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I’m an ideas person. When an idea strikes me, I get so excited about it! Unfortunately, about five minutes later I’ll get another idea, and I’ll get excited about it, too!
So which should I do first? And how do I decide?
Over the years that I’ve been trying to build my speaking ministry, one of the hardest things was feeling guilty about all the things I COULD be doing, but wasn’t. I knew blogging would help my name recognition, but it took me years to start. I knew I could self-publish a book, but it took a long time to get around to it. I knew I should join more networks online, but I didn’t have time.
The more ideas I came up with, the more guilty I felt.
Then I developed a tool that helped me rank my ideas to see which ones were actually worth pursuing. After all, not all ideas are equally good. I decided to rate everything on four different scales, based on how much time they would take to completion, how much money they would cost to complete, how much money they would bring in, how much they would add to my name recognition/platform, and how much they would contribute to expanding God’s kingdom.
I added a few more metrics in there, and then weighted each category. Thus, something that cost no money and was relatively fast to do would rank higher than something that cost a ton of money and took a ton of time, if each contributed to name recognition roughly the same.
When I filled out the sheet, I was initially surprised. I thought I should be self-publishing a book; what this sheet told me was that I should start speaker training instead (which is why I’m here, on this blog!). I thought I should do more with LinkedIn; it turned out that blogging was more effective for me.
I decided other people may find that worksheet helpful, so I turned it into an Excel spreadsheet, and I include it with my audio download, “Treating Speaking as a Business“. When you order that talk, you get the tool free.
And recently Julie Chandler, one of my “speaking students” whom I also met while I was on tour in Alberta recently, sent me an email explaining how it had helped her. She says:
This is what I did with my list on the Time Management worksheet…I’m a visual person, so after I numbered them in order of importance, I put them in this form and printed it out. I also put sticky notes on each section from an average of 35 minutes/day to the bottom average of 5 minutes/day. It helps me to remember what to focus on…for results.
What I learned: I’ve been spending too much time on twitter for the results. (I purchased a tweet program a while ago, so I’ll just automate many of tweets…) I was also sure I should/would go to one or two conferences in the States this year. But, now that I look at this (I’ll need to pray, but…) I’m thinking it may be better to focus on a little networking here in Calgary, work on an e-book and possibly start up my show on blogtalkradio again!!!
Thanks so so much! I feel much more settled now. That Time Management chart is a great way to organize all the thoughts I have had about what I could/should/want to be doing.
Julie, who wrote Orphans and the Fatherless, has now redesigned her priorities. Here they are from 1-15 (some tied):
1. create cds (of talks)
3. prayer page – facebook or…
4. radio interviews
5. write talks
6. podcast interviews
7. TV interviews
8. telephone calls to libraries etc…
8. go to conferences in Canada (Calgary)
9. create my website
10. strategic alliances
11. get in Christian newspapers
11. write “how to” e-book — ie. fundraising
12. speaker training
12. update O. website
13. Networking ie. breakfast
13. host a podcast
14. write book (takes some research)
15. do contests
15. “blog tour”
If you’re struggling with where to focus your limited time, this tool is so valuable! It puts things right there in black and white for you, so that you know whether something is worthwhile or not. And it helps you focus on the areas that can be most effective for the least amoung of money/time.
You can get all of that for free when you order the download, “Treating Speaking as a Business“. So check it out! And I hope it helps you as it helped Julie.