Issue #95

How to choose what to focus on

So, tell me if this sounds familiar…

You have a ton of ideas for your blog and your online business. Since you pay attention to some other marketing blogs and “gurus”, you get new ideas all the time. Good ones, too. So much so that your brain pan feels like it is about to explode. You need to wrap your head in duct tape!

But, besides the jokes, the result is paralysis. You don’t know what to do! What should you do first? What’s next? What’s after that? What’s more important?

Perhaps part of your solution to this problem is to simply turn off the flow of new ideas. In my survey this week, I asked you what bloggers or newsletters you STOPPED reading. Many of the responses said they unsubscribed from some people simply because it was too much. They needed to focus on execution.

And, honestly, I respect that. Even if someday you end up unsubscribing from me because you need to focus on execution, I can certainly respect that.

But, it still leaves the problem of deciding which of your ideas should come first.

I want to direct you to a highly relevant article ttat I’ve just updated:

What To Focus On: A Simple, Numerical System For Ranking Your Ideas And Figuring Out What To Do, When

This post talks about business key performance indicators (or KPIs) and the important of judging what you’re spending your time on based on the impact on those KPIs.

But, then on each of those ideas, you look at if from the perspective of 5 factors:

  • Impact on Revenue. To what degree do you think this idea will impact revenue in a positive way? Is it a surefire increase in revenue, or a smaller one?
  • Impact on KPI. What degree of direct effect do you think this idea will have on the hard numbers? Large KPI impact or small one?
  • Probability of Success. How likely is it going to work? Let’s face it, some ideas might help while others we KNOW will.
  • Simplicity. Is this idea simple to execute, or it it fairly involved?
  • Speed To Done. How fast can you implement it?

So, what you can do is implement a ranking system on your big list of ideas.

For each idea, what KPI(s) will it impact positively? Is it likely to have a big impact or a small one? Is it pretty much a sure thing or a long shot? Is it simple and fast to execute?

Obviously, if I had an idea that I could implement pretty quickly and was pretty likely to have a good impact, I would do that before I might spend time on some longer-term project or something that isn’t a direct connection to a KPI.

Like….sending out a promotional email is a direct task. It is succinct. Fast to do. And a direct line to a core KPI – which is revenue.

On the other hand, as much as it might float my boat to mess around with some tweaks to my blog theme, it is a MUCH less direct connection to a KPI. It likely isn’t as simple. It takes longer. And so… the priority of this has to go down in the rankings.

If you’re a Lab member, that blog post will come with a spreadsheet to help you implement this ranking system. You can then SORT your list of ideas based on these factors.

If you’re NOT yet a Lab member, you can join us and you’ll be able to access that spreadsheet. Do it quick, too, and you’ll be able to attend our office hours call this coming Thursday. 🙂

It is a pretty cool way to sort out a big honker list of ideas and decide where to spend your available time.

One more time….

What To Focus On: A Simple, Numerical System For Ranking Your Ideas And Figuring Out What To Do, When

Put some order into that big to-do list. 🙂

– David

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