All posts by Timo Kiander

Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, helps entrepreneurs improve their online business productivity. With 18 co-authors (Pat Flynn, Corbett Barr and Steven Aitchison to name a few), he wrote a book about how to build an online business and get stuff done - even when working from 9-5 (available as a free download or through Amazon).

5 Simple Daily Changes for Reaching Your 2015 Goals

As the New Year is coming soon, it’s time to take a look back at this year and see how well you have achieved your goals.

If you feel that you haven’t yet reached your full potential and haven’t managed to cross all the goals off your list, it’s time to implement a new set of strategies for 2015.

These are not going to be your New Year’s resolutions, rather they are new fresh ways of working towards your most important goals, ensuring that you actually reach them.

Rest assured, this just scratches the surface. There are other powerful ways that help you to make the New Year best ever.

In case you are interested in those methods, just go ahead and download this PDF that I prepared just for the audience of GoalZila!

It lists three additional (and very powerful) ways of reaching your goals in 2015.

1. Hustling on multiple things -> Focusing on just one thing
We all know that multitasking doesn’t work. So rather than working on multiple fronts at once, picking just one project to focus on is the smartest move you can do.

The fact is that if you decide to run your first marathon, write a book, and lose your weight at the same time, you might fall short.

So rather than doing spreading yourself too thin, pick that ONE goal that makes the biggest difference in your life.

Make sure you understand that you have less time available than what you think. For instance, my original goal was to finish my first full-distance triathlon in 2015. But since I also want to start my own business next year, I knew that there is just too much on my plate.

That’s why gave up temporarily on my triathlon goal, and I decided to fully focus on the business one.

2. Fun stuff first -> Important stuff first
If you are really into reaching your big goal, then it should be your #1 priority and nothing else.

For instance, my goal is to publish five Kindle books next year, so the most important activity is to write 1000 to 2000 words almost daily.

What’s even more important is to put this most important activity to those hours of the day when you are at your most effective. To understand this, you should learn what Sam Carpenter, the author of Work The System has to say about Biological Prime Time (BPT).

BPT means your most productive hours of the day, and you can find this with a bit of self-monitoring. It takes some effort for sure, but the payoff can be great.

When you do the goal-related work inside your BPT, you make significant progress on the important things.

This in turn helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment and increase your motivation, which again gives you more fuel to reach your goal.

3. Do it and forget it -> Reveal your tracks
One way that helps you in reaching your goal is to see how far you have come already. So rather than just doing something and then forgetting it make sure to track your progress. This way you know where you are headed and it’s much easier to make adjustments, if something isn’t working.

Doing this kind of tracking is simple. Every day after you have finished working, look at your day. See your successes and failures, then record them down. Also, list the lessons you learned.

This way you:

-Know what works and what didn’t work
-How to make your next day better
-Have the record of success (you may need some motivational boost when things don’t go as planned)

Doing a review like this doesn’t have to take long, sometimes even five minutes will be enough.

With this small habit, you can still keep the dream of reaching your goal alive.

4. Hustle all around -> Reduce your commitments
So you have three hobbies and you also participate in various club activities. Good for you!

But let me ask you this: Do they give you the room to pursue your goal, with the intensity that is required? If not, perhaps cutting down some commitments is in order.

For instance, when I was writing my book in 2013, I made a strategic decision to cut down all the races (I’m an endurance athlete) for that year. I also scaled down my other activities, even eliminated them completely if they didn’t support my main goal anyway.

In 2015, I have decided to do the same again. For instance, I’m slowing down my blogging pace, so that I have the time for Kindle writing.

The biggest problem that people face with commitments is that saying “no” is very difficult. I can’t say it was easy for me either, but I try to keep these guidelines in mind when declining a request:

-Does the commitment support my goals? If it doesn’t, then the answer is “no”
-Say “no” discreetly but firmly. At least for me, nothing is more irritating than someone saying “no” to me the rude way
-Say your answer clearly enough, so that the other person doesn’t have to guess you’re what you said
-Be honest about why you decline from the request
-Understand that you can be selfish too. If someone has a right to ask you to do something, in most of the cases you have the equal right to say “no” as well

Sometimes saying “yes” is the only option. For instance, if some one asks your help in an accident, you should definitely help the other person. But in the majority of everyday situations, things ain’t that severe, and there is more room for evaluation.

5. Do it in one big chunk -> break it in smaller pieces
One way to make reaching a goal easier is to do two things:

First, break it down into smaller pieces, so that you are able to avoid being overwhelmed.

For instance, if your goal is to write a book, make your first milestone be to write an outline. When this task is done, find out minimum word count to strive for every day and try to reach that.

When you break the giant project into smaller pieces, it’s so much easier to get started doing the work. When the project is just one huge “lump” on your list, you are more likely to procrastinate on it.

One other trick that can help you started with your goals. And believe me when I say this, you are going to need this one. No matter if you feel motivated now, there are times when you won’t even like to look at your goal.

If you hit the wall, promise to do the task for five minutes. This helps you to get started and in majority of cases, you do much more work than just those five minutes.

There are times when you are to be tested, to see how serious you are about your goal. But if you pass the test, you’ll be a winner.

To give you a more solid start to 2015, I presented five different strategies for reaching your goal and creating the life you have always wanted.

The most important thing is to put all your focus and energy into the one goal and make it happen.

