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Plan Your Day

This post was most recently updated on March 27th, 2014


donnamerrilltribe.comIf you wrote down each task you did in one day, you would be surprised how much you had done.  When running your own business, there are hundreds of things you are doing without even thinking about it during a course of a day.

But doing lots of things is not really what your online business is really about.  The key question to ask yourself is this: at the end of that day have you completed your most important goals?  Or have you left some of them undone because of too many interruptions?

Have you ever experienced a time when you had that well thought out plan in your head of what you were going to do, then got side tracked with a phone call, an email, a Facebook message?  Or maybe the kids were home from school, or the dog wanted to play.  These are but a few situations that come up during the day that can get you off track.

How does that make you feel?  Discouraged, anxious, upset, overwhelmed?  This is why it is imperative to plan your day.


You should be following a business plan and have specific long range goals to achieve.  But there are many steps to get there, and these are the steps you need to be taking each day.  You priority must be on activities that generate revenue.  Without an income, you don’t have a business.  So, you want to focus every day, first and foremost, on that part of your business that is making money or will lead to making money.  But for many people, those are the very things that just never seem to get done.


It is easy to get caught up in blogging and reciprocating with your comments and syndication.  Temptation is always there because something catches your eye that you want to learn and may spend time during your day on tackling a new learning curve.  Sure that’s important, but what happened to focusing on what you really needed to do first?  You sort of planned your day, but got bombarded with other things didn’t you?


The problem is, that what you should be doing first, you put for last, and frequently just never get around to it at all.


I know people who have been doing an online “business” literally for years, and still do not do any income generating activities at all.  They don’t have a business, despite what they say.  What they have is a hobby.  For many people, that’s just a more comfortable place to be.  But if you want to move your efforts into the profit zone, you must plan your day accordingly.


Here is how to plan your day to start generating an income online.


1. Use a white board or a piece of paper.  Put it near your computer or somewhere in your home office.  It is important to keep this in one place where you always see it.  There are many times that we jot down things we want to accomplish during the day, but misplace that piece of paper.  So keep this one visible at all times.


2.  Write down three tasks you must complete during the day no matter what. (hint: three income generating tasks)


3.  After each task is done, erase it or cross it out.


Now that sounds simple to do doesn’t it?  But the question is, are you really going to do it?  You need to make a commitment to yourself come hell or high water to complete this.  You must NOT do anything else until you do so.  Not anything!  Do not answer the phone, open email or walk around the block.  Make it clear to everyone that this is your time to work and you cannot be disturbed, even if it is to make a peanut butter sandwich!  OK…  you can go to the bathroom… he he.


Making this commitment to plan your day and STICK TO IT will help you produce results in your business.  Make your tasks realistic – you are not going to write the next novel in a day.  Maybe a chapter if that’s what you do!  By committing yourself to your Daily Plan no matter how long it takes, will free you to perform all the marginal tasks later in the day.


Why is this so important?


Because in business, you have a certain goal.  To reach that goal you have to chip away at it a little at a time every single day.  If you stray, that goal will never be reached.  You need specific goals, but even more you need to execute the tasks that will help you achieve them.  Yes, you may have to do’s swimming in your head, but you need to put them into a plan of action, and then do them.


Working backwards is the best way to achieve your goal.  When you see the whole picture, you realize how much work will go into a project you want to complete.  Start with the end of the project (the results) and then write down all the things you need to do to finish it (achieve those results).  Give yourself a time limit.  Two weeks, a month.  Whatever it is.  Write down everything you need to do for that project and stick to a production schedule.


Break it down into a month, a week, a day.  Each and every day… complete those tasks that will get you to the end results you desire.  When you break your project down into specific daily tasks and chunks of time and stick to it, you will succeed.  It just takes planning and execution!  Planning your day every morning will give you more time than you actually have already.  And you won’t be spending your day feeling guilty about the important things you’re avoiding.


Where the heck did I get this idea from?

I’ve been doing it and it’s working like magic!


