Ever feel the workload get too tough? Whether you are productive or unproductive, it doesn’t make a difference for this example—some of the workload becomes too tough. I wanted to finish writing a book before July and then finish a training course before August.
I could have easily accomplished those two goals—if I did a Twitter hibernation, had this blog fend for itself, and said no to socializing. Basically, I could only get it all done if I ate food, worked, and slept. I quickly got overwhelmed and tried to push through for as long as I could.
I made the mistake of setting an impossible goal for myself. It’s one thing to write a book or create a training course. It is something else to create a high-value book along with a high-value training course. I aimed to write the best book I ever wrote and have my training course exceed 10 hours.
I’ll let you know when they come out. That’s right. I didn’t even finish them yet, and I am happy it is that way. I changed my schedule because I saw summer slip away just as quickly as it began—one of the worst feeling for a teen to have getting out of junior year in high school.
I changed my schedule so I could say yes to socializing, not go on a Twitter hiatus, and continue growing this blog. I also got to expand in new horizons that I never thought were possible for a 17 year old. While I became more successful by making the change, I learned five important lessons along the way.
If you get stressed out because you overwork yourself, these five lessons apply to you too.
#1: Go On A Journey That You Would Enjoy
Why do something if you know you won’t have any fun. Right now, I am having fun writing this blog post. I have fun when I write books and create training courses. I don’t have fun when I try to do all three of those things at the same time on a tight schedule.
If you do not have fun doing the work that you do, then your lack of enthusiasm will be reflected in the quality of your work. More mistakes get made, errors don’t get detected, and worst of all, you aren’t having any fun.
Some people insist that it is okay to not have fun at the workplace because that’s how you get the paycheck. Remember that if you live like most people, you will spend at least 33% of your life working. That is a huge amount of your life, and it is your choice to be happy or miserable during that span of your life.
I know some people are quick to point out they have 67% of their time to be happy, but it doesn’t work that way. First off, you will spend another third of your life sleeping. Only one-third of your life left—to not think about your work while with your family, to be happy, and not let negative emotions from the workplace make it into the rest of your life.
You can do a lot of work in your lifetime, but you only have one life, so do the work that matters and makes you happy.
#2: Don’t Launch Multiple Products So Quickly
Each time you want to launch a successful product, you must have a lengthy prelaunch first. The prelaunch and launch phases of your product should both take up more time than it did for you to actually create the product.
That is why I don’t publish one book every month anymore. I want to have a powerful prelaunch that leads into a powerful launch. If I create multiple products at the same time, it becomes more difficult (and stressful) for me to do the prelaunch and the launch on my own.
That is why I decided to write the book first, then create the training courses, and then do the prelaunch and launch of the products afterwards (I can do the prelaunch and launch at the same time for two products if I don’t have to worry about creating them).
Now, it is possible to use a training course to promote a book. However, if you don’t have experience with creating multiple products, get better at the prelaunch and launch before you promote multiple products in short time intervals between each other.
#3: Focus Most Of Your Time On Your Marketing
Some marketers believe we should focus as much as 80% of our time on marketing, and I don’t blame them. My original plan had a strong focus on creating the products in a time effective manner but no focus on marketing. That’s a big no-no in business.
Consider this. If you could focus 100% of your time creating products or 100% of your time promoting yourself, where would your time be better spent? The answer is promoting yourself because when you finally create your own product, you have a large audience. If you spent 100% of your time creating products and finally start promoting yourself, it will take a long time for those products to get enough sales to generate a full-time income.
Now I spend most of my time creating podcast episodes and connecting with key influencers. When I do launch a product, I know it has a greater chance of succeeding than my past products.
#4: Make Your Work More Manageable
In order to finish writing my entire book before July, I had to write 3,000 words every day for two weeks. I already wrote 24,000 words for the book. I wanted it to surpass 60,000 words.
Writing 3,000 words every day isn’t a challenge for me. Some of my blog posts are over 3,000 words long. However, hibernating from all of the other parts of my business wasn’t an option. I write anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 words every day, but those words are spread out across blog posts, tweets, emails, and of course, my book.
I also faced complications with my plan because I run 1-2 hours every day (something that will never change unless I intentionally take a day off), read books to learn more about my niche, and need some downtime (Super Smash Bros, anyone).
Deciding to finish the book in July and wait a little longer to start the training course opened up more time for me to promote myself. I optimized my tweeting schedule to get more traffic and better serve my followers. I started my own podcast. Most importantly, I spent more time having fun with my family.
It is necessary to grind to get some tasks done. However, don’t just grind for the sake of grinding.
#5: It’s Better To Get One Big Project Done Than Stress About Two That Go Nowhere
In this particular example, my book was actually going somewhere. I wrote over 24,000 words for it before the stress piled up. However, I have assigned myself multiple big projects in the past and never started them.
One day, I remember writing a list of potential eBook titles. The list exceeded 50 potential eBook ideas, and I thought about all of the money the books would bring me (another big mistake). I hide the list from myself and now focus on one big product at a time. While it is great to think about possibilities, overthinking and overworking will put too much stress in your life.
We have to put in work every day, but the amount of work we give ourselves can sometimes create stress. The next time you find yourself stressed out, ask yourself why you are stressed. It may be that the workload has gotten too tough or (even worse) that you are not passionate about your work.
Do you find yourself stressing out when you work? How do you respond when you overwork yourself? What are your thoughts about work? Sound off in the comment section below!