Tag Archives: productivity

Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan

Goal Setting + ReviewHello once again Faithful Readers! Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am for each and every one of you? Not just because you’re patient enough to read the silly stuff I write on the interwebs, but because you’re you. Don’t forget that, while the universe might be really hard sometimes, you’re valid and needed. And, most importantly, you’re perfectly YOU and perfectly deserving of love and acceptance.

Okay. Glad we had that chat. 🙂

So, what have I been up to lately? This is a lot like one of my “What Am I Working On?” posts, but with a little more focus. Now that I’ve begun planning my work in quarterly “sprints,” I can go back and review my work even more easily! So, I figured what better way to review my work than to write a blog post about it? Some quarters, I might do a live video review. Would that be cool? Would any of you watch it? Let me know!

I had three goals for Q3 (July-August.) But here’s the catch: I didn’t start this whole thing until super late in July. So I really had a two month quarter. I planned my goals accordingly. Here they are:

  1. Submit to all of the agents and editors who requested material during pitches at RWA 2018 by August 1st.
  2. Increase my social media presence – increase frequency and regularity of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and in my Facebook Group (Elle’s Belles). Increase followers by 5-20%.
  3. Complete second edition revisions of SHIFT and RECAST in preparation for re-release in Q4!

So how did I do?

  1. Nailed it! I got all of my material submitted and have just begun hearing back from agents and editors I really admire. Super exciting!
  2. Got it! I became better about how I track my posting schedules on social media, particularly around writer-specific stuff. I still love to post on the fly to all of my channels (I’ll never be somebody who curates everything I ever post–nor do I want to be!) but I feel like I’m putting out more frequent, quality content which has given me some peace-of-mind that I’m not boring you all with too many random musings and not enough meaty goodness 😉  Those of you who like me on Facebook, or are members of Elle’s Belles have likely seen some new faces around those parts because my followers grew by more than 20% in both (Welcome, new faces!) On Twitter, where my number of followers was much higher to begin with, I didn’t quite hit my target, but the number did trend upward and I met a lot of really awesome new tweeps so I’m counting it as a win!
  3. Done! The second editions of both SHIFT and RECAST are complete and darn near ready for re-release later this year! Stay tuned for more on that soon!

So, what are my plans for the final quarter of 2018, I hear you ask? Let me tell you!

  1. Launch my author Instagram! I’ve been on Insta for a while, but wasn’t sure if I was ready to take the plunge and put my author self out there. Well, after some research and discussion, I’ve made it official! Come find me on Instagram! I mainly post book pics (other people’s, rarely my own,) coffee, secondhand fashion finds, and pics of my Happy Planner because I’m obsessed (more on that in a later post!) I also post aesthetics for my works in progress. Check it out!
  2. Get DRIFT and STAND second editions ready for re-release! Then, you know, RE-RELEASE THE ENTIRE SERIES!  It will happen sometime in December. I’m building the plan now, and I’ll let you all know as soon as I do!
  3. I’ve been asked to write a children’s book for an organization that’s near and dear to my heart. My goal is to have the rough draft completed by the end of October and emailed to the organization’s coordinator for review and iteration.  I’ll be writing this under a different name (because, as it turns out, paranormal romance and books for early-readers don’t exactly have the same audience lol!) but I may post about it some here because I’m really excited about it.

 

Well, there you have it! I’ve said all of these goals “out loud” on the internet, so now I better get them done or you’ll all come asking me when the hell the Shift Series is going to be re-released and better than ever! 😀

What are you hoping to accomplish by the end of the year? Do you track your goals formally or in a less rigid way? Tell me all about it!

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Here’s my kanban board looking awfully bottom-heavy at the end of Q3. It’s about to be filled with new post-its for Q4! 

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Kick-Ass People Doing Kick Ass Things | Sam Raddatz

Every once in a while, I get the chance to digital-interview a fellow professional who is turning their passion into something more than a hobby. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re making a living pursuing their passion–but in this case, it does!

Sam is my cousin (how did I get so lucky as to have so many kick-ass chicks in my life?!) She’s also the founder and CEO of Logic Department. Read on to learn more about Sam, her company, and (perhaps most importantly) how she turned her ah-ha moment into a thriving business. Maybe your own ah-ha moment is within Sam’s answers, below 🙂

Tell us a little about yourself and your business!

I’m the founder and CEO of Logic Department – a consultancy that improves the findability of content on websites, intranets, databases, content management systems, etc. We help companies improve efficiency and reduce frustrations for their employees and customers/visitors. If you’ve ever used a website and thought “I know this site should have this information, but I just can’t find what I need!”, we help with that.

How did you get into this area of work?

I worked for a few years as a ‘whatever you need’ freelancer, mostly picking up administrative and transcription work, piecing it all together for my first couple years in New York City. In the midst of that work, I decided to go back to school for an information and library science degree, thinking I would get into the world of business librarianship – it felt like the “adult” extension of the work I did as a page in my college library. When I got into school, I took a course early on where we read Don Norman’s book The Design of Everyday Things. The key takeaway of that book is that things that are hard or frustrating to use are the fault of the design of that thing, not your fault as the person interacting with it. My mind was blown. It reversed years of me thinking that I was dumb, and put that blame where it belonged: on the door/website/whatever I was using. I wanted to reduce the amount of people that are feeling dumb when it’s not at all their fault. I wanted to reduce frustrations where they could easily be reduced.

What made you decide to take your passion to the next level (i.e. become a professional)? Has it been easy? Hard? Different than you expected?

I was homeschooled through elementary school, so freelancing and being independent wasn’t a huge jump for me, emotionally. That part came naturally (to the detriment of my income for some years), but I know it can be a big jump for others. The leap I took into the one full-time job I’ve had felt much more extreme to me than the leap back into independence, and I think I’m fortunate to have that confidence in the unknown. That being said, it was a ton of work and actually has gotten harder the longer I’ve done it and as I’ve moved into growing a business. I somehow thought that if I worked really hard at the beginning it would start to get easier, but the learning and different hurdles continue all the time. As soon as I feel I’ve figured one thing out another pops up!

How do you gauge your success?

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Cool Tools: Goalscape

Last week, I shared my 2017 wrap-up and goals for 2018.  My list of goals for this year is pretty hefty. I felt good after writing them, but then found that I was having a hard time focusing and determining how to start as the days passed.

What should I start with first? How do these goals cascade and serve one another?

So, as I often do when I need to wrap my mind around something, I wrote it all down by hand, separating the different goals by quarter.

That helped. But I needed something more. I wanted to see this plan in a more visual way.

There must be a tool for that, right? To the Googles!

Enter this Cool Tools post focus: Goalscape

Goalscape is a tool that allows you to create a visual web of your goals around a central project.

It’s free for one project with up to 30 goals.

It’s available on the web, and as a desktop application (if that’s more your thing.)  The desktop app is $60 (one time.)  The unlimited online version is $6/month.

I used the free version and was able to create this AWESOME visualization of my 2018 Author Goals in no time at all.

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I loved this visual so much that I made it the lock screen on my phone. So now, every time I go to unlock my phone I’m faced with my 2018 goals, asking me “what should you be working on right now?” (Not accusatorily. It’s like a helpful productivity buddy 🙂 )

What project/goals could you use Goalscape to visualize? Give it a try and share your web in the comments!