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Archive for August, 2012

What Approach Do You Take To Getting Things Done? The Tortoise or the Hare?

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Yesterday I read a great post by Mary Jaksch of Write to Done and A-List Blogging about two approaches to getting things done. She made a great video which explained her thinking. It was a view I had long held myself but had just never bothered to put down on paper. I suppose the instant hit I got from reading her post and watching the video was that great ideas are given to many but only a few choose to do something with those ideas –  just like me.

As I watched and listened to Mary explaining the two approaches I could clearly see the approach that I tend to use in my work as a coach trainer and writer. I am predominantly the tortoise. My approach is simple, small, slow and steady. That’s the way I seem to get most things done – even if it takes longer than I would personally like it to.

Recently, I watched as a friend wrote her first book in 90 days. She created a brilliant marketing plan, put it speedily into action, got great reviews and media coverage and did I mention she managed to scoop an interview on Women’s Hour? It’s really hard to get onto Women’s Hour so to get this as one of her first media interviews was indeed something. Every time I go online she has a new video or social media post. She’s a great example of the hare. She does things quick and fast and doesn’t miss a trick.

I, on the other hand had a seven year hiatus between writing my first and second book, a more respectable gap of three years between my second and third book. On Twitter I have fewer than 500 followers and follow under 500 people. I feel less like the tortoise and more like an ant when I look at some of the figures of my counterparts on Twitter. How on earth do people find the time to compose over 1,000 tweets and have over a 1,000 followers? Did I mention some people have over 14,000 followers?

In her post Jaksch suggests three simple ways to build your blog and these can be applied to so many other areas of your work and life. Her strategies were simple and so easy to apply.

You can watch the video here:

She suggests:

* Hares have a better press than the tortoise

* Tortoise takes a little longer to get there

* There are times when the tortoise approach is right such as when we are in a learning and growing mode, gathering knowledge, experience and building products and platforms

* Great news is that we can switch between the two at any time

Jaksch’s three approaches to applying the Hare Strategy

* To come at the starter gate at a blazing pace with a big launch of posts that will attract many

* She started writing three posts a week one for her blog and two as a guest blogger

* Wrote all of the blog posts for one month in one week. Hard work but got her into a writing flow?

When to use which approach?

* When you are in a busy phase in your life stick with the Tortoise Strategy

* If you want to push your blog apply the Hare Strategy

Jaksch’s final words – Just keep going.

There is no doubt I am a tortoise by nature but as Jaksch suggests, you can switch at anytime between the two. So sometimes I will speed ahead and have a burst of energy and get something out fast and furious. To be honest, when that happens it does feel good but then I also feel good returning to my natural flow of simple, slow and steady.

I may only have a small tribe of just over 300 followers on Twitter but I do feel their presence. I feel connected to my small tribe and I can see who is in my tribe. In her book Writing Past Dark, author Bonnie Friedman writes on the subject of envy, ‘whenever I feel envy I return to my work’. Whilst the subject of this post is not one of envy, entwined in its message is the desire to stay true to your work. Don’t get caught up in the numbers game and expectations of where we should be in the world and platform of social media. There seems to be so many connections with the dynamics of children in the playground and increasing numbers on social media platforms. Time and time again we are cajoled into building our membership so fast that we may lose the real connection and appreciation of the online journey in our haste to reach somewhere (that topic for another post).

So here’s my suggestion for today whether you’re racing ahead like the Hare or slowly moving along in Tortoise style, take a moment to reflect on these questions:

1. Take a moment to list what you are valuing about your online experience right now?

2. What has been a great moment in your blogging or tweeting during the last month?

3. What one moment made you smile about Facebook in the last seven days?

4. What do you most appreciate about your online community?

Let’s not forget it’s the journey not the destination, whether you are choosing right now to apply the Hare or the Tortoise approach make time to enjoy the ride whatever your pace.

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