It’s officially spring and as we start to move from cooler to warmer weather, it’s a great time for me to think about my goals and how I want to nurture them to blossom throughout the remainder of the year. I’ve been trying hard to focus on developing the structure, target audience and chapters of my book over the past three months.
Through this process, I have really begun to understand the premise of “working smart, not hard”. It takes a lot of time and effort to build the portfolio of a non-fiction book, let alone write an entire book.
It seems, before I know it a month has passed and I haven’t completed anywhere near as much as I hoped. Life happens so quickly, in what seems to be the “blink of an eye”. I’ve learned a few important ways to focus my attention on the things I value as important: my family, friends and hobbies – while still reaching my goal.
- Using my resources – I love bouncing ideas and concepts off my family and friends, especially those that are not my “target audience”. We have lively discussions that enhance my ability to move outside my original thinking to reflect and build new ideas.
- Making time – Instead of putting everything and everybody before my goal of writing this book. I decided to carve out time, even if only 60 – 90 minutes a week to focus solely on my book. It is difficult for me to work on my book outside of that time due to other life commitments, which makes it even more critical not to waste that designated time on something else.
- Having a mentor – The first step in starting my writing journey was to reach out to a trusted friend that has been successful in this field. I figured, I better practice what I preach. The primary premise for obtaining knowledge, is to learn from those that already have that knowledge. My mentor, Michelle Haimoff (http://michellehaimoff.com/ – check out her most recent book!) is directing me down a path where I can see the possibilities of actually completing this book. And it’s always nice to have someone rooting for me that has successfully walked down this path. Michelle also helps me stay the course and when I seem to take a wrong turn, she knows just the assignment to get me back on track!
- Sharing with others – In addition, Michelle continues to encourage me through my monthly homework assignments to get input and feedback from trusted friends/colleagues that are considered my “target audience”. It allows me to take the ideas and concepts I discussed with all my resources (above) and really focus in on my target audience. It’s also a great way to obtain “champions” that support me, the effort that goes into the writing process and my vision for this book.
In conclusion, in my experience, to “work smart, not hard” I’ve had to intentionally build a framework that supports what’s important in my life; spending time with family, friends and getting a little extra push from my mentor. By doing this, my book isn’t an “extra” thing I want to do that I will never finish. It’s a part of who I am and what I do on a regular basis – finishing is the only option.
How do you work “Work Smart – Not Hard”?
I completely agree Tiffany! For me, I usually tend to put too much on my plate than I can handle and one of two things happens. I either get everything accomplished on time and end up being extremely exhausted or I do not achieve my goal because I expected too much from myself. To combat this issue I decided to delegate more responsibility to others. It is okay if I am not doing everything and if I receive a little help from others. It took me awhile to be okay with this strategy but it has proven to help me in tough situations.