If ever there were two great examples of juggling your time to the best of one’s abilities, they are:
- Being a mother
- Writing a book and running a business
With very little experience of the former, other than seeing how much of a handful I was to mine in the lines on her face, I can only speak to the latter. It is indeed a circus act of a challenge, this writing and running lark.
As is running a business, alone. I reflect on all the good advice that Gerber gave in metaphorical terms – that of a pie, my most treasured object on earth.
Hungry? Stop reading…
Think, for one moment, of your business as a pie.
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A really good pie needs the twin talents of both baker and chef. First you need to blind bake the pie bottom, and that requires the discipline of one who understands the texture of pastry. Then the ingredients need to be lovingly mixed and assembled, which is very much the domain of the cook. Finally the baker comes back on the scene with his buttery duvet and in a short time, the heavenly treat is ready to serve.
Gerber would say you should fuss less about the filling, and obsess instead about touching the pastry top. Have confidence in the ingredients and the way they all work together, and providing the pastry is crisp and delicate, the pie will be a success.
If you’re a modern entrepreneur you need to be sure that every component is just so, if only to demonstrate to your cohorts that you care. Everyone agrees that you can’t give someone a task to do if you wouldn’t do it yourself, if you don’t show them.
And so we encounter the delirium-inducing time sap syndrome.
There’s a way in, and a way out
Managing your time is a dark art, one rarely shared (except by Sharing Superheroes in the world of project management).
What’s truly needed are two of the 6Ps of smart marketing upon which Sharing Superheroes’ success is built:
If people only spent a little more time planning, and a little less time doing, the world would be a safer place for us all. And in the world of business, being prepared – just like a Scout – means you’ll have more time to dance from post to pillar, and back again.
How to build that business
The ways of planning available to us are many, and we simply need to focus on those that we gel with best. I use the full Google Docs suite to keep abreast of every situation, most often the Calendar and word processing tool, with Wunderlist as my day-to-day task list synced across all my computers and smartphone. Some folks use Evernote but I find it a waste of time.
I use a Google Spreadsheet to both plan my content and social strategies to ensure that I’m delivering the right message in the right place. For Twitter, I harness the Buffer application (now built into the Twitter web interface) to give me the best chance of being where I’m wanted at the right time. As a fallback I also work with Hootsuite which allows me to schedule Tweets well in advance – and if you buy the Pro version, at a measly $6 a month, you can also upload a spreadsheet filled with a week’s worth of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn updates in one fell swoop.
Patience is the ability to not get stressed and fussed by having to do a kazillion things at once. The finest Sharing Superheroes have mastered the mind like water approach, that means you don’t get sidetracked or hassled by ancillary projects when you’re focused on the one in front of you.
To help with this, executing the right things in a tidy, methodical order, I use the free Pomodairo application that takes over your time management by showing you a pulsating clock complete with loud ringing feature to tell you to move on to the next thing. You can also set priorities for certain jobs, to make sure everything is in order.
Here’s one more thing we all overlook: Self-congratulation. A stretch, a walk, a run, a game, a chat, a bun, a smoothie. A pie, even. Because it’s your engine you’re running on overtime, and it needs care and attention to keep it firing all its cylinders.
And finally, something that supercedes everything that’s just been said. A recital you should introspect upon each and every day, because it’s all that really matters. It’s what makes Sharing Superheroes, true superheroes. And it’s this, from Inc.com (10 Questions That Create Success):
1. Have I made certain that those I love feel loved?
2. Have I done something today that improved the world?
3. Have I conditioned my body to be more strong flexible and resilient?
4. Have I reviewed and honed my plans for the future?
5. Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?
6. Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?
7. Have I accomplished something worthwhile?
8. Have I helped someone less fortunate?
9. Have I collected some wonderful memories?
10. Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?
I’m thinking I might offer some Sharing Superheroes secrets of social next – would that be useful to you?