I am sitting here late afternoon, still in my PJ’s writing this to you because it’s the last task of the day that I need to cross off my list.  My first two hours this morning were spent working on production.  My last task was to write this post.  It’s a great feeling when you get the big stuff done.  And you can only do it by planning your day!



Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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66 Responses to Plan Your Day

  1. Leslie Denning
    February 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Hi Donna. I just purchased a brand new steno pad for this very thing. I also have a Post-It on my wall that says, “Is what you are doing making you money?” It’s so easy to get distracted with the ‘fun’ stuff and not do the productive stuff.

    I’ve been doing a lot more social networking the past week, because of computer woes. However, I’m finding that it’s almost better for me to have one or two windows open at once. This old computer can handle it, and I’m not nearly so distracted. Think I’ll keep doing this even when the new computer comes back from the repair shop!

    Thanks for a terrific article on getting things done.

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning, The Home Biz CEO

    • Donna.Merrill
      February 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      Hi Leslie,

      I just love paper and pen! Guess I’m old school, but it helps me retain things lol.

      Absolutely Leslie….I only keep a few windows open, no more than two or three. I find that when too many are open, things don’t work well.

      Celebrating your new computer?

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Spread Your Wings And Challenge Yourself!My Profile

  2. I. C. Daniel March 26, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Hey Donna,

    No matter how much I plan my day I make only half of what I suppose to do in that day. I encounter this problem because I’m new to this blogging business. However after reading your article I got strong motivated and maybe this effect maintain a long time. At least until I get rich 😀

    Best regards from I. C. Daniel – Romania

    • Donna.Merrill
      April 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi and welcome to my blog.

      Sorry for the delay on my response, I was traveling.

      When we start out it is difficult to plan your day. We get caught up in so many things. My advice to you is to have your business goal in mind. Now, work backwards and write down the many tasks it is going to take you to get there.

      One thing for sure is that it is not going to happen over night. No business ever does. Take your time, keep focused and be persistent.

      Good luck to your journey,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..U Smile Radio Interview | Lesly Federici with Donna MerrillMy Profile

  3. Steven Hughes March 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Donna –

    Simple, yet very important advice. Just three things, no problem. 🙂 I can attest to getting distracted. I usually have way too many windows open at any given time. When I write I’ll have just one window open for research.

    I know writing what you need to get done on paper is the way to go. This week, consider it done.
    Steven Hughes recently posted..Social Media Marketing Strategies for Engaging CustomersMy Profile

  4. Raena Lynn March 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Everything you mentioned in your post is right on target. I remember the days when I didn’t have a plan with my business, but I thought it was a business because I was on the computer for so many hours…every day. It’s not a business if you are not generating an income over a period of time which includes short term and long term.

    Many people in the online world label their computer activities a business, when in fact, it is a hobby. I know because a long time ago, playing online was a hobby for me. Life changes directed me to make a serious decision to make online marketing a self-sustaining business. I also chose it to be my business because I LOVE it!

    Goals have to be set and tasks have to be accomplished, even if it is little by little, as long as it is done consistently and daily. Your suggestions of how to accomplish the daily tasks are excellent. The most important point is everyone who needs to be productive needs to use a system that works for them. Many of your readers presented their way which could be writing down the tasks, or having a white board, or having 3, or 5, or 10 tasks to accomplish daily. It doesn’t matter. As long as at the end of the day, you’ve engaged in productive and money making activities which can include engaging in social media activities since relationship building is a significant part of reaching goals in this business.

    Working backwards is a great way of laying out a plan. Using a mind map works very well too! Thanks for sharing Donna!

    Raena Lynn
    Raena Lynn recently posted..PureLeverage Review 100% Commissions Using The EZ Money FormulaMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Hi Raena!

      I think we were all at that same place in the beginning. We were spending countless hours on our computer doing “business” but to no avail of ROI.

      Once we got the hang of it and asked ourselves the question “What the heck am I doing here” we went out and learned good marketing. I know you have!

