increase productivity

One Magic Number to Increase Productivity

One Magic Number to Increase Productivity


Hey everyone,increase productivity

I’m going to throw something out there. Tell me if you identify with any of these questions:

Where do I start?

Which method of driving traffic should I use?

What should I write about?

What sort of product should I create?

What do I need to do to build my mailing list?

How do you install WordPress?

What domain name should I pick?

How can I monetise my blog?

How can I get regular, recurring income?

Where is the best place to outsource?

What’s the most effective way of advertising?increase productivity

How can you start on a budget?

I could go on and list many, many more questions. But out of all those, I bet you’ve asked at least one of them at some point. But I bet that more than likely you’ve asked more than one at once, am I right?

For a newbie who wants to start an online business they could indeed find all those questions and more flying through their head. This in itself can be overwhelming and, in turn, crippling.

Even those who have made a start can find themselves confronted with many of these questions and more that confuse them, frighten them or overwhelm. All this can be so crippling that they end up quitting.

Sound at all familiar?

I’ve been there myself, I know what it’s like. It’s questions like these that stopped me taking the necessary action for many years. So how can you get past these kind of stumbling blocks?

With the help of my magic number!

increase productivityThe number is: 141.

This is just a little mnemonic I use to help drive home the point of a very, very simple principle. Now, it’s not anything profound and it’s something that I’ve heard many marketers talk about. Yet we can still end up forgetting or even ignoring it. I like to call it the “One for One Principle”. Hence the mnemonic, 141.

Just what is the One for One Principle?

The One for One Principle


The One for One Principle is very closely related to another popular principle. You may have come across the acronym, “K.I.S.S”.

increase productivity

No, no, no! Not THAT kind of kiss!

“K.I.S.S.” – “Keep It Simple, Stupid”.

What does that mean, exactly?

Basically, it just means that, whatever it is you’re doing, you need to keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate things and make things harder for yourself than they perhaps already are or need to be.

Now, the One for One Principle helps us to apply K.I.S.S. by keeping us focused on one thing at a time. This is a hugely important strategy in whatever we do. So, let’s consider a couple of examples.

How to K.I.S.S. With 141


Let’s imagine that you want to create a product. Remember those questions we raised at the beginning? One of those was, “What sort of product should I create?”. Another of the questions was, “What should I write about?” Do you see how already we have two questions that we could be dealing with at once? Depending on what it is we’re dealing with, those two questions could easily turn into four, five, ten and so on.

When it comes to creating products, whether they be for a marketplace or for our subscribers, there’s a piece of advice that I hear a lot from many of the top marketers: “One problem, one solution.” Simple, right?

increase productivity

All too often we can sabotage ourselves by making things far more complicated than they need be when in reality all that’s needed is one solution for one problem at a time. More often than not people neither need nor want a vast amount of information that covers a whole ream of subjects. All they want is a solution to the particular problem that they’d like addressing at any one time.

So then, for example, if you see that there’s a need in the market for WordPress security training, then why would you spend time agonising about how to teach them about driving traffic, list-building and product creation?

You can apply the same principle to what you work on yourself. For example, let’s say that you’re a complete newbie with no background and no experience of Internet marketing at all. Why would you worry about how to drive traffic if you haven’t so much as even learned how to set up a WordPress site, let alone actually have something of value to drive the traffic to?

Do you get the point?

One solution for one problem.

Once you have tackled one issue then you can move onto the next. Likewise with content or product creation, once you have focused on one subject you can think about creating a product based on another need. Not only does it help you to keep focused increase productivityon the subject at hand, but it also helps you to create real, targeted value around that one subject rather than spreading yourself too thinly and perhaps covering many subjects but none of them in sufficient detail.

Also, by applying the One for One Principle you are enabling your subscriber/customer to be able to focus on the one thing and not feel overwhelmed by a load of information, some of which they may not even need.

I have to admit that even now I sometimes slip into the trap of worrying over too many issues at once instead of just concentrating on one thing at a time. But learning to apply the One for One Principle is one of the key factors that got me started. If I hadn’t just gone for it I’m pretty sure I’d never have got to the stage I am now.

