ROBERTA: Continuing our theme of procrastination (who knew we'd end up with a theme for the week?), we are lucky and delighted to have life and business coach Jill Crossland back to visit. She's been watching us this week and has some ideas and suggestions for more productive writing. Thanks for coming Jill!
JILL: Nice to be back ladies. I do pop in every now and then to see what you are all up to but if I read you every day well then I would just be procrastinating.
We all do it and there is no doubt that the internet has made it even more tempting. As noted in your August 9th post, some procrastination can be positive. This stems from the fact that the tasks are productive--and for some of you--on two levels. You walked, gardened (or pickled!) while ideas for your books where taking shape in your head.
As one writer put it ‘other things just slow me down’ and are therefore counter productive. These are usually the routine tasks; such as email and social media. They do have a place in your day but so that they don’t creep into your writing time they need to be scheduled. Most of you want to write first thing in the morning so the first email check could be 10 or 11ish with your coffee, then mid afternoon and just before you end your work day should be sufficient. If you are tempted to break the schedule ask yourself why or what are you expecting. While reading this you probably have your email browser open ‘just in case’. This is the another habit to break; keep the browser closed and get rid of that little sound or pop up that alerts you to new email. When you work and write from a home office blogs, Facebook and Twitter are all part of today’s connectedness with other writers, fans and friends. How frequently you post or respond to others posts should also be planned. It is in the randomness that you lose time.
If you are on the road promoting a book then yes keep the excitement up as you go from city to city. When you are in the process of writing you need to decide how crucial each of these media truly are. What results do you want from you internet presence and which one is getting you those results are two more questions. You may like your blog/website but reach a wider audience from say FaceBook so schedule accordingly. Make sure that your posts are interconnected or feeding into each other as this also saves time. You web person should be able to help you with that. While the ‘hold all my calls’ secretary isn’t feasible hiring a virtual assistant can make a difference in one’s time management. They can take care of administrative tasks for a few hours on a weekly or monthly basis and are well trained in the areas of newsletters, databases, email announcements and correspondence.
The Writers Challenge got a big response. What you offered was a goal and accountability; both of which are strong tools in combating procrastination. Every now and then we will always have one of those days when you cannot seem to settle down to do anything, those are often reminders that we need to spend some time with family, friends or just be by yourself without thinking about work.
ROBERTA: Thanks again Jill for your thoughts and tips! Jill is the editor of Timefinders Online Magazine and a women's business coach. You can find her at her website. Now the floor is open for your questions about organization, or procrastination, or setting goals????