Get tips and techniques that will help you be more creative and productive!
I recently read an article by Robert Bly about overcoming paralysis by analysis. By this he means the process of taking in so much information about something that you want to do that you get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing—except taking in more information. Boy, can I ever relate to this one as it relates to online marketing! My time split was 25% buying books about the topic, 25% reading the books, 25% being confused, and 15% taking action (the other ten percent was checking e-mails…).
Bly recommends using a 25-50-25 formula for dividing your time:
- No more than 25% of your time for learning (reading about it, going to workshops, etc.);
- No more than 25% of your time for observing what people in this field are already doing (learning by example);
- At least 50% of your time actually DOING what you are learning.
My guess is that an even better ratio would be 25% for all kinds of learning and 75% for doing (which will also entail learning, because you’ll make mistakes and correct them).
ACTION: If this challenge applies to you, try out the 25-50-25 or the 25-75 ratio for a while and notice the difference
Do you have an antidote strategy?
Writer and stand-up comic Paul Lawrence recommends what he calls an ‘antidote strategy.’ When he learned judo, the instructor taught him how to fall without getting hurt when he was thrown. When he learned how to do stand-up comedy, his instructor told him how react when a joke fell flat (by acknowledging its failure to the audience, which often gets a laugh in itself). Having such a antidote strategy in place gives you more confidence to go forward with something risky. Example: if you’re submitting a manuscript somewhere, already have in mind the next place to send it if the first place rejects it.
ACTION: Have you been avoiding doing something because you’re afraid you’ll fail? Come up with an antidote (or “Plan B”) and move forward.
Another plus of mind maps—have you tried this yet?
I’ve used mind maps for years to outline presentations, get together the plots of script or the contents of a book chapter and much more, but generally I’ve done them with pen and paper. In the Focus workshop I have going at the moment, one of the participants, Janice Day, mentioned that she prefers to use mind map software because it allows her to put thoughts and ideas down in any order and then move them around on the mind map once they start to suggest some kind of order. With most programs you can also easily print out the contents of the mind map in outline form. If you’ve never tried mind map software, you might want to give it a try.
ACTION: The mind map software I use most is NovaMind (www.NovaMind.com) and there are many others available, some free, some not. You can find them by Googling ‘mind map software.’ Most of them allow you a free trial period, so why not download one and see whether this method of brainstorming and information organization suits you?