Creating and maintaining a blog for your brand is becoming an important element to extend your voice in the marketplace.
Why? First – because it is your voice and helps to set you apart, especially if yours is a crowded market.
Next, it gives clients a reason to affirm why they do business with you...or want to.
Last, it provides an outlet for expanding the conversation around your passions, your community or tribe, and what inspires you.
Sounds wonderful, right?
What happens when that flow of creativity is not-so-wonderfully flowing? Call it writer’s block. Call it procrastination. The failure to post in a timely fashion. Better yet – let’s call it postphobia.
That blank page. The empty container file. The over-thinking every possible option, met with nope, nada, un-uh. The hope for enlightened brilliance faced with empty pages and silent keyboards. Sigh.
Then it happens. Like water that rushes in to fill an empty vessel, you are drawn in. The dictionary calls them distractions [dɪˈstrækʃən] n. I call them my 5 ways to avoid writing your next blog post:
1. The Digital Distractions. Everybody is guilty of this – just popping over to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn ‘for a minute’ – so see who has contacted you since you have (3) new messages. Our society has enough things competing for our time and attentions. Best practice and Action Item: – when there is a task at hand, just shut them off until you are done. You can do that. If you really want to geek out about this, in 2009, a Stanford University study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers.
2. The Well-Intentioned Diversions. These find you whether you are in a urban setting downtown or a cozy home office. It is some natural law that when you are on a deadline or need to focus, a cordial, well-meaning head pops in with a ‘got a minute?’ Not wanting to be rude and put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door (if you have a door), we take a moment to chat. Suddenly, 15 minutes have passed and you have lost your train of thought. For home office dwellers, it can be either a 2-legged or 4-legged visitor, accompanied with a purr, a bark or a tap-tap-tap…mom. Action Item: Deal with what you have to if an emergency. Set a time for coffee with your colleague. Incentive the wee ones to make it a win-win with a promise of time and attention. For the 4-legged visitors. have a good supply of chew toys or catnip and buy yourself 10 minutes and write like crazy!
3. The Re-visioned Domicile. If you do workout of a home-based office – sometimes your office may be known by another name, the kitchen table, the garage, the guest room. Others who share your living space may not have the same respect for it when you are in working mode because they see the space by it’s other identity. Dropping in the run a load of laundry, grabbing something out of a cupboard – and horrors – asking you to help them. Hey, I’m workin’ here! Worse than that is when you chose to divert your attention and run that load yourself. Action Item: Girlfriend, get back to work!
4. The Diminished Space. The clutter that may inhabit your work area IS a huge distraction – but with a deadline looming – NOW IS NOT the time to deal with it. Action Item: Set an appointment to address it, clean it up or file it. Then write a post about procrastination. See – how productive of you!
5. The Delayed Input Habit. Likely there is a pile of books located somewhere in your office or near your bed stand. The ones you are going to get to someday. Well, today is not the day. See Action Item #4.
Use each excuse to drive you toward finishing your task or assignment. Celebrate when done. Be surprised what can happen when you think nothing can happen. Just begin.