      David and I spend almost a year on marketing strategies and implementation. Hey….remember last summer at Daegans? lol

      We sure have come a long way my friend.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  5. Sarupa Shah
    March 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Hi Donna, great post- and I so agree with the money making activities…and I would like to share how I call my day- always the good stuff (money making AND creative) first…;)

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Hi Sarupa!

      When I was new to blogging I didn’t have the mindset of making money. I thought I would eventually, but had no plan.

      Now since I do, things are going great.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  6. Marty Diamond
    March 24, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    Does anyone have enough time these days? Limiting yourself to the 3 tasks (money making) that you must do each day is so helpful. It’s easy to get discouraged with a seemingly unending to do list. Taking control by deciding what you’ll accomplish each day and then giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done is much more empowering than ending the day upset and frustrated that you didn’t make much of a dent in your never ending list.
    Marty Diamond recently posted..Do You Need Both SEO and CRO?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      Absolutely Marty!

      It is a great feeling when you are working toward monetizing! Hey that is the real truth of why we are all here isn’t it?

      Each and every step I take, and then give myself a pat on the back is amazing.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  7. Karen Jolly March 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Wonderful post Donna!

    I have found that keeping that end goal in mind every day is what keeps me on top of my list. The minute I stop staring at my goal my list gets buried on my desk!!

    This post just got me excited to get ahead on my lists for this week. Thank you so much!

    Karen Jolly recently posted..Failure is Not an OptionMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 1:54 am #

      Hi Karen and welcome.

      I am so happy you got excited from this post! Roll up your sleeves and get started. Once you accomplish a few major tasks, you will find that your day will be longer and have more energy to do all the other things you have been dong.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  8. nick catricala March 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Donna my vegetarian and Italian friend… love you… your suggestions, your way of explaining the whole process and the actual example are great… and as USUAL I love to THANK you for sharing such great deep info to help all of us do more, be better and offer what we have with heart.

    I must say that since I start this new business last February… sticking to my agenda of the day was not easy since I was all over the places for years (yes, that was my old me haha 🙂 and as you already wrote about, being all over the place does not truly get you anywhere and for sure I DID NOT get anywhere.

    So finally for the last few months start to implement a similar system as you suggested… one difference is that my list is a little longer, I have at list 5 items on my board… I keep a notebook right beside me and that is where I jot down what I need to do during the day and also, what come up as ideas to implement AFTER I finish my task at hand…

    I can afford to have 5 because I have enough time on my hands most days and some days no time at all, so that will compensate for the days that I cannot stick to my daily tasks…

    Ok, with out making a longer romance, I like to thank you again for reinforcing the great idea to accomplish our great goals and still have time to enjoy life.

    Thanks again Donna..
    nick catricala recently posted..Spring is Here… What’s Your Plans?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 1:43 am #

      Hi Nick!

      Our list all depends on the realistic time we have to devote to it. For me and some others three things are enough. It is just like considering blogging. Can we post every day, three times a week or once a week?

      These are choices we need to make. Where we spend our time. I find that if I get my most important work done FIRST…I feel so free the rest of the day.

      It is like a big relief. I am finding that I have more time to do things off line too. Like spending some good quality time visiting my mother. This was nagging me in the back of my head. But now each week I spend some time with her.

      Thanks again for your wonderful worm words Nick.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  9. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    March 22, 2013 at 11:26 pm #


    You are so right that it is essential to take care of business first. However, I often have phone calls or clients, then online I handle small stuff like emails, Twitter Followers, Facebook notifications, Pinterest – and I have not done anything to directly create income.

    I do set up the important tasks for the day and for the week, but many are learning and connecting tasks rather than product development or strategic plans. I have to re-think my activities.


    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Love is Ending – Divorce is NearMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 1:33 am #

      Hi Erica.

      I can get caught up in all those things too. I do have to set a few hours a day for my clients on the phone. The difference is these days is that I’m focusing on production FIRST. I do my appointments late in the afternoon, then I go to my blog and social sites.

      I must admit, I did have to shave down my social sites because the it wasn’t generating income as fast as my product could.