I used to be a person who wanted to get everything in place first. So rather than taking what I knew and running with it, or learning one new thing at a time, applying it and then moving on to the next, I’d end up doing nothing because I’d sit and think things like: “Well, I have this to do… and this… and that and then that… and that….” – the result? I’d end up not even getting the first thing on the list done because I had too much information rolling around in my head and couldn’t work out what to do.increase productivity

Then there are the self-sabotaging obstacles. You know the sort, those doubts and ‘what ifs’ that creep in our mind and find a comfortable little corner to sit and breed. I had those in abundance for sure! But more often than not, the imagined ‘what ifs’ are far worse than anything we end up experiencing by just taking action and getting things going.

So, always keep things simple. Remember, whether you’re creating content for your subscribers/customers or whether you’re addressing a part of your business, always remember 141 – the One for One Principle – one problem, one solution. This has helped me enormously and I’m sure that it will help you too.

I really hope that you enjoyed this post and found it useful. I’d love to hear your experiences with what I’ve talked about here. Have you struggled with trying to do to many things at once in the past? What helped you to overcome this? Are struggling with this now? How do you think 141 will help you?

Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to give Albert a click!


Glenn is a Certified iPro Partner

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25 thoughts on “One Magic Number to Increase Productivity”

  1. Hi Glenn,

    What a cool thing, 141 I never would have thought to put such an easy thing together. I will remember this one.

    Keeping it simple is easy for me to remember, except when I’m trying to do too many things at a time and then I calm down and remember it.

    Another slogan I like to use is first things first, It brings me back on track.

    Thank you for putting this course together for our benefit to help us grow as Internet Marketers. I really appreciated it and it was a kind thing to do for others that gave massive value.

    You have an Awesome week!

    Linda Schrier recently posted…Learning From OthersMy Profile

  2. Very good post as always Glenn.

    A good reminder to stay focused on One Thing, either when creating product or doing anything for that matter. 🙂

    It’s a work in progress, and I have to pull myself out of wanting to complicate things, often. 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed this 141 post Glen and many of the issues definately rang true. I felt as though you were actually talking directly at me personally, well done and I’m sure lots of others will feel the same.
    Bye the way; your blog looks great – a real inspirational resource!

    Thank you,

    Brian Butler recently posted…Blogging updateMy Profile

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks so much for those kind words, it’s always nice to receive a little commendation. Of course, what’s even better is to know that my content has made an impact. After all, that’s the aim. I’m glad you like the look of my blog too. 🙂

      Writing has always been my forté, right from childhood, so it’s not something that I have ever had any difficulty with. But recently I have tried to infuse a little more ‘me’ into my posts, e-mails, etc. It seems to be working well as I’ve had a few comments about how people have felt a connection to what I’ve written, so that’s great because it’s what I’m aiming for.

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I hope you’re having a great week my friend.

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Seven Silly Mistakes That Could Be Killing Your BlogMy Profile

  4. Hi Glenn, that’s great advice. Trying to over-complicate things or try and address too many things at once can lead to overload and result in nothing getting done. By focussing on 1 solution for 1 problem, a focussed and clear resolution follows, creating value. 141 is going to be one of those mnemonics that I remember for a long time and try and apply. Thanks for the post – I found it really useful.
    Rich Emmett recently posted…Success FundamentalsMy Profile

    1. Hey Rich,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you like the 141 Principle and found it useful. It’s one of those things that is so simple it can be overlooked (I certainly did for a long time), however it’s such a powerful principle to bear in mind and apply.

      Keep on applying 141, get stuff done and I look forward to seeing your success! 😀

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Make Money Online – Can You Do It?My Profile

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Welcome to my blog 🙂

      I haven’t yet had any experience with developing a training program so I can’t really advise you too much about that itself. All I would say is that you need to know what your ultimate goal is, and plan out how you aim to reach it. Write down all the steps you need to take in order to get there. Then, break down each step into smaller steps, again writing each one down. Eventually you should have smaller, more manageable steps that you can tackle one at a time and you may even notice some that can be put aside for the moment or even discarded.

      Although I do like to write things down on old-fashioned pen and paper, I find that mindmaps are invaluable for planning stuff out. For me, having it all there in front of me strips away a lot of the confusion and makes it much, much less complicated.

