Lillian graciously offered to write a guest blog for me today, so I would have a chance to hang out with my family this week and not worry about blogging. When she asked about topics, I thought “Time Management” would be appropriate, since I always struggle with that, and I know many of you do as well. So, take it away, Lillian!
Time management is a real biggie for me. There is always so much to do. Someone wants a banner ad, another radio show needs a promo ad, there’s guests to book on the radio show and outlines for their interviews to create… writing articles for newsletters or blogs… emails popping in every few minutes with an interview or networking opportunity. Keeping records of all of this and making sure that everyone has been followed up on, while finding new contacts, and new opportunities to reach an audience that has not yet heard of our work can eat up a lot of time.
Record keeping is the best thing that ever happened to me. Whenever I have queried a media contact, for instance, I’ll head over to the Excel file where I’ll record brief information on name of the media, the contact, the email/web address and then brief notes to myself in the Notes column. I use color-coding for easy referral – blue means I need to follow up, pink means something is booked but not yet published, purple means it was published, and so on. Every 3 months or so I go through this file and eliminate all the rows that have no colors and do any follow-ups that have not been completed yet – I want to see everything pink or purple at the end of the year.
Research is key for my writing process. If I know something is coming up, I will make a point of researching it and make a brief plan of action well ahead of time. Glean the best from it, add your own personal twist and then tweak it to suit the audience the project is intended for.
It sounds complicated, but the whole thing takes just a little effort; the outline and record-keeping aspects of a writer’s career can make all the difference. I would also advise spreading the various activities out so that you can handle them at a comfortable pace, and make a list each week of your priorities so that the most important things get done first.
~ Written by Lillian Brummet; co-author of Trash Talk, author of Towards Understanding and co-author of Purple Snowflake Marketing (a book promotion guide); host of the Conscious Discussions talk radio show and owner of the Brummet’s Conscious Blog: www.brummet.ca