      I do still engage, but limit my time and using it more effectively these days.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  10. Carol Lynn March 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    oooooo Donna, I love my white board 🙂 It has seen a lot of planning! I also love my Action Book – its basically a notebook but its divided up into action items, notes and “future” items. If I don’t have a list I’m dead. Lately, do you know what I’ve found working for me quite well? I make a plan the night before for what I’m going to do the next day. I set up my tasks in my time tracking software in the order I want to do them, then I start at the top and go down the list! Then if I get distracted by a phone call or a hundred different things, I can pick up where I left off and I don’t have to sit around wondering ok, where was I?? I totally agree with you that we need to have a plan – for today, for tomorrow, and for the “big picture”.
    Carol Lynn recently posted..7 Small Website Design Changes That Can Have A Big ImpactMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 12:58 am #

      With all you do Carol Lynn, I’m not surprised!

      It takes great planning and discipline to do all that you do! We do need a plan and also that “big plan.”

      Keeping our eye on the ball is what it’s all about.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  11. Babanature March 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Hello Donna,
    You really did thought us well on this post and i love it.
    But as foolish as this may sound, i don’t plan my day i just let things pass. But the thing is, i always know what to do when to do and how to do it and i guess that’s what really matters. Thanks for this lovely post Donna and do have a lovely weekend ahead…
    Babanature recently posted..How To Create A Self Hosted CDN For W3 TOTAL CACHEMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 12:45 am #

      Hi Babanature,

      I used to work that way also. But then when I looked at where I was going on monetizing my work, I wanted to do more. I started to get in a slump doing easy things first.

      Now I do what is most difficult, and then I feel free!

      Thanks for your comment.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  12. Anne March 21, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    You’re right, Donna. You feel on top of the world when you get your tasks done. It’s a great idea to write it on a white board. I have a time table on my computer that I try to stick to each day, but I think the white board is much better because you can cross things out.

    Thanks for an inspirational post.
    Anne recently posted..Step Up With ConfidenceMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 12:39 am #

      Hi Anne!

      Absolutely…It is a great feeling like I’m on top of the world when tasks are completed. I just love crossing things out!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  13. Gladys
    March 20, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Hello Donna

    You have really created a wonderful schedule, but one that works.

    You know your tip on writing just three tasks for the day is great. I think I will implement this tip, because I find that I can create a list with ten things, but maybe three or four get completed.

    Donna I love that you pointed out working backwards, this works for me as well.

    Thank you for this article.
    Gladys posted create a blueprint for your life
    Gladys recently posted..Create a blueprint for your life…You still have timeMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 24, 2013 at 12:28 am #

      Hi Gladys,

      Yes, I narrowed it down to three important tasks. Not much, but when working toward a goal and crossing each task off it is a great feeling of accomplishment.

      Eventually, you know as you chip away at it, the goal will be completed.

      Good luck with your goals,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  14. Stacy March 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    This is a great idea! I have had too many evenings where I ask myself what I accomplished that day. It’s so easy to forget what got done when there isn’t a list.

    When I do have a list (and use it) I get so much more done that I need to do. Your point about focusing on income earning activities is important. It’s all too easy to get lost doing other things that don’t bring any money. You’re right, at that point, it’s a hobby!

    Thanks for sharing your strategy!

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

      Hey Stacy,

      Great to know this little idea of mine had touched you. When I think I’m stuck and didn’t do anything to generate money in a day, that’s when I write down my list.

      There are so many things we do in just one day. If I cleaned my house I chalk it up to making money because I didn’t hire a cleaning service.

      It’s amazing what we do that is valuable.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  15. Barbara Charles
    March 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Donna – just what I needed. Everything you mentioned happens to me. I get so distracted by all the things happening in my day. Just recently I started recording what I was doing and as well started documenting my successes so that I could see what I was getting accomplished. My problem is that I work my online business full time and work my ‘regular 9 to 5’ as well. It makes for alot of work, but the goal is to eventually eliminate the other 9 to 5. It depends on how hard I want to push. But organization and planning is the key to my success especially as I try to juggle two jobs and a household. Not easy! Thanks for the tips.
    Barbara Charles recently posted..To Blog Or Not To BlogMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      Hey Barbara,

      Juggling like you do, I think you are doing a pretty good job! Having a 9-5 job and working on your business takes a lot of planning and discipline.

