Last week, we talked about some causes and fixes for being overwhelmed. Unrealistic goals and overcommitment are two major offenders. Today, we talk about how to tackle what we have to do.
How Do You Eat An Elephant? One Bite At a Time
One major mistake we make when creating lists of goals or things to do is we frequently make the bite too big. What happens if we do that when eating a steak? We choke. Same with tasks. Look at your goals and then break them into the smallest pieces possible. This makes it far less daunting to tackle and will give you a greater sense of accomplishment.
Write AMAZING BLOG and get a BAZILLION followers!
Great goal, but needs to be broken down into about 50 parts..okay, maybe 100. A lot of what I do in my blogging class is help you gather content and building materials and then organize them for the most effective use. Wonderful goal to build a house, but probably a good idea to have a blue-print and buy materials before we start swinging a hammer.
Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail
This was a saying we used a lot when I was in sales. Another was Plan your work and work your plan. Make lots of lists, then break down each goal/chore into manageable bites.
- Make Lists
- Break each task down
- Prioritize the items on the list
A lot of time gets wasted because we are all over the place. I rely a lot on lists. If I know I need to go to the post office, pick up a prescription, buy groceries, and pick up the dry cleaning, then I can plan a route ahead of time that lets me do all of these things in a seamless pass.
As I go to pick up The Spawn, I know that the dry cleaner is on the way, then get The Spawn, then swing by the pharmacy on the way to the store. I know the post office is on the way home if I take a slightly different route.
This can work with social media, too. Get a routine that allows a seamless path through each platform you choose to use. Post blog, tweet, scroll home feed on Facebook and do some likes, shares and comments then back to work. Repeat this 3 times a day and over time, you will be shocked by the results.
Never Underestimate Small Steps
We all want to rush in and do everything at once, but this is a formula to fail. A lot of people think they need to be on every social platform every day all the time. Never underestimate the power of a handful of authentic interactions. People filter out automation and spam. They don’t see it. But kindness, fun and authenticity are always memorable.
The same tactics that can keep our house clean (pick up after ourselves, do the small chores regularly) are the same tactics that can keep our social media platform strong and thriving.
Do you suffer from RDD? Are you recovered? What tactics or tools do you use to keep it real?
I LOVE hearing from you!
***And a reminder! Jay Donovan is teaching a class on Internet Security to keep you SAFE and your information PROTECTED. Also, please check out WANACon, the affordable conference with top talent, and you can attend in your jammies!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.
At the end of February I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.
Such good advice. Breaking things down into small bite sized pieces definitely helps. I love my lists! Sometimes I print them out and give myself gold stars for each small step, sometimes I write a list on a writing forum, where my friends will cheer me on.
great ideas. I posted your link on FB.
Excellent post, as always. I am overwhelmed with deadlines and launches and marketing and personal goals and life. My goal this year was to live amidst the chaos without losing my mind to the accompanying anxiety. How am I doing with that? Considering a book launch on Jan 15th, a book due on Feb 28th and another launch on March 5th, I’m not doing too bad. Would love to take one of your classes…. In April. March is reserved for cocktails and a planned nervous breakdown
Hey, your blog seems full of interesting advices. Hope to read more from you soon.
Thanks for the reminder, Kristen! Feeling especially overwhelmed this week, and despite my dedicated list making, I tend to focus on the end goal instead of the intermediate steps. Here’s to one small bite at a time!
This is a really great suggestion on how to manage the social networking that I’m going to try. Because I’m great at the social networking but really not getting much work done. If I set how much time to read blogs, facebook, and twitter(when I get on) and do it 3 times a day only, I should get more writing done. Thanks so much.
My response to the overwhelm was to kind of shut down. Sporadic blog posts. A growing dislike of FB. I over-planned, at least with the blogging. Time to go over my goals and break them down into manageable steps. Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks, Kristen. Your posts are always so helpful (and inspiring). I find lists to be very helpful as well, especially in time management. In my crazy life, if it isn’t written down, it doesn’t happen.
Did I need to read this today! No time to leave a longer comment … gotta catch up … or maybe not …
I thank God for you and you wisdom…because for a while there I felt like a monkey in a cage!
I really, really like your insights. They hit (often quite uncomfortably) close to home. I tend to either be idling, or pedal to the metal, or spinning my wheels thinking I’m making progress. I do make progress, but since I tend to be abstract random it’s rather jerky forward motion. Not so useful. My wife started reading you and “strongly” suggested that I do as well. She was right. Thanks!!
