Friday, August 20, 2010

What Can You Do in 15 Minutes?

Whether I'm invoicing books, calling libraries or bookstores, or sending queries and writing articles, life can feel like a series of distractions. The car broke down, the dog threw up, the phone rings constantly--my production rate slows to a crawl. I wondered why I wasn't more productive.

Then I read this post from Lifehacker about using a daily log of what you've done to keep focused. The post made me recall Six-Figure Freelancing by Kelly James-Enger and I thought about how productive she was because she kept track of her time in 15 minute intervals and she perservered with every task.

So I started logging in every 15 minutes. It didn't matter what I was doing, I simply looked up and recorded it. Ah those phone conversations with my sister, the snacks that call my name, and the dogs that need walking--when I write down what I've done, I can see what I did do. And revisiting my lists, helps me become more focused. Past, present, future--my mind also springs to what I need to do when I write what I'm doing, so I have a goal list, too.

One of my short term goals is to take care of all the details for an upcoming event, so yesterday I sent a blog post to Village Books for their blog (not sure when they'll put it up but check it out). Then I talked to Nan Macy at the store about my book events on September 1st. I'll be at the farmers' market at 2pm and at Village Books at 7pm. Before we hung up, Nan asked if I could send personal invitations to farmers from my book for the event, so I added that to my ever growing list of things to do. (I never thought about any of these things I decided to become an author.)

Each event builds recognition and I noticed I got a mention in the Bellingham Herald for this event. The bonus for doing book events is more publicity. (I think that's why my friend Kathy Gehrt seems to get so much publicity--she's a nonstop event author with energy to spare.) I just hope the weather is this nice when I'm at this beautiful farmers' market on the village green.
I also have an event this weekend at the Coupeville farmers' market where I'll be signing copies of The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook tomorrow. I've never been to this market and haven't been to Coupeville in years so I'm excited to go. I spent the morning baking some lemon-lavender biscotti to share at the market. The farmers' market route is by far the most delicious of all book tours.

One really exciting thing about this book tour is the journey it has taken me on while promoting it and I can't knock the tips for better productivity I've picked up along the way.

1 comment:

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