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I heard it over the years quite often: I’m trying to catch up. I need to read all those magazines piled up on my desk.
But of course, we don’t get to them and when we do it’s in a rush. But trying to catch up feels good and sometimes is an easy excuse. So how do we let the internal need to catch up go and move forward? I have some ideas.
Realizing what’s holding us back
First of all, like anything in life, we need to realize that it’s holding us back. If I constantly feel that having to catch up is a requirement to my success, of course it’ll stress me out. No doubt. For example, when I was pitching a lot of speaking engagements I realized that I got to the party too late. I was never ever going to catch up! OMG. Until, I stopped trying. The goal wasn’t to catch up and pitch. That wasn’t the goal. The goal was and still is to get picked to speak and be able to travel the world while at it!
Finding a solution
So my solution was to start folders in my Gmail for specific months. Once I see a conference that had just happened or is about to happen I’ll drag a link in there to follow up later – when I actually had a shot to get picked.
At the very least, I was giving myself a shot to negotiate a deal!
The same holds true for blogging, digital marketing and other digitally related strategies. I could always write one more blog post, optimize one more article that could use a bit more structure. There’s always something else that can be done.
See, that’s slightly different from when I was growing up in print journalism. Once print went out the door, the day was done. Sure, there was always more reporting that could be done, but it wasn’t going to get published anywhere until the next print cycle.
Seeing what works
Of course, everything should be based on performance. What articles perform and get read the most? Do those first!
What articles seem to drive the most conversions? Those should be up on the priority list as well.
Once out of time for the day, push things to the next day or the day after. I do this quite frequently actually when I’m traveling. For example, I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing all day. At night, I have so many things to catch up on. I’m tired. I may want to check out the Sheraton lounge and go to bed.
So I don’t stay up all night to write eight more articles. I’ll go to bed or write one while sitting at the lounge. Then go to bed early and might write another in the morning. I do know that I won’t write eight, just because I could and have that many ideas. There’s not enough time in the day.
So I have to choose.
Finding the right mix
Of course, it’s also a mix to write about the stories we want to write about ourselves. I do that. Some stories are not homeruns – few stories really are, but I want to write them, so I do. Because I want to and enjoy sharing them. Of course, if I only do those, I wouldn’t grow audience necessarily. So I have to do at least some of the articles that I know will perform – even if they aren’t my favorite.
Usually, though, seeing articles perform well makes me want to write similar articles again! And once I’m in that cycle of content performance it’s easy to choose what to work on and what not to!