      You got it girl!
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  16. marquita herald
    March 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    These are terrific tactics Donna! Just one other step may help some who struggle with juggling lots of things during the day. Establishing priorities makes all the difference, but there also needs to be system put in place to manage all of the bits and pieces that tend to take on a life of their own during the day.

    For example – phone calls. One very efficient way to manage calls is to Record a voice mail message that lets callers know that you return calls at specified times (that you set) during the day. Ask callers to leave a detailed message letting you know which of those times would be best for them, and why they are calling – explain that this will allow you to be prepared to help them when you return the call. Then stick to the schedule to return calls. This not only minimizes interruptions, it helps to avoid phone tag.

    I’d love to take credit for this tip, but I learned it from time management expert Brian Clark at a seminar he held in Honolulu years ago. At the time I had 1,000+ Reprs after me 24/7 – and this system saved my life!
    marquita herald recently posted..Master Your Mindset to Increase Self ConfidenceMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      Hi Marty,

      Thanks for a great addition to this post! I must apply that to my answering service. I get too many calls during the day and just return them when I can. But giving detailed information is a great idea!

      THANK YOU !!!!!!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  17. Neamat Tawadrous
    March 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I do often write my goals down, but sometimes don’t stick to them. Of course, there are distractions everywhere! Whether it’s the kids back from school or the phone ringing or sometimes called by the school to bring something your kid forgot. It takes a lot of discipline to get to your goals.

    I like the way you broke this down and how you made it simple with the 3 things to accomplish in a day. It also feels good to cross things out once you are done with them. Three things is good and if it will get me closer to my goal everyday, that’s mission accomplished.

    Thanks Donna for such a great reminder.

    Be Blessed,


    • Donna.Merrill
      March 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I know how busy you are working from home with kids.

      Keeping things simple is a great way to accomplish goals. That’s why I wrote the post!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  18. Sylviane Nuccio
    March 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    First off I want to say that I am the queen of doing things that I should do last first. I still fight procrastination and reading a book about this right now.

    Second, yes writing down tasks really, really works and when you cross out that completed task it really feels good and that you’ve accomplish something very important you had to do.

    Third, Goal setting is so important. I was just listening some Brian Tracy tutorial recordings on Sunday and he say that people who have goals and write them down have 70% more chance to accomplish them.

    Thanks for this very educational article 🙂
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How to Improve Your Emotional HealthMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 20, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Hi Sylviane,

      I do often write my goals down, but sometimes don’t stick to them. Giving myself this regiment and sticking to it is something that I had to do. This is why I hired someone to help me be accountable.

      When you are trying to change a behavior, and cannot do it alone, then it is time to get some help! I’ve changed behaviors of mine in the past and found that the only way it really works is if I hired a life coach, or a therapist.

      Now paying someone a hefty amount of money to get my job done is really moving my butt! Sometimes you just need to pay to play.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  19. Lisa Magoulas March 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Loved this post. Can feel your energy during the entire read. I always start out good – and I’ve posted about this myself. But as you stated, the dog wants to play, husband walks in the room to chat, you name it. I’m new at this full time online employment. I need to get my act in gear and focus. I am a person who gets distracted easily, so I’m taking all the notes and direction I can. Thank you for your words and now it’s time for me to place confidence in myself. I did great so far this week – as I promised myself I would. Let’s see how the week progresses. Take care.
    Lisa Magoulas recently posted..Dairy Free Clam ChowderMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 20, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Hi Lisa,

      Glad I can lend a helping hand! I too get distracted easily. I am not an organized person by nature and do have to struggle to be consistent.

      When getting a major goal done, I have a million excuses to put it off. Just like I do going to the gym he he.

      But, I had to change my behavior. I’ve done so in the past with different things, and now I have to do it this way.

      Since I worked backwards from my goal and then broke it down in little tasks, so far so good!

