Mar 242013
 
So much to do, so little time

Don’t just be physically at your keyboard…be here…be fully present.

In this day, when everybody seems to always be in a hurry to get as much done in as little time as possible, multi – tasking seems to be how everybody does everything.

50 years ago multitasking used to be  jotting down bullet points for a report while talking on the phone about something related to the report.

At home, multi-tasking was when a stay – at – home mom (the hardest working person on the planet, by the way) was holding a toddler on her hip while stirring a pot of soup.

Today, that stay – at – home mom might be running an online business while juggling the toddler.  She might even be a blogger and an important part of her blogging activity, wedged among keeping the advertisements on her blog timely, getting rid of outdated plugins and replacing them with newer ones that do a better job, checking her email for blog related information…and juggling that toddler…an important...the most important…part of her blogging life is writing content for her blog.

Consistantly Creating Compelling (Quality) Content.  That is THE most important part of her blogging life.

Its your most important part, too…so treat it that way.

Be fully present when you are writing.  Not just present physically, sitting at your keyboard or dictating into a digital voice recorder or writing your post out longhand with a pencil on a legal pad…not the physical act of writing, but being there mentally, completely there mentally.

It can be hard to be totally there when you write (today’s world is full of things that can easily sidetrack us),but to have a successful blog, with good quality content, to Consistently Create Compelling (Quality) Content…in So much to do, so little timeother words, to give the site visitor what Google calls “a quality user expirience”…you have to bite the bullet and…like Nike…”Just Do It!”

But how?  Its hard…especially if you are that stay – at – home mom with a toddler on her hip…to be 100% present when you write.

Here are 5 tips for writing productivity (and quality as well):

  • Have a specific writing time.  Set aside a specific time on a specific day(s) when you write…and when all you do is write.  In my case that is 9-noon, Mondays and Wednesdays.  It doesn’t have to be three hours in a row on two different days, though.  It can be an hour and a half once a week if that is the time you have available.  What is important is that you have a regular, specific time when your “job” is to write.  I schedule doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, appliance repairmen…virtually everything…around my writing time.  You should too.  Remember…its not how many hours that are important, its what you do with the time you do set aside.  Quality over quantity.
  • Take breaks.  A specific writing time doesn’t mean being a slave to the keyboard.  Figure out a schedule for breaks that gives your typing fingers a break without breaking the flow of what you are writing.  For me, that means a 33/13 schedule…write for 33 minutes and take a 13 min break, then start again.(I know…33/13 is weird.  I picked that because it is weird and memorable, unlike 20/10 or similar.  It gets my attention and says “Write, Bob!)The point is, take quickie breaks, long enough to get up and move around, use the bathroom, eat a snack…whatever…just to keep from getting burned out.Set a timer.  I use a little desktop utility called Egg Timer, that can be .
  • When you can’t write…write anyway.  Sometimes the muse seems to be on vacation and words seem impossible to string together, even when you know what you want to convey.It sounds boring (it is) and counter – productive (its not), but sit at your keyboard with a blank screen, think about what you want to write about, and wait for the muse to get back to work.  It will happen, eventually,and the “blank” times will get to be fewer and fewer.  The important thing is that if it is writing time, be prepared to write, on the same schadule you have already set.  Take your breaks when you are supposed to and sit, prepared to write when you are supposed to be writing.And that is all you do for that time.  Be ready to write.  Not ready plus TV.  Not ready plus email.  Not ready plus making your shopping list.  Ready to write, period.
  • Your writing time is ONLY writing time.  Sit in front of the empty space, be it computer screen, legal pad, digital voice recorder, or whatever you write your posts on, and write…or wait for the words to come while right there.  Don’t check email.  Don’t check your blog(s) to see if plugins need updating or if the design needs tweaking.  Don’t split time between the blank page and TV.  You are sitting there to write and only to write.
  • Be comfortable when you write.  In all likelihood you are alone when you write (unless you are that stay – at – home mom, surrounded by children) so be comfortable.  A standing excuse among politicians who feel a blogger’s sting is “Who cares what blogs say…they are just a bunch of recluses sitting in front of their computer in their underwear who don’t know what they are talking about.”  Well, if that’s how you are comfortable, go for it...just do your research so you do know what you are talking about.

Blocking out a specific time to write can initially be hard…I still struggle with it, though not as much as I used to…and the more other things you have going on the harder it is, but:

The more you do something difficult, the easier it is.  Remember, psychologists say that it takes 21 days of repetitve action to make something a habit.  Use these tips to make Consistantly Creating (Quality) Content a habit.

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Bob Hayles

A Luddite at heart, Bob has adapted to being in a tech world adequately. The King of Cheap, he enjoys sharing his WordPress and inexpensive web video production skills with others. He abhors Geek-lish, but translates it into normal human language quite well. He avoids code as much as possible, and breaks out in hives at the mere sight of php, but he will make minor adjustments to HTML. He also reverts to being a Luddite at JuicyMaters.com and is something of a political junkie/blowhard at Common-Sense-Conversation.com.

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