This question is primarily aimed at webmasters who do everything themselves from research to writing content, SEO, analytics, gaining knowledge, etc. Do you feel at the end of a working day that you haven't got a lot to show for it? I personally find progress to be really slow because I do everything myself and a lot of what I do is quite intangible.
I'm lucky if I can write one page of content a day which may or may not impact my bottom line in any significant way and that doesn't leave much time for anything else. I suppose content is the only tangible thing where I could say 'I have this new page to show for today'.
I often spend a full day just going through my logs and mining the keywords for ideas or looking at analytics reports trying to see what I can do to improve site performance. Sometimes all I do is just read either to gain knowledge or just to do research for content. It also takes a lot of time to find and assess the potential of affiliate programs. And there are a million other things that take up time.
All of these are small (tiny) steps that I take each day which will help in the long run. I know that. But that doesn't help me when at the end of the day I think 'what the heck did I just spend the day doing? what have I got to show for today?' It also doesn't help when most of the books you read tell you to have your 'team' do this and do that.
What is your philosophy? How do you deal with the frustration of slow progress? How do you cope with being a one-(wo)man band?
For me this would be the one when payment arrives for an invoice :)
But seriously, when working on my own websites I do exactly the same as you. I get satisfaction when I add one of my own "brainwaves" to my website. I know there is nothing tangible in this but I am normally happy to have done this (at least until I see that it hasn't worked). :(
When working on websites for other people it's a bit different. The satisfaction comes from completing the work and shipping the invoice off. ;)
I start off planning say, five tasks. Or seven. My day is peppered with unforeseen emergencies - customer calls, emails saying something needs fixing, and other things that divert me from the original plan.
If I knock off over 50% (3/5 or 4/7) it's a good day. 5/5 or 7/7, well that's a phenomenal day.