      I wrote this post to share with others because many of us are in the same boat.

      Good luck with your tasks,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  20. Mayura
    March 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Do you know that you are like sunshine, enlighten lives around you? 😉

    I always remind you when I feel like procrastinating. That’s a huge weakness I had and now I’m so and so much better, thanks to you Donna.

    You know I’m catching up with stuff this week and yet I have around 60 notifications to check on FB and G+ together. I don’t check notifications until I finish my goals for today. It’s my last one. The To-Do list is with me 😉

    RIGHT priorities always matters. I feel much productive Donna. Your words are very true and I must say those who implement will really feel it.

    Also I must thank for my friends around me for understanding my situations. I’ve noticed when I message y’all about not being able to visit blogs for couple of days 🙂

    lol 😀 I spend all may day with PJs too Donna. Oh I have it now too :O

    Have a very productive week dear 🙂

    Mayura recently posted..3 Reasons to Use SlideShare to Promote Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      Hi Mayura!

      I am happy to be an inspiration. I know that sometimes when things that life puts in our way, we do get backed up.

      Please realize that people understand. You are a rock star when it comes to teaching my friend. You need not apologize for being away from your computer for a week.

      Your followers are faithful ones and all understand. You are not only well respected, but well loved.

      I know it is difficult when we are always “there” for each other in our blogging communities, but we must put our focus on our priorities.

      Have a wonderful week,

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  21. Anna March 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Although I recognize the efficiency and the benefits of planning our days, it hasn’t worked for me; I’ve spent too much time with the planning, and I always felt disappointed when I couldn’t realize all the items on my to-do-list. Maybe I haven’t known my boundaries, and have written too many things on the list. Who knows…

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      Sometimes we do write too many things on our list. That does become a problem because it overwhelms us.

      Try one thing at a time….hey maybe that will work for you.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  22. Steve Vernon March 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Wow, Donna! What a much-needed sermon for so many of us in this home-based business arena! I am definitely one who needed to read this. If most of us performed in an office situation like we do in our own home “businesses”, we’d have been fired a long time ago. Perhaps many of us have. We just don’t want to admit it. Time to get back to work! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      He He He Steve!

      Love the analogy! The only way for me to learn and apply is to write about it. In the midst of my own Planning boot camp, I find it is working.

      For me, it is a giant step. I try to stick to my DMO, but somehow get lost. Hiring a coach to be accountable is the best thing I’ve done!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  23. Cynthia March 19, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    This is something that I have not done in a while. I have not planned by day. I will be purchasing a white board today. Thank you for the incredible advice.

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

      Hi Cynthia

      Welcome to my blog. So happy that this could inspire you. So get out there and use that white board!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  24. Tonya Stephens March 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    I like the way you broke this down but made it simple with the 3 things to accomplish in a day. That doesn’t seem as overwhelming as 10 things or even 6 things….3 is good and it can be almost impossible to do if you don’t make it your plan!
    There are way too many distractions working from home and it takes a lot of discipline to get to your goals.
    Thanks for reminding us what it really takes to get to the revenue generating spot.

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 19, 2013 at 12:47 am #

      Hi Tonya,

      I like keeping it simple. Three things to accomplish can be a lot too. It all depends on our end game.

      Once we realize what our goal is, we break it down, work backwards and stick to our tasks.

      Working from home has many distractions and it does takes discipline to achieve our goals.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  25. Chery Schmidt
    March 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    HI Donna, This is a great reminder, I used to be very good at setting up my schedule the night before then when I woke up I had my plan of action ready for me. I guess I got off track somehow. Thanks for the great article I am going to get back on track starting tonight. Chery 🙂
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Taking Care Of You First To Create More Wealth And AbundanceMy Profile

  26. Steve Borgman March 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Your suggestions, Donna, remind me of Leo Babauta’s 3 MITs from Zen to Done. It’s really true that if we can concentrate on the most important tasks, we’ll be successful in the long run. What generates all the side activities is Resistance. The more resistance we have toward a task, the more we should pay attention, because that task is probably the one that will make us the most money.

