you to decide what your roof goal is going to be that you put at the top of your focus map. And I would like for you to share it with me.

Now, if you are on the video blog on Blog Marketing Academy, then I would like you to post a comment and let me know what your focus map goal is going to be. And if you are on YouTube, you can do the same thing right on YouTube. I will reply either way. I’ll be watching for those comments. I would love to hear what you got to say because it’s really all the matter of getting things done and reaching our goals.

And I’ll put it to you this way…

You can have all the greatest goals in the world, but if you’re out screwing around on Facebook and stuff like that, you’re not going to get anywhere.

FOCUS is the most important asset that we have as entrepreneurs. And you've got to guide it.Click To Tweet

You’ve got to remain focused. And the focus map helps you do that.

About David Risley
David Risley is the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy, a 20-year veteran blogger and online entrepreneur. His focus? Building a reliable, recurring business around his "lifestyle" and the lives of his students. He has this weird obsession with traveling in his motorhome around the country with his wife and 2 kids. David also likes to talk about himself in the third person. In bios like this one. Read his full story.
  • Adam says:

    David, I also have a membership site. Question – in your vid, you made “20 members/mo” the top goal and all other actions serving that focus.

    How often does that top focus change? Seems like you’d need a stretch of several days to serve a big top goal like that….amybe even months?

    Thank you !

    AR

    • Yeah, that top goal is meant to be longer-term, so it doesn’t change all that often. I mean, you can change it if you decide to change your mind. 🙂 But, generally, it is a longer-term goal and the idea is to keep it “top of mind” and be working on getting there each day.

  • I agree with Victoria. I am just exploring blogging at the moment.

  • Victoria says:

    Thanks for the content. I like the idea of using this to keep myself on task daily. A side comment to it. People come to blogs from different sources. It is very frustrating to come to a “Part 2 of 2” with no link anywhere to go and check out the “Part 1 of 2”.

  • Eric says:

    I do something very similar to this and use both Evernote and WorkFlowy.

    What I do is…

    In Evernote: Goals notebook – 2014 goals. Then I have 3 notes: Goals Achieved, Goals In Progress, Goals.
    If I think of something I want to learn, accomplish, or just anything, it goes in goals as an idea.
    When I’m ready to work towards it I’ll put it in Goals In Progress and be specific with it and include a date. I usually have 3 to 5 goals I’m working on at the same time.
    Obviously once completed, it goes in Goals Achieved where I put the date it’s accomplished so I can look back.

    In WorkFlowy: I’ll make a main list for that specific goal. Then I’ll make a sub-list of the action steps required to get there. Finally I tag it with something simple like #list or #client or something that is simple and makes sense.

    This way I know what I’m working on and stay focused, I can list out action steps and cross them off easily and actually get things done.

    Works for me. May not for everyone but the simplest things that help you make progress is what matters.

    I love the focus map idea too. Seems very useful in getting something done each day.

    What do you and/or everyone else think of my setup?

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