Everyone can use a little encouragement from time to time. And a little accountability.
For the past few months, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve struggled with some of my deadlines (which I never have in the past). I’ve had a hard time saying no. Occasionally I think about all the “need to-dos” and “want to-dos” and “should dos” and wonder how the list got so big.
So, last week, instead of focusing just on my to-do list, I also did something I haven’t tried before. I made a “done” list.
Anything I did during that day — no matter how big or small — I added to the done list. At first, I thought I was being kind of silly … and maybe wasting time. But by the end of the day, I was a big fan of the done list.
Three really good things happened because of the done list.
First, by the end of the day, I had a record of everything I’d done. Often, when I reach the end of the day, I wonder how much I really accomplished. (Sometimes — usually — it doesn’t feel like as much as I’d like.) With my done list in hand, I was able to review everything I’d achieved during the day. And honestly, it was not insignificant. I could see that even though I hadn’t crossed a couple of bigger things off my to-do list, I’d made good progress and that they would be getting the coveted line through them soon.
That was a nice feeling.
The second thing I noticed is that when I was tempted to waste some time — surfing Facebook or playing WordTwist — I didn’t. Because I didn’t want to add it to the done list. Instead, I did something else I’d feel good about seeing on my list at the end of the day. It wasn’t always work-related. At one point, when Facebook was calling my name, I opted to play the piano for 15 minutes instead. While I wouldn’t have liked seeing “Facebook — 15 minutes” on my done list, I did like seeing “Played the piano.”
And the third thing I noticed was that my momentum built throughout the day. Toward the end of the day when I’m usually looking at my to-do list and thinking, “What’s the point … I’ll just start fresh tomorrow,” I was thinking, “How much more can I add to my done list before I knock off at five?”
What a difference! Now, I probably won’t use a done list every day. But if I’m feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, or unfocused, the done list is my new go-to tool.
I hope you’ll give it a try to see if it works as well for you!
The Reality Blog Challenge
Don’t miss the second week posts from our Reality Blog Challenge finalists …
Interviewing an expert (or potential client) in your niche is an easy way to make a new contact or rekindle an old one. Randi Anderson shares her tips for conducting a successful interview you can post to your blog, publish to your website, and share through social media to build traction within your niche.
Sherri Caldwell gets down to basics when it comes to choosing your niche. She shares her personal struggles and insights on this important topic and invites you to join in the conversation.
What does your copywriting bag of tricks look like? Thomas Coalson shares the importance of building your knowledge of tricks and techniques for writing persuasive copy. He also shares some very important advice about self-doubt and uncertainty.
Content marketing is no longer some newfangled marketing strategy. It’s standard and expected. And as a web writer, knowing how to come up with strong ideas for new content is an invaluable skill. Candice Lazar shows you six places you can look for ideas your audience will love.
Do you set boundaries for yourself and your web-writing business? As you make the leap to freelancing, this step is very, very important. Hayley Michaels shows you the benefits that come with setting boundaries and gives you some powerful tips for setting boundaries that won’t ruffle anyone’s feathers.
New on the Site
If you’re just getting started and still relying on a traditional job for your income, you don’t want to miss John Torre’s latest post. Inside, he shares several useful tips to help you build up a client base even while you’re working full or part-time as an employee.
An e-book makes a great bait piece — something you can give away for free to attract new clients and leads. Check out our latest Tech Corner where you’ll learn how to set up an e-book template using Word.
Whether you are a full-time freelance writer, working as an employee, or building a different type of business entirely, a Money-Making Website is a great side venture. Christina Gillick shares five powerful benefits of this strategy.
Mark Your Calendar
November 19th: If the thought of trying to land clients puts you into a cold sweat, this event with Ed Gandia will give you new confidence and motivation. Join us to learn how warm email prospecting can be a successful, low-stress way to build your clientele.
Around the Web
Do you use a social media content calendar? Social Media Examiner shares some good reasons why you should, and recommends four tools to streamline the process.
If everything about your client’s website is right, but conversions are low, the copy may be the problem. Keep these things in mind when revising the copy for better conversions.
To attract leads consistently, you need to be a content-generating machine. Casey Demchak shares the secret to making that happen.
Here, you’ll find 10 books to add to your web-writing library — all meant to make you a better marketer, especially for small businesses.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!