So last week, I talked about finding myself feeling overwhelmed and spending more time and more energy trying to figure out what to do next than actually doing it.
I mentioned part of my strategy for getting back on top of my workload, and enjoying myself again. I think that’s the hardest part of feeling overwhelmed for me — it takes all the fun out of my work, and I normally just love what I do.
Anyway, the first part of my strategy was adopting a work-before-play mindset. In doing so, I give myself permission to not worry about the things I want to be doing that I’ve let morph into things I should be doing. This works for two reasons. First, I get my work done. I get it done faster. And when I finish for the day — as late as 5 p.m., but sometimes as early as 2 p.m. — I still have the time and the energy to work on those things that are important to me, but not client related. And second, my mind is clear. When I’m writing fiction, I don’t have a nagging voice in the back of my mind complaining that there are other things I should be working on instead.
With this mindset, so far, I’ve been able to approach everything I do guilt and worry free. That’s a nice change.
There’s a second part to my strategy that I didn’t talk about last week. And that’s the short list.
I make a weekly master list. It includes everything I’d like to get done during the week. Must-haves go on the list, but so do nice-to-haves and would-like-to-dos.
In the past, I’ve approached that list like everything on it is a must-have. (And I wonder why I get overwhelmed.) Now, I’m making a short list from the master list that includes only my must-haves. I work on those first. It’s a simple — even obvious — step to take. But I think a lot of people — myself included — believe they can just sift the must-haves out of the bigger list. I find looking at the bigger list just adds to the feeling of spinning my wheels.
Making a short list — and then putting the master list away until I’ve completed it — has really helped. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, this is one more trick you can use to put yourself back into a position of control.
Also, I’d love to hear what you do when you’re feeling buried. Share your own strategies in the comments.
New on the Site
Don’t miss Amanda Foxcroft’s four-part series on self-care for writers. In this series, you’ll come away with a better understanding of how taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself can help you build a more successful business. Plus, Amanda includes tons of actionable tips to help you put what you’re learning into action.
And make sure you give John Torre’s newest blog entry a read. He breaks down a basic formula for successful online marketing — one you can use for your clients and for yourself.
Finally, take a few minutes to look at our latest Roving Report. Inside, you’ll find some top tips for landing email copywriting clients as well as answers to common — and some not-so-common — questions about email marketing.
Mark Your Calendar
This Wednesday, June 10th, Nick Usborne is going to help you discover how you already are an expert in something — even if you don’t realize it. And he’s going to show you exactly how you can use your expert status to build a passive income and sharpen your web-writing skills at the same time.
Then on June 24th, I hope you’ll join me for a live webinar. I’ll be sharing my favorite project management tips that you can use to make sure your projects proceed stress free and that you deliver great work to happy clients.
Around the Web
Marketing writing and psychology go hand in hand. Here you’ll find 10 important tips for better writing, plus the psychology behind why these tips work. Cool stuff.
From Content Marketing Institute, tips, examples, and tools that will help your content have more of an impact.
Your lead … your introduction … if you’re not grabbing your reader, you’re losing them. Hubspot shares nine strategies to make sure you’re always demanding — and earning — your reader’s attention.
And here, Wordstream takes an in-depth look at three trends that are changing online marketing — both paid and organic. It’s definitely worth the read.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!