Or rather, would you like having five goals you haven’t accomplished, when you review your year in December 2015?

Yeah, I thought so.

Shift Your Focus: 6 Ways to Better Use Your Time

Life is all about making choices. We make thousands of them on a daily basis and unfortunately, too often we take shortcuts – choices which are easy and effortless to make now.

These choices may give us instant gratification, but at the same time they are making us spend more time on the less-essential stuff in our lives.

But what if you stopped for a moment and decided to take the longer route instead? I’m willing to say that doing this would definitely improve the quality of your life – in some cases it could even change your life.

If you are interested, I suggest that you consider these six everyday scenarios and start looking at them otherwise from now on.

1. Watching news (and TV) -> Build your online business

Have you any idea how much time per week you spend on watching news? For instance, if you just spent 15 minutes of your time on a daily basis watching TV, that would add up 105 minutes per week.
I don’t know about you, but for me that’s a lot of time to be spent on something that is mostly negative. So rather than actively seeking the news, let the news reach you.

For instance, whenever something big and noteworthy happens in the world, you’ll learn about it – sooner or later. But there is no need for you to actively search for it yourself.

A better use of your time:

Rather than watching the news (or excessive amounts of TV), why don’t you spend that time figuring out what your true passions are and then create a business around those themes?

If you want to get started on this path, you can take, for instance, a DISC test (you have to opt in to an e-mail list in order to take the test) to figure out your strengths.

When you know your true strengths, it’s so much easier to focus on the right stuff in your life rather than something that doesn’t add any significant value to it at all.

2. Transition times -> Mobile learning

How many times have you felt that there is just too much material (both online and offline) you’d like to go through and too little time to do it? Well, this feeling is very familiar to me. I got frustrated over all the great podcasts I wasn’t able to listen to or the books that were just sitting on my bookshelf.

To make things even worse, I never understood the value of mobile time pockets and how those would positively affect my education level on various topics.

The better use of your time:

Buy yourself a MP3 player. This gives you access to podcasts or audiobooks, which you can then listen to while you are on the move.

Another favorite way to “spend” my time is when I’m waiting for something. For instance, I might take a physical book with me so that I can keep myself beneficially occupied. Or, I could just grab my Amazon Kindle and read any of the books I have purchased online.

In these ways, you can maximize your time when you are on the move or while waiting for something.

3. Floating through your day -> Planning your day

Some years ago I was a very disorganized person: I didn’t plan my days, nor did I set any goals for myself. I was just floating around and I wasn’t spending my time very productively.

Eventually I just couldn’t take this feeling of not accomplishing anything and I wanted to change.
The better use of your time:

One of the very first things that helped me to change my life was starting to plan my days. Rather than drifting through them, I started to keep a list of things I wanted to accomplish every day.
I also started to figure out my goals and this helped me to decide more carefully what my daily actions were going to be.

Make sure to do this yourself as well and start planning your days – preferably the night before. This way you get a simple plan that you can follow and you’ll already feel much more organized and productive.
You can jot down your tasks on a piece of paper or even register an account on an online tool and manage your tasks through your browser or through mobile devices.

4. Repeating the same mistakes -> Systematize

You accomplished a task, but you realized that you took some extra steps that weren’t necessary at all. Still, you are happy that you got the task done.

Sometime later, you do the same task again – only to realize that you still took those additional steps, and made some other mistakes too. This made you to lose time on details and you got less done than what you planned.

As long as you keep working this way, you keep losing time and frustrating yourself for nothing. But is there a way to prevent these bad experiences?

The better use of your time:

Understand all the steps it takes to do a task and then put them into a document. This way you have a step-by-step plan (or a checklist) to follow, which helps you to execute the task again without getting off-track.
Even if it takes some time to document your steps, you are still saving time since you are not repeating the same mistakes anymore.

And who knows, maybe you’ll have an assistant someday who can take care of those steps for you. When that occurs, you’ll have the document ready to hand to your helper.

5. Working tired -> Power naps

I can’t remember how many times I have worked while being very tired. Still, I just refused to stop working, because I thought that I’d lose even more time that way.

At the same time, I had difficulty focusing on my work and I made a lot of mistakes, which eventually caused me to have to fix the things I had already done.

The better use of your time:

If you find yourself in a situation like this, do yourself a favor: stop working and take a 20-minute nap. When you wake up, you’ll feel much more refreshed and productive.

There have been numerous studies made about the benefits of (power) napping and they all prove the same: It’s beneficial for you and your effectiveness clearly improves.

6. Fixing the symptoms -> Fixing the root cause

Too often we choose the easiest path when fixing things.

Let’s say that your computer keeps crashing on a frequent basis. Despite this, you never bother to do anything to fix the problem other than just reboot your computer.

This is a classic example of reacting to the symptoms only. Sure, your way of fixing the issue works, but perhaps there is even a better way to handle the situation.

The better use of your time:

The next time your computer crashes, avoid just restarting it. Find the root cause for these symptoms and put all the effort into fixing it instead. When you do that, the symptoms disappear and you stop wasting time on ineffective fixes.

You can deal with any other matter the same way: If you have to fix something more than twice, you have probably have a true problem in your hands and the best way is to tackle the root of the problem instead.


With these six methods, you can improve your everyday productivity and effectiveness.

It may take some time until you automatically choose the new habits, but believe me: You’ll feel so good when doing so and you can take your life completely to another level.