Work Smarter, not Harder

Over on Happy Accidents, Greg Pincus is talking about the question of “Do you Spend Too Much Time Online”? He points out that you can do a lot in a short amount of time.

Work Smarter, not Harder week, I sat down and tried to figure out all the tasks that I now know how to do and was amazed:

  • Blog. I can set up a WordPress blog in 30 minutes flat, including doing some customizing on the fonts/layout and adding pictures and tracking software. Writing posts is a snap. Part of that, is that I’m pretty good at manipulating photos.
  • Speaking. I can create an interesting presentation, including powerpoints, slides, video and handouts. Ask me to do it for a 30 minute presentation or six hours, no problem.
  • Social Media. I can twitter and Facebook with the best of them. GoodReads, LibraryThing, etc–I’ve got an account.

So much for skills. Then, I decided to write out a list of everything you might want to do to publicize a book, not just for a launch, but for ongoing promotions. Notice that each of these is a multi-step process.

  • Facebook
  • Blog/Website
  • Landing Pages – special sales pages for a book
  • Flyers/Print media to hand out
  • Video – book trailers
  • Networking – guest posts, joint projects online, chatting, email, etc.
  • Build a Mailing List

Mind you, this is for EACH book!
And then, there’s keeping up: are you using QR codes yet? See, you haven’t even heard of a QR code, you’re already behind! It’s easy to feel that way, anyway.

Of course, in the middle of all of THAT stuff, you must prioritize this: write the next book.

Between Writing, Speaking, Blogging, Promotions, and Networking–Wow! It’s so easy to get lost.

Plan of Action

This week, I’ve stepped back a bit to look at all this and ask myself, what do I really want to do?
Answer: Write, mostly fiction, but also some creative nonfiction

Okay, then how can I work smarter, not harder?

It has helped immensely to just catalog all these tasks and set them up in a spread sheet. I’m not so obsessive that I’ll use this daily, but I want to check it weekly. I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that this or that book needs some PR attention. But I don’t want those peripheral tasks to take over my writing time.

Writing down the scope of what I expect from myself has helped. Now I can prioritize and manage the tasks and work smarter, not aimless; smarter, not harder.

Read through some of the comments on Greg’s post and come back here to talk, too.

Fiction Notes will be on Spring Break next week! Hurrah!
But I’ll come back with a vengeance, ready to write and blog.
In the planning stages: 30 Days to Stronger Voice and 30 Days to Stronger Book Marketing.

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