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Absolutely Steve.

      I’ve pondered that resistance too! What would happen if all of a sudden my income would increase? Change! Am I resisting change? Hmmm..maybe.

      That’s why I had to give myself that extra push to get things done. I don’t like it when I resist.


      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  27. Adrienne
    March 18, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Bravo girl, great share here.

    I remember about four years ago now being taught this and that you should do the most important money making tasks first thing in the morning so that all the other ones won’t matter if you get caught up in something else.

    That you should write out your daily goals and be sure to achieve them all. I’ve been doing this now ever since I was taught that but at times I have gotten away from doing the money making tasks first thing only because I’m so eager to answer my comments on my blog.

    Now I don’t lose sight of what it takes to run my business so I do make sure they are done before the close of my day. I know though that there aren’t a lot of people who are as disciplined but when it’s up to you to bring in the money you may get a really quick education on that. I have no doubt this post will help.

    Thanks for another great lesson Donna and you have a wonderful week.

    Adrienne recently posted..You Can Write But Can You BlogMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm #


      You are the most organized person I know! From your blogs to social media, you have a great system in place.

      Lots of people like me, tend to get lost and lack consistency. I was drowning in that hole!

      I had to hire a coach not to teach me, but to get after me so I can be accountable to my project. When he looked over my stuff, he told me and David that we were crazy! We had 95% of work done, but just sitting there collecting dust.

      Now I’m on a production schedule. It is a challenge for me to do this, that’s why the share! I know many people in the same boat I’m in.

      So, as I grow, I would like them to grow with me. Hey, Maybe I can become the next Adrienne Smith! lol

      Luv ya,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  28. Corina Ramos March 18, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Great advice Donna. I can’t go through my day without a to-do list, it’s just impossible, especially when you’re constantly hit with distractions.

    I’ve tried winging it once and I was all over the place and accomplished nothing that day. I went to bed more frustrated and had trouble falling asleep because I knew there were things I didn’t get done. I’ll never do that again 🙂

    And you are so right, it’s an awesome feeling knowing you got everything done and makes the day go by so much faster 🙂
    Corina Ramos recently posted..The Three Best Types Of Work from Home JobsMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Corina,

      That is great! You follow your to-do list! I haven’t and lost many nights of sleep because of it.

      This is why I had to hire a coach to push me. I found myself floundering and needed to take care of my money making issues FIRST.

      It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  29. Lisa
    March 18, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    Donna, I forgot about my white board. I used to use it faithfully. I must get back to that. Thanks for reminding me about it. I even know what it is still and it has that eraser.

    It’s so easy to start online on email or social sites and get lost. Happens to me too often now. Goal for tonight is to get that white board back out.

    I’m jealous you already got your tasks done for the day! Have a great new week.
    Lisa recently posted..Let’s All Bing It While We Search Online and Get RewardedMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi Lisa!

      Yes, get that white board out! Review your goal and see how many tasks you must do, then break it all the way down to your time limit. A few months, a week, whatever it is.

      Each day write down ONLY what is realistic. Before you browse ANYTHING, get those tasks completed.

      It’s the first time I have done this religiously. I’m committed to it and did have to give myself a few “off days.” But…the goal will be accomplished!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  30. Sue Price
    March 18, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    Hi Donna

    This is such a good post and necessary message for so many people online. I spent a long time being lost when I came online. I have run offline businesses and had no trouble focusing on income producing activities there but did not transfer the skills over right away.

    I think of me I kept changing what I was doing and did not focus. That never happened offline.

    I still find the structure of my day a bit all over the place. Because of the time difference between Australia and the US I find myself being social in my morning. I am still sorting out the best way for me to work.

    I love this post Donna.

    Sue Price recently posted..Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      Because of the time difference, I find myself socializing late night. But what I have been implementing now is a strict schedule that I commit to.

      BEFORE I do anything, I do my daily plan. I was floundering around in production having things half done until I hired a coach. He made me realize I was like so many marketers that have a great idea, product, service, but it just lingers.