      I hope you manage to get your training program up and running. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…23 Useful Internet Marketing ToolsMy Profile

  5. Hi Glenn

    I love the 141 idea and yes it is in line with KISS.

    I am no longer a newbie but sometimes I feel like one and it is always when I start to complicate things or try to get too many things done.

    When I started online I was a technophobic and therefore fell victim for trying to learn everything before I implemented and of course that does not work. It is interesting as that is not how I had operated in my offline businesses.

    Great advice Glenn.

    Sue Price recently posted…The Truth About 100 Percent CommissionsMy Profile

    1. Hi Sue,

      I’m glad you like the 141 Principle. It’s all too easy to try taking on too many things at once. Even though I know the pitfalls, I STILL find it creeping up on me and I have to give myself a figurative slap to get back on track and focus on just the one thing!

      My problem when starting was kind of the opposite to yourself in that I’m not a technophobe and have a lot of knowledge and experience with tech stuff. This caused me to be overly concerned with having everything in place first before taking action, rather than just taking imperfect action, getting things going and touching things up as I went along. But I overcame that and that is what was needed for me to begin the momentum.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Sue, always a pleasure to see you. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…How to Avoid Guaranteed FailureMy Profile

  6. Hey there Glenn
    I find I get adhd when I am trying to get stuff done and I also find that I am forever putting off the tasks I need to do if they are boring like my Tax. This then plagues me and I find I can start to look at it but then it is all too hard so off I go on another tangent. I am trying to overcome this by writing lists and doing one thing at a time. I recently saw the comment that it is hard by the yard but a cinch by the inch. This is quite true and really helps when you take bite sized chunks and always move forward. set a time limit for each task and get rid of any distractions. Productivity is truly a science
    Jenelle Livet recently posted…So Shiny object Syndrome Still a problemMy Profile

    1. Hi Jenelle,

      Writing lists and doing one thing at a time is a great strategy, I’m sure it will help you.

      I like that expression, “It is hard by the yard but a cinch by the inch,” I haven’t heard that one before. But it certainly rings true. And yes, setting a time limit and getting rid of distractions is essential. The combination of this and having a ‘to do’ list is something that I learned from Alex Jeffreys. I’m still not as good with this as I ought to be, but when i do implement it I see my productivity shoot upwards.

      Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I look forward to seeing your progress as we take this journey 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…How To Be More ProductiveMy Profile

  7. Hi Glenn,
    I have a little ADHD so have trouble focussing on one thing at a time but I do find that I have little niggly bits that haunt me until I get them done. I find that these diVtract me the most asI know I need to do them but then do every thig on my power to avoid them. I have been writing myself lists and cruising through a lot more work. I find if I am challenged by something I cannot move on until I get it done. so I am in training to get past both these hurdles thinks for this post great stuff
    Jenelle Livet recently posted…So Shiny object Syndrome Still a problemMy Profile

  8. Hi Glenn,

    What a cool principle, 141. You have a great mind to put it like this. After a few years online, I finally got it! OK, I don’t call it 141 but basically I try to adhere to one thing or a few things that revolve around one project. Since I regained my focus and I am finding that “magically” everything is falling into place.

    The problem is that most newbies fail to do it because there is so much to learn and like you say there is no sense about worrying about everything at once because that leads into chaos, lack of productivity and eventually a failure. Unfortunately, no matter how much more experienced marketers preach it most people don’t follow this 141 principle.

    So like some of us, over time they will learn or like most they will fail.

    Take care,

    Dita recently posted…Simple Traffic Solutions Review – Traffic Billionaire’s SecretsMy Profile

    1. Hey Dita,

      That’s so true. That’s why I think it’s so advisable to have a coach/mentor. But even then, people still don’t apply it and then still end up struggling. It is the personal application of this principle that is the key.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. I hope all’s well with you and that you had a great weekend. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Ten Must-Visit BloggersMy Profile

  9. Oh Glenn, who hasn’t beat ourselves up asking all these questions and being so darn overwhelmed…

    The problem with newbies though is they aren’t sure what the first step is then the second, etc. So let’s say it’s putting up a WordPress site only to get that we don’t know what we’re doing. We start and then realize oh dang, I was suppose to forward my domain and all these other things that keep hitting us in the face.

