After you’ve identified and come up with strategies (your “coulds”), your next step is categorize them. I recommend keeping it simple, so I use three basic piles:
- Probably won’t work, not as important, unrealistic, or not achievable
- Might work, likely to be realistic or achievable, and is kind of important
- Likely will work; definitely would be realistic and achievable and is important
Some of my strategies included looking at different types of blogging, identifying places in my schedule that would work for writing, looking at blog planning tools, listing topics I wanted to write about, researching them, and making a schedule for the process. So, the goal I’d been working on was actually writing blog posts, and all these strategies are pretty realistic and achievable. However, my goal revolved around actually creating content, so some of these strategies can be placed on the back burner for now.
Prioritizing these strategies can be difficult – you may have trouble and think, “But they’re all important!” They are, and that’s where looking at what you have to do first comes in. They are still important – they just have to come after the first level in order for me to realistically achieve them well. Prioritizing these “coulds” for my goal leads to the following priorities:
- Probably not as important right now: looking at different types of blogging
- Kind of important: As much as I don’t like to put it here, actual scheduling is a follow-up step to the necessary early steps as is researching my chosen topics. Why? I have to have the others first in order to do these.
- The most important “coulds” right now involve preliminary steps: listing topics, getting a planning tool, and identifying places in my schedule for writing.
Next step? What comes first? In my case, listing topics. I need to have an idea of what I want to write about, and what I need to do to break it into discrete blog topics. Next would be getting a planning tool, which would help me schedule and analyze what I need to do to be effective. Once these are taken care of, the I can move to the next level – the “not as important” category.
At the next level, the first thing to do would be to actually schedule time to plan and write. Once that piece is in there, then I can move on to the next step, researching the topics. Here is an area where I could break down the step into smaller, more achievable steps. Research one topic at a time, and focus on that topic alone until I’m finished with it. Then, I can move on the next.
These preliminary strategies lead me to the final steps in my goal: actually writing. At this point, I again break down the tasks:
- Organizing the material into a coherent and discrete “chunk,” breaking the topic into smaller pieces if it’s very broad or detailed (such as goal setting!)
- Writing a rough draft – if I want the post to be good, putting out a hastily put together post with errors and disorganization will not help me.
- Editing the draft
- Adding in extras – pictures, files, etc.
- Final proofing – double and triple checking for errors, cohesiveness and appearance
- Post the blog entry
You’ll notice that in listing these tasks, I also ranked them in the order in which they needed to be done. When you reach the final action-planning steps, this piece is easier, because you’ve already done a lot of it in the earlier planning.
So, what’s next? The really good, juicy part – taking action!! Here is where we get down and dirty with actual work. This is where we commit to what we’ll do and actually do it. Getting it done – coming up in the next post!
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