      It is difficult to adapt to, but the only way I could do it was to pay some big bucks to hire a coach. Now I’m accountable!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  31. Damayanthi March 18, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Hi Donna,

    The plan you mentioned is easy said than done 🙂 I know from experience I used to write a LIST (a great big one) and put it somewhere and I am busy all day. I look at the list end of the day & I may have done 2-3 things on the list. (Like going shopping with a list & buying everything but the things on the list – yes I have done that)

    I learned the hard way to keep the damn list in front of me. (I wish I read something like this earlier)

    You said 3 items, mine is 3-5 (maximum is 5) and I do an End of Day Report (EOD) This include what I have done and ideas I got through out the day. Yes, I do crossing out the things I accomplished & I love that part.
    I checked mine now, mmm…. I probably have 2 income generating activities, I will incorporate your advise above.

    I agree we need to work back-words and need to have a plan and then a strategy to take action.

    There is so much value in this post Donna thanks for sharing.

    Damayanthi recently posted..Ever Had ‘Fever of Unknown Origin’ (FUO)?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 18, 2013 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Damayanthi,

      If you put too much on your Day List, you will only be self defeating. It will cause anxiety and sometimes just giving up, or procrastination.

      Working backwards looking at the end of the goal works best for me. This way I can write all the things down to get me there.

      Then I can break it down to small projects. Then, make a daily task that is realistic.

      Doing this first during the day BEFORE you do anything else works best. Once you get on a roll, it becomes a habit.

      Good luck with it.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

  32. Harleena Singh
    March 18, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Awesome Donna!

    I couldn’t agree more with ALL of what you just said 🙂

    Oh yes…there are distractions everywhere! Whether it’s the kids back from school, the door bell ringing, or being online – especially the social media like Twitter and Facebook, and of course the emails that never stop coming! we need to accept these distractions as a part of our life and learn to live with them by making changes in our life so that we aren’t really affected by them – yet manage to achieve our goals.

    You mentioned some very important points about how we can achieve our goals. Though I rarely write anything on pen and paper any longer but I would surely be trying out writing three things and getting them done by the end of the day and seeing the results. Most of us do a lot more in the day I guess, though all of it isn’t targeted to earn money, yet they are things that need to be done. Somethings have become more of a habit now, or perhaps being a full time mother, I know how I need to plan my day, or else things really don’t work for me.

    Speaking of myself, my day’s planned in such a way that everything gets a little time. I won’t say I spend maximum time in generating income, though am working towards that, or perhaps I know my hubby is there to take care of that aspect too. Things would change and become more targeted once my kids grow up and are on their own paths. I guess that is a major part I cannot ignore, yet I do so to the best of my ability. 🙂

    What works best is working backwards, and I do that often when I have deadlines to meet where my writing projects are concerned. Just doing what’s required first and being fully present and focused in your work is what matters. That’s the time I switch off everything else and get down to what needs to be done.

    Thanks for sharing this motivational post with us. Have a great week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..How to Create Life Options for YourselfMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      March 18, 2013 at 12:57 am #


      Seems like you are doing it already with your writing. Being a mom comes first. I know how much time that takes! Also having a husband to bring in the income is great so you don’t feel pressed to make money as much as other marketers on line.

      You said it all when you mentioned that doing what is required first, and being fully present and focused in your work is what matters.

      We have to take our tasks one day at a time and accomplish them.

      Thanks for your wonderful comment,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

    • Sajan Elanthoor March 24, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Excellent post and reply, often internet marketers fail because of lack of planning and descipline. There are too many things in online world to distract us like email, facebook, twitter, you name it.. thank you for the excellent post.
      Sajan Elanthoor recently posted..3 Easy Ways To Research Your Market And Better Understand Your Buyers!My Profile

      • Donna.Merrill
        March 24, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

        Hi Sajan!

        Yes the internet if full of distractions. That is why so many bloggers end up just blogging and not monetizing.

        Taking the most important tasks of the day FIRST – especially if you are working on monetizing – will certainly take the load off your mind.

        One step at a time will bring you to success!

        Donna.Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

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