8 Ways To Get Your Job Done And Still Enjoy Your Day

One of the questions I get asked most of the time is…

“How do you do it? You’ve got school, friends, (girls?) + this huge business thingy. How do you do it?”

Before I start blabbing about the “ceremonies” and “chants” that I do that help me handle all those stuff, I’d like to tell you upfront that…


Goofyness aside, I am. I am always late at almost all stuff + I keep forgetting things (Heck, there was once a time that I asked my dad where my iPhone was and it was just in my hands!)

Here’s The Secret…

That was kinda cheesy, but here’s how I do it…

(Some are from personal experience and some are those stuff that really, has worked from the start.)

1. Get Into A “Spell”

This is probably the hardest part to do for me back then. Sounds very simple, but very hard to do.

The thing is, you should get “in” to a spell – or a “work trance”. When you’re in that spell, you can do almost anything, even if it’s the most boring task, when you’re in a spell, it’ll be hard to stop you.

Now here’s a little technique I do to get in to that spell…

What I’ll do is I’d start my day with a very easy task. A task that I like to do – say firing up Photoshop and whipping out banners or arranging computer files (hey, I like doing it. OCD?) Then progress on complicated tasks to the most boring tasks.

Now what happens is that the easy tasks will get me in the mood so as Iprogress to the most boring tasks, I’m already in that “work trance”.

I wouldn’t recommend starting your day with emails because you’ll definitely get lost with who you are talking to. Starting your day with your daily reads isn’t a good idea for me also.

2. Daily To Do List

This is probably the most overused tactic.

But hey, this is VERY crucial – without a daily to-do list, I’d be lost and probably would wander off to Youtube after 10 minutes of work.

Making a to-do list could be one of the very easy task you can do to get into that “spell” too. Takes me around 5-10 minutes.

One of the most important things you should do is to prioritize tasks, or arrange them from easy to hard if there’s no time constraint to help you get into a spell.

By the way, I use Google Tasks on gmail.

3. Cross Out Finished Tasks

I didn’t know that little things like this would matter – but when you finish tasks, it’s important that you cross them out or make a mark or something that tells that you have successfully completed it.

This will give you a sense of accomplishment, and if you’re like me, you’d feel more relaxed.

4. CLOSE Distractions

The biggest distractions that I have are Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Email and Youtube. And one of the biggest mistakes I made to avoid these distractions is to put a status message on Skype, Yahoo and Gmail…



“Message if important only”

Now what happens there is that yes, the number of people who message me reduces BUT the “temptation” (is that the right word?) to talk to someone is still there. Heck, even to look who’s online.

So here’s what I did.. I CLOSED IT.

That also applies to websites that waste your time – Youtube, Facebook, Flickr all sorts.

But there’s always a temptation to open it again right?

Block it.

You can simply block a website by going to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc then opening “hosts” with notepad. (Note: to Vista users, open notepad first as an administrator then open the “hosts” file) then adding….

“       website.com”


“       localhost”

5. The Stop Play Music Routine

I don’t know why and how this works, but it serves me very well.

The idea is, to play 3 of my favorite songs in a row to start my day.

Although I did mention before to turn the music off, I found out something better…

When the first song starts, I’d go ahead with my first easy task to get into that “spell” then when the 3rd song is in the half way, I’d stop it and just continue working afterwards – this really gets me in the mood.

I don’t know, maybe the first 2 songs gets me to that “spell” then stopping at the 3rd song helps me concentrate to the tasks instead of the song.

6. Take Notes, Don’t Act Right Away

Yes, they say that without action, you won’t get anything.

But, with action PLUS the right timing, you’ll get everywhere.

So when you’re in the middle of a task and an idea or an additional task pops out of your brain – right it down and get to it later on after you finish what you’re currently doing.

7. NO!

Learn to say no.

There are stuff that won’t really benefit you that much, learn to say no to interviews, to meetups, to speaking engagements.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to say it with an all caps “NO!” but you don’t want to beat around the bush as well. Be frank, but polite.

8. Delegate & Automate

This changed my life.

And I hope this will change their life too.

The thing is, I’m not really like the master of internet marketing. There are a lot of stuff that I don’t know how to do. I can’t even code or touch a single php script.

Not to mention, how I suck at copywriting and PPC.

But here’s the secret… I let other people do these stuff for me.

Since I got my first fulltime employee working for me, the time I spent on my business is less but I’m still able to maintain the income.

Your “Techniques”?

These stuff are just some of my personal techniques – and I can’t even say that I’m “that” productive – I’m able to do stuff nonetheless.

So if you’ve got something that really keeps you productive, I’d love to hear it :)


  1. says

    I am right there with you when it comes to time management. I’ve found that I can actually focus better with the television on than with music. Podcasts work too. I need background noise.

    That being said, to get into my “trance” I will often start by cleaning my room. Creating a clean workspace really gets me in the “Get things Done” mode and I can focus so much more.

    I also try to give myself one overall goal to complete for the day. That way if I get it done, I feel as though I’ve accomplished something. :)

  2. says

    I just turn Messenger, Skype and so off, so no one can disturb me.

