Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Reduce the scope and keep the schedule

Since the beginning of the year I´ve been writing about planning. Basically about setting goals that turn into actionable steps, that get scheduled.

What´s your relationship with your publishing schedule?

In yesterday´s post Marie Forleo shared Five strategies to keep you creatively inspired. I was most interested in #4: Commit. She says that this is the most underrated creativity tip of all. That when you turn pro and fully commit to producing/writing/creating/making something on deadline, it just happens.

Does it, really?

I wonder.

Then I heard the best advice on making things happen on schedule. It came from Srinivas Rao interview to James Clear: Changing  your identity to change your habits.

Among other things they talked about post traumatic stress vs. post traumatic growth, taking failure as a data point needed for success, the all or nothing mentality, response to environment and altering behaviour. And here´s where it got practical with his own story of a post that didn´t perform that well: you have to have a process to always do the work, to go through a volume of work.

My on line planner and home planner for last week
It takes time to find a schedule that works for you. Try different paces: once a month, once a week, evey other week, every day Mon-Fri, twice or three time s a week. In the beginning I wrote whenever I had something to share. I have changed over the years according to my projects, having a day assigned to each. This year I´m writing on Wednesdays (new for me), leaving Fridays for guest posts and some Linky parties on weekends. 

What if some day you do not feel up to it? James advice is to "reduce the scope and stick to the schedule". Sometimes the idea of creating something great and wonderful feels a little too much to start as the scope of the project is really big in our heads and that prevents us from getting going. In that case, to be able to start, reduce the size of the project/post in hand, do a simpler version of it and deliver on time to keep the schedule. You can go back to the project and make more parts of it. 

Other concepts that caught my attention in Srini´s interview: How can you become the type of person that achieves something? By changing your behaviour to be the person who does. How? Changing your environment to make better choices, making good things easier to do and making what you want to avoid more difficult to do. Listen to the whole interview here for a more complete explanation (change in behaviour is around the mid interview mark).

PS: if you want to listen to more candid conversations with creative entrepreneurs and insanely interesting people visit The Unmistakable Creative podcast here
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Kung Phoo said...

I would like to stick to a schedule but the way things go around here there is no way to do it.

misteejay said...

Lots of interesting ideas and points.

Toni xx

P Bishop said...

One day I'm organize, one day I'm not! I will try harder. Thanks for the info!

Rena McDaniel said...

I try to stick to the schedule of Mon, Wed, and Fri. That way I can commit to what I'm doing and also take care of my other responsibilities.

Glenda said...

I appreciate this post as this is something I have been struggling with and needed to have put into perspective and with the points in this post I saw some things I needed to change.

Heather Heinlein said...

sometimes less is more. thanks for the info.

Lisa said...

I Usually Stick To A Schedule & A Positive Attitude Really Helps!!

Franc Ramon said...

Sticking to a schedule is important but we have to shake things up a bit and enjoy a new environment from time to time to create a fresh environment.

Leira Pagaspas said...

I always like sticking to a schedule because It keeps me focussed.

Rebecca Swenor said...

Great things to think about. Thanks for the info. It makes a lot of sense.

Rochkirstin Santos said...

I'm working as a project manager for IT and business clients and I figure that your advice is related to my job. Just keep the scope of work so you can manage both time and budget all the time.

MaryJane Tauyan said...

nice one ! i always have a pen and reminders and calendar for my fone that always give me reminders of what i needed t odo in that time

Sharon Ruggieri said...

I am such a stickler for schedules. With six kids and all the stuff going on around us, I need one and when it gets messed up, I tend to lose it! ;)

bxcrochet said...

I love having a physical planner. Digital ones just don't do it for me.

Michelle F.

Amanda T said...

I always have so much to do, and I am not really an organized person. It's difficult for me.

Cococute Manaloto said...

It is always nice to make a note of what to do everyday and for busy persons like us we know we can not keep track on that but at least we will still have reminders of what or which we still need to finish within a day.

Saad Ansari said...

Great tips I must say. If you check my iPhone, you'll always find time management app in it. Definitely, Planning leads to success.

Debbie Roberts said...

I have found that sticking to a schedule has been helping me no end. I am relatively new to blogging and kept feeling overwhelmed and wasn't sure how to approach blogging. I love writing posts, but get in a bit of a tizz networking.

So I came up with a schedule of post one day and networking the next and so far so good - although I am not very good at networking!