This advice is so helpful and such a great reminder of using baby steps to get where I want. I tend to want to rush in and do everything at once because I’m impatient and want results fast. However, I’ve seen this method fail time and time again. It’s time I finally learn to break it all down, and I am, slowly but surely. Thanks Kristen!
great post kristen, I spend far too much time on Twitter but am getting better lol.
Kristen, have you been reading my mail? Seriously, I’m Ms. Multitasker, right now: teaching college English and prepping for my classes, blogging, chipping away at my WIP, and keeping house. Lists keep me sane!
Yes a good post for us creative types. My dad, an electrical engineer and artist (go figure), was always opposed to lists, but my mother was always organiized and made a list of everything. Over time I have learned the value of both. I started my working life as a nuclear engineer which required a great amount of organization, but as I have indulged my creative side over the past decade, I find that those organizational skills are still key–something my dad did learn.
What does an elephant taste like, probably like chicken? Cultivated farm elephants for a food source would certainly feed more people, so it is a good point to encourage jumbo, excuse me, “blog” self-promotion since anybody with access to the Internet and a little creativity can get big numbers of followers to sell a book in reaching success.
I do not have the molars to chomp down on chunks of rib-eye beef steaks slow simmered in butter and onions in a skillet so I thin slice it like a slice of shaved roast beef, sandwich sliced, from a deli at a supermarket.
My goals in writing are similar. I write shorts while focusing to make chapters and sections of novels with the thought of a complete story from beginning to the end of 50K words.
The ultimate goal is to continue writing until I have ten complete novels, which I am happy with; and then start marketing the works. Along the way make contacts by sending the finished ones to learn the industry but to not stop writing novels until I have at least ten, which I want to pitch to the big six publishing houses in the world, since the American marketplace is being gobbled up by German companies. It is the high gasoline prices. Europeans still buy the books on paper.
Writing can be a hobby or a career and the writer decides.
Lists keep me sane…but I think they drive my family bonkers.
Make lists. Love crossing items off. Sometimes I achieve at item not on today’s list. Double points
I am trying to make sure I 1 hour per day on three main parts of my life, taking care of my home/family, work, and writing. I am thinking about checking out tumblr- I am feeling good relatively secure in my current social media and as a YA author I’m tempted by tumblr but adding another site makes me a bit queasy.
Anyone else on Tumblr?
I love this blog so much! I’m going to check out tumblr, but I’m on the fence about using it, considering, it’s just like twitter to me. But to keep myself secured, I don’t put my phone number on my site. I already have enough crazy people calling me. 😉
Reblogged this on Madison Dean Fiction and commented:
I have a good reason for reblogging this post today: this is something I struggle with A LOT. In the beginning, I wrote. I wrote by myself for my own enjoyment. Then I discovered fanfiction archives and I began posting to them. Before I knew it, I’d joined some online communities and had made friends, all while building an online following by accident.
The overwhelmingly positive feedback gave me the courage to submit my stories to a publisher (under another name at this time) and voila! I am an established writer with six or seven titles to my credit.
Slowly, however, due to the observations, recommendations, and advice of people in the know, I began to spend more time in social forums than writing. I’m on chat lists, and Facebook. Twitter, tumblr, and Pinterest. I have several blogs and multiple websites. And while I don’t discount the value of social media, I do think in some cases, it turns into a deadly distraction and a disabling crutch.
Because it is *easy*. It’s easy to fritter away several hours of your precious free time in the name of ‘catching up’ and ‘getting your name out there.’ For social networking to work, you have to be social–you have to chit-chat, and comment on other people’s blogs, and like their Facebook posts. Which is all fine and well–I enjoy that most of the time. But it has become terribly easy to use this as an excuse not to do the harder job of writing. More and more I find myself generating posts that require dialog to the exclusion of finishing the next story. Blame it on the short attention span that the internet fosters, or the addictive nature of our smart phones, or the fact that anyone who works 50-60 hours a week is going to have a hard time mustering the energy to write when they get home at night. What is boils down to is that sometimes, we need to shut off the browser and just *write*. That is our biggest selling tactic after all.
Besides, I miss the days when I couldn’t wait to get home to work on the next chapter…
Reblogged this on Romance Global Bound and commented:
Kristen’s blog has helped me calm my social media (SM) anxiety. Saw her book on the table at Killer Nashville and knew I had to read. I”m learning, Kristen, I’m learning.
Reblogged this on My Rants.