    I close Thunderbird, TweetDeck (but only if really is necessary ;) )

    To be productive I take a relaxing shirt on, and turn on some nice music (arctic monkeys works best for me)

    How I Start The Day:

    I start with a good long sleep around (8-10 hours), then taking a shower, I start with cold and then warm. Then eating some food, go tweeting and then I’m on POWER!

    That’s how I start being productive..

  3. says

    Me too. I’m not really good at time management. Glad I found your post. It inspired me in someway to get myself organized. By the way, the technical term for that A spell that Carl is talking about is flow. It was coined by one Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi. I suggest people to explore that concept too.

  4. says

    It is relieving when you see some crossed out task on your to do list. You will appreciate your used time once you have task completed and won’t be disappointed for the passed hours.

    I do say YES for #6, don’t get too excited when an interesting idea pops into your mind out of nowhere. It’s a form of distraction especially if it’s not relevant to what you are working presently, might as well right it down and just deal with it after. You shouldn’t lose focus to what you are currently doing because you might loose your gear and end up with numbers of unfinished task. It’s a good habit to finish what you have started at a short possible time.

  5. says

    Great post. To simplify it all in all I just prioritize what’s important from whats not. The problem with the mindset though, is that I tend to think (at some point) that doing useless stuffs should be a high priority when in fact its not..

    And also saying NO, can be hard at times.. ;-)

  6. says

    This are my problems nowadays, I am easily distracted. I am working as an internet researcher, virtual assistant and part time blogger. There are a lot of things to do, sometimes 24 hours isn’t enough. I usually spend the whole day with my laptops and desktop.

    YouTubes and sites useful for my blog ranking distracts me from doing the administrative tasks assigned for the day.

    I totally agree with your suggestions.

    I also delegated other tasks which I cannot fully handle because of time constraint.

  7. says

    Time management is crucial either in business or in work. I think Keyword here is just discipline and mindset. as the saying goes ” do today what you can do tomrrow”.

  8. says

    WOW..I am thinking this was written just for me. I find my self getting distracted even before I log in. (a slight exaggeration). But regardless this message hits home with me.

    Phone calls, emails and webinars constantly pull from my time to become successful.

    Thanks for the heads up on this.


  9. says

    As an internet marketer, staying productive at all times is the hardest thing to do. And I agree with you that the biggest distractions came from emails, online chats, etc… But most internet marketers nowadays are being too pre-occupied with just that. They thought that reading emails, they build their business. Yes it will. But that’s not proper time management.

    A marketer should focus more on things that will actually make them money. As a general rule, you should focus 60% of your time on getting traffic, 30% on increasing your conversion, and 10% for customer management.

    I use http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ for managing my time and tasks. Its a neat tool.

  10. says


    I find that if I set my alarm and get up really early in the morning, at 3 a.m. before anyone else is up, I have four hours worth of time that I can focus on my online business before I got to work.

    And it’s quite enough to get into “the zone,” like you spoke about and get a ton of work done, off of my A list, or my B list or C list.

    Take care,

  11. says

    This post is nice, specially to an internet marketer like me. Well having a busy time with school, then blog then work is quite stressful. Good thing that you should manage your time and energy. ^_^

  12. says

    Hi Carl. Interesting to see how trances work for you. I guess what is distraction for some may be a productivity tool for another. Finding a routine that works for you can get your system in automated mode. I find it also worthy calibrating it regularly (weekly or bi-weekly) to see how it can be improved further while still enjoying it.

  13. says

    I start my day with a “happy” music. It makes me more energetic and full of life. When laziness catches me, I stop for awhile and give myself a rest (Sound trip) After a couple of minutes, I’m back to my working routine. ^-^

    Nathan here! ^_^

    Nathan Bloggers Portal

  14. says

    I use a count-down timer. I break my tasks for the day into chunks and put a time limit to them. I then set the timer for the amount given to the first task. When the timer is up, I take a 15 minute break. This is also a great way to learn how long it really takes to get certain tasks done. -Norene

  15. says

    Great tips Carl!

    For me one of the things that work best is to have a quite time before I start working. Pray, reflect, and remove all the worries and just relax. This gets me in a real good mood after and ready to conquer the day.

  16. says

    Hi Carl,
    I guess most of the points you have covered & few others by commentators. However, I find this fundamental point is essential to mention is that Plan ahead in Google tasks & time it at lessor time that you normally take. That would urge you to perform better even at smallest of tasks & keep you in improving & changing mode. I am sure, doing it consistently would help.

  17. says

    ^_^ Wow! hehe. makalimutin rin ako eh. Just like everyday, when my parents ask me to go make some coffee, bababa lang ako sa kusina tapos dederetso sa Cr… pag katapos iikutin ko buong kusina (kinda creepy) and then I’ll ask myself “ahh… what the heck am I doing here again?”

    Sabay taas papunta sa room tapos matatandaan na lang bigla ” oo nga pala ung coffee!” =))))

    hahaha! That was pretty lol’ed!

    anyway, I like your style 0_0

    all the teachers that I had always remind me, ” Unahin ang pinaka mahirap para sa huli, madali na ang lahat”

    Then I get frustrated so easily at the end of the day…. “Anong para madali na ang lahat na pinagsasabi niyo????!?”

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. =)