It took me four mindful hours to finish a great book that inspired me to write this new blogpost. I will reveal the name of the book at the end of this post.
Although I read many books, I don’t write these types of posts that often.
The reason behind this post is simple:
“Optimizing your own daily activities first will save you plenty of time to optimize online businesses as well.”
At the end you might realize this article is even more valuable than some of the other in-depth Analytics or Conversion posts I love to publish.
In this article you will get some great ideas on how to manage and optimize your day-to-day activities. This is beneficial to you, your company and your clients.
I have translated the most important elements of a 200+ page book into this framework:
Having your own daily routines will help to reduce stress. Making decisions – big and small – requires emotional and mental energy.
Developing routines lowers the number of decisions you need to make throughout your day.
It results in less stress, greater productivity and more energy for the tasks that are most important to you and your company.
Imagine you are working as an optimization consultant.
Your company has promised to boost the ROI of your clients to a significant higher level. So you feel the need to devote all your time to help your clients reach their goals.
Whether it is 15, 30 or 60 minutes, make sure to set apart this timeframe every day to work on a side project!
You will be astonished what you can accomplish even with 15 minutes a day. And don’t start complaining you can’t find these minutes.
I recommend to fire your boss if that’s the case. ;-)
Are you eating behind your desk and taking almost no breaks on a day?
You will be far more creative and productive if you take a few necessary breaks on a day.
Inspiration is needed when you dive into the web analytics data to find actionable insights.
Setting up A/B tests requires knowledge and experience. Don’t forget to mix in enough energy and creativity!
So take some short breaks every now and then. Chat with your colleagues about non-work related things and go for a well-deserved lunch walk.
One easy way to practice solitude is performing a meditation session each day.
It helps you on all levels. The 15 or maybe 30 minutes that you spend each day in silence will have a positive impact on the other 23 hours of the day.
You can present the results of your analytics deep dive or A/B test with more clarity, a positive tone of voice and a lot more persuasiveness.
Meditation has been shown to have mental benefits, such as improved focus, happiness, memory, self-control, academic performance and more.
Every employer would benefit if you take the time for a daily meditation practice.
Keep your attention to work that really matters. Distractions are everywhere and in every moment.
Do your best to minimize these distractions and you will get the job done with less effort and in a shorther amount of time.
4. Daily Focus Blocks
Is your daily life taken away by meetings, meetings and even more meetings?
My tip: plan some time in your daily schedule where you are in control and fully decide what activities you focus on.
Make sure to plan ahead so that no one can “steal” your time!
In most companies there are too many meetings that don’t make sense.
5. Multitasking Myth
Do you believe you can analyze your A/B test results while reading your email? Think again!
Do you know how hard it is to focus on one thing for 60 minutes? 99% of the people on earth can’t do this. Let alone doing two or three things at a time; I guarantee this doesn’t work.
Concentrate on just one thing at a time to have less mental stress and produce greater results for your company.
6. Distractive Elements
You are building an astonishing report in Excel.
While being busy your new email messages keep on popping up, your cell phone is ringing all the time and your new social apps bring a lot of joy.
Forget it! This doesn’t work.
Get rid of any distractive elements when you are trying to produce something at work. Does it matter if you don’t read my email just a few seconds after I send it?
Come on, bring some focus and get rid of any elements that can distract you!
7. Mindless and Mindful Work
If you are an analytics consultant you might have some reporting stuff to do, but you love it more to derive great insights from your data and testing efforts.
Well, I do agree that you should refrain from just sending reports.
However, sometimes it is good to make a few simple reports to make your colleagues happy.
For this simple reason that reports can often be made on the automatic pilot (mindless work). It is good to combine your brainy work with easier tasks every now and then.
By doing this you will save mental energy for your most difficult tasks and every one in your organization will benefit from it!
Do you enjoy this technological era? From one side I feel it is great to have so many helpful tools, but on the hand it doesn’t really help us a lot.
A great read that many of you might benefit from: There is No App for Happiness from yoga teacher Max Strom.
8. Complex Goals
I recommend to set a few very important (complex) goals every few months.
Imagine you are working as a conversion optimization specialist. One of your clients wants to sell more shoes online and they have the wish to improve their overall conversion rate to 4% before the end of the year. For the sake of this example there are no seasonality effects.
It’s 2% at the beginning of the year, so you want it to be 3% at the end of June.
You might undertake many different activities to accomplish this goal. Look at this 3% CR as a complex goal.
Why? It will help you to focus your activities for this client on what really matters to accomplish this complex goal in the long run.
9. Social and Mindful
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, they can all deliver terrible experiences If used in the wrong way.
Most people are controlled by their Social accounts. Does Facebook like you to enjoy time with your friends or your company’s brand to grow? Well, for a small part, maybe. But most importantly, they are just counting their money like (almost) every company does! And of course they should keep you happy to stay in business.
Take advantage of your Social apps in your working career, but make sure to use them in a mindful way. You will thank me for that!
10. Screen Apnea
Eight or more hours working behind a computer, watching television at night and checking emails again.
Those screens are a nightmare for our health. Especially combined with us sitting all day long.
Here is what I suggest to minimize the negative impact:
- Take regular short walking breaks
- Need to think or call: stand up from your chair!
- Don’t use an elevator all the time
- Refrain from too much screen activity at night
- Sit straight in your chair and pay attention to your breathing
These are my tips to optimize your daily activities. It will benefit your career and life!
As promised, the name of the book: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. Have fun reading it!
Now it’s your turn. Let me know what you think. Do you have any tips I haven’t shared yet?One last thing... Make sure to get my extensive checklist for your Google Analytics setup. It contains 50+ crucial things to take into account when setting up Google Analytics.