    Your point about worrying about things though that you haven’t gotten to yet is spot on. I always tell people to never purchase a product just because it’s something you want to know how to do. You need to ask yourself how can it benefit me right now. If it can’t don’t buy it because you’re likely not going to do anything with it anyway.

    Great advice and I’m glad I don’t have to listen to myself with this stuff anymore. LOL!!!

    Adrienne recently posted…DoFollow or NoFollow: Heated DebateMy Profile

    1. Hey Adrienne,

      That’s so right about newbies. When I was first getting started one of my biggest bug-bears was that so often people presumed a certain amount of knowledge or understanding. So for example, I’d get a product and it would say, “Just do such-and-such” or, “All you have do is this…”. My question would be, “HOW!?” At the end of the day, in a lot of cases, if a newbie knew how to do a lot of the things a product is telling them to do then they wouldn’t need the product! That’s where having a coach, or at least an unusually good newbies’ product comes in.

      That’s an important point about buying things. If you don’t need it right now then there’s probably not much point in buying it. I know that I have definitely done this in the past and there are still things on my hard drive that are no doubt excellent, but I’ve never touched them. I’ve sometimes come across things and have forgotten what they are or why it was that I felt the need to buy them!

      Thanks for your visit, Adrienne. A pleasure as always. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…23 Useful Internet Marketing ToolsMy Profile

  10. Hey Glenn,

    You are right on target when you say keep it simple! We can drive ourselves nuts by trying to get just about everything we know and putting it into a product. I know, been there, done that until I learned to K.I.S.S. So true!

    When I started my product I immediately realized this. So I kept it simple. Focused, step by step and viola…I completed it in time. (yes…I also had a time schedule for myself that really helped out)

    Keeping things simple to me, is the best way to reach out to people and teach them something.

    Great post!

    donna merrill recently posted…Have You Come A Long Way, Blogger?My Profile

    1. Hi Donna,

      Simple is always good. I’m a big fan of simple! Even so, I do sometimes still fall into the trap of thinking about too many things at once. But something that definitely helps with this is what you mentioned about having a time schedule

      When it comes to teaching people I think we sometimes forget how little they may know, so there’s a danger of bombarding them with too much information or information that’s too advanced. It’s definitely something we need to guard against.

      Thanks for your great comment. I hope you have yourself a great weekend. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…How To Be More ProductiveMy Profile

  11. Yeh I agree Glenn. If you worry about multiple things at the same time, this can cause overload and discourage you from doing anything. It’s always best to break things down into small parts, and do each part really well. The quality of your work will be higher, and you will actually get it done without getting stressed.
    Jon Rhodes recently posted…Millionaire Mindset Subliminal MP3My Profile

    1. Hi Jon,

      Nice to see you, buddy 🙂

      Yep, spot on. So often I’ve got myself bogged down with thinking about too many things at once, so I’ve addressed a lot of things poorly rather than just one thing well.

      And you’re so right about not getting stressed. You may well have a lot of things that need to be done and you’re conscious of getting them all done ASAP, but if you just focus on one thing and put the others to one side it’s amazing just how much more focused and less stressed you feel, even though you still have the other things that desperately need doing. At least if you’re focusing on doing one thing well you’re taking control and making progress, which helps to lessesn the stress.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Jon. Always a pleasure. 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…How To Be More ProductiveMy Profile

  12. Glenn, love it! I’ve used this approach recently and get so much more done. I set aside 1 hour to work 1 or 2 networks. Then I drop everything and move on to work 1 network. So on, and so on. We can only do one thing at a time anyway, so why not boost your productivity by being brutally efficient, and focusing all your creative energies on 1 task?

    I’m sharing this post on Kingged(dot)com because it rocks 😉

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…Check Your Vibe Now or Suffer the ConsequencesMy Profile

    1. Hey Ryan,

      I’m glad you’ve had first-hand experience of implementing this principle. It’s so simple yet so often overlooked. It’s definitely more worthwhile to focus on just one thing at a time. Although I sometimes struggle with even one thing! lol!

      Thanks for stopping by, commenting and sharing. You rock too my friend 😉

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…DON’T Try to Succeed at All Costs!My Profile

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