Seek Opportunities to Cut Your To-do List

Seek Opportunities to Cut Your To-Do List

We live in a world where there's always incentive to do more.

  • Write more blog posts for organic SEO
  • Tweet daily
  • Create Tiktoks to promote your products
  • Write unique content for your premium email list

And after a while it just adds up and you're paralyzed with an unending to-do list. I've found that the more on my todo list the less I actually get done. The more I can focus my attention with a clear priority for the day the more productive I am.

Recently I've been looking for ways to cut down my to-do list. Not by evaluating each individual task, that takes a ton of time, but by preventing tasks from getting on my list in the first place. I want to create rules so I know where I should spend my time.

New Opportunity Sighted!

When you run your own business it's always exciting when someone finds you online and reaches out about a job. This came into my inbox 2 months ago:

An invitation to write a book for a company
An invitation to write a book for a publisher 👀

Pretty awesome right? Someone wants me to write a book for them. It's money at a time when I could use a little extra money. A younger Patrick would take the job and burn the midnight oil for the next year to finish the book.

But I wanted to think about this holistically. After all burning the midnight oil means I'm less present for my family and I have less time with them.

Reviewing My Creative Works

I decided I should review my creative works. I've written two books and created over a dozen courses for LinkedIn Learning as well as host a podcast. By reviewing this content I should have an idea what types of content performs best.

Reviewing Online Courses

Let's start with my LinkedIn Learning courses:

WordPress eCommerce: WooCommerce4.9 ⭐2862019
eCommerce Fundamentals4.8 ⭐1472023
Shopify Essential Training4.9 ⭐2852023
WordPress Contact Forms4.8 ⭐452019

Wow! All of the ratings are excellent. I knew they were pretty high. But almost all of my courses are 4.8 or 4.9 stars. 🤩

And here are some of the comments about my courses:

So it seems like video courses are well received and I should probably keep creating them.

Reviewing Books

I've written a few different books. Two for Packt and one for OSTraining. Let's see how they stack up:

Mastering WooCommerce 43.8 ⭐302020
WooCommerce Cookbook3.6 ⭐152015
WooCommerce Explained4.1 ⭐472017

The ratings are far worse. About 1 star rating worse. Going from a near perfect score to a high 3-star rating is a big drop. It goes from something you'd recommend to your friend to something you'd rather put down and search for better resources online. 🙁

Let's see if the comments are better:

Yikes! The reviews are far worse. 😱

If you contrast the video reviews to the book reviews and it seems like there are two different authors.

And this led my to realize my secret ingredient, my super power that makes my courses much more entertaining and enjoyable. It was my personality. Personality is easy to capture on camera. I can make little jokes, share asides, and give additional context.

Personality is really hard to capture in writing. If you've heard my speak in real life you can probably hear me saying these words. But if you haven't heard me before you have to guess if I'm making a joke or not.

Focus on What You Do Best

I could be a mediocre author. Or I can be an excellent online course creator. Does it make sense to do both?

No. In business, you should only play games you can win.

I can win online courses. I'm miles away from winning with my writing. I turned down the book opportunity even though I'd love to brand myself as an SEO expert.

This keeps my to-do list a little shorter. I have a rule that for me, video is superior to the written word. I can and will turn down pure writing opportunities moving forward.

PS – I do think experimentation is important. I'll probably try writing a book 5-10 years from now. But for at least the next few years it's clear where I should spend my time.

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