It helps me to know what my blogging plans are for the day without having to think about what I should do. And if for any reason life gets in the way - which it hasn't yet - my plan is to just go ahead with what was scheduled for that day.

I have found that by doing this I plan posts in my head without really stressing that I have nothing to write. It has certainly made blogging easier for me.

Ian LLoyd FErnandEz said...

Have an organize schedule for when the time comes it will not give you exhausted feelings. and positive thinking will help you in doing things

Alyssa Collazo said...

Lots of GREAT tips, thank you for sharing!

Michele D said...

I try to stick to a schedule but with four children things change so much from day to day. GREAT Info!

Emma T said...

Great tips here. I'm a bit of a planner anyway, but since having my son I am a bit more relaxed about it said...

I stick to a schedule for posting, but the writing happens whenever. Sometimes I have a great weekend and schedule recipe posts for the next month, other times it's the day before a post is scheduled and I'm scrambling to finish. Definitely need to work on organizing/planning!

Natalie S. said...

I cant commit to such things, so I dont even bother making a schedule.. that way I dont disappoint myself lol

Ave T said...

Thanks for great tips! I try to stick to my schedule, but there are days I fail.

Joanna Sormunen said...

I have different things going on all the time. Not very good at organizing my time to tell the truth.

Julie Tucker said...

Hi Paula, I would love to stick to a schedule. Especially for writing. I seem to think better late at night and it really becomes a problem with having people wanting my time during the day. My husband says I should make a 40 hour a week schedule just like I'm working in an office. But, the creative juices for writing come in the middle of the night. I do need some kind of organized way of doing all of this.

Cynthia Wright said...

I spend all day scheduling clients, then put my own work on the back burner. I could really benefit from scheduling my writing. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Brown said...

This is great, I listened to the podcast and ordered the book. I love this stuff!Thank you!

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

That´s a subject for a whole another post Robert @ Kung Phoo!

There were so many more Toni!

Consistency is key Paula.

Awesome plan Rena.

That is a great place to start Glenda.

Sometimes I struggle with overbooking too Heather.

Yay Lisa! That´s the way to go.

I totally agree with the shaking up Franc Ramon.

Yes, Leira. Schedules help keeping you on track.

Rebecca, the original interview made so much sense for me I took pages of notes. :)

James´ advice can be applied to many projects Rochkirstin, it´s really versatile as a tool.

I´m still a paper and pen girl MaryJane, showing a bit of my age here. ;)

Woooow, Sharon, you really need super organizing powers. :D

I work best with paper planners as well bxcrochet.

You can have some organzied habits even if you are not organzied by nature Amanda. :)

The busier we get (sometimes because there are sooooo many cool things to do and it´s all good), the more that things can escape our memory kenneth.

Planning is a great part of success for me too Saad.

Loved your success story Debbie!

I find that a structure helps me keep on track too Ian.

You are welcome Alyssa. :)

Oh, yes Michelle. I know the ins and outs of motherhood, even with just two kids schedules can be modified at a moments notice. :D

Emma, when my son was born the schedules went totally out of the window at home. Lol.

Thrifty below, I sooooo hear you! That´s why I loved the "reduce the scope and keep the schedule" advice so much.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Natalie, James say the point is to add the good habits little by little. He says that when you want to "just do it" it doesn´t work if the chore doesn´t change.

Ave, there is a "get back to it" part in the interview. Give it a try, it´s awesome.

Joanna, start by a list of things to do, then schedule.

Hope you can find a way to meet with your creativity flow in a common space Julie. :)

What about treating yourself as a client and making space for you too Cynthia?

Yay! SO glad you liked it Jennifer! I´ve found many interesting, inspiring and useful stories there.

Emelina Spinelli said...

Love scheduling and organizing- makes the day go by easier! I just wrote an article on time management too!

Caroline J said...

This year I planned all my Blog post in advance for the year (A first for me)because I'm not a planner and have to really work at it.

I have to say that this has turned out so far, to be the least planned year yet - LOL

Okay, so I've moved house, twice, and I'm not worrying about it at all, but there are some good things to think about here on this post.

Lisa Mallis said...

Love the idea of sticking to the schedule - and when you "don't feel like it" just reduce the amount you write. But - still write!!! Slow progress is still progress. Thanks for the post!

Kath Rivera said...

I always make a schedule and stick to it, but once ruined my entire day is already ruined. I feel anxious and stressed.

Delia @ Blog Formatting said...

Lots of excellent advice in this post, thanks Paula!

Keep the schedule, reduce the scope - I'll repeat this to myself! :)


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