“Quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times.” -Mark Twain
Starting a blog is easy. Finishing a blog, now that takes work. As I speak to attorneys all over the country about blogging, one of the #1 fears that I hear from them is:
“I don’t want to start something I can’t finish”
Two weeks ago I talked about Why anybody can blog, but most people fail. This week I want to talk about how attorneys can create an effective blog strategy AND have increased productivity. We are going to talk about how lawyers can create a process that will guarantee they can make their blog a reality.
The Devil is in the details
As professionals we work well under pressure. Deadlines, due dates and clients in crisis. These things don’t phase us, after all it is our job to make the problems of our clients our problems. This means that every client call is most likely urgent. There are always new fires to put out. It is impossible to plan for the calls, so we need to be ready to clear our schedule and help our clients solve their emergencies. This high volume of urgent and important matters can make it difficult to work on those things that matter the most to us. Some of the things that are the most important to us, aren’t urgent and certainly aren’t emergencies:
-watching your son’s soccer game
-dinner with your family
-date night with your spouse
-lunch with your best client
-follow up calls with your best prospects
None of these items are urgent, but it can be safely said they are all extremely important. Steven Covey describes the conflict of urgent/important versus not urgent/important with this 2×2 matrix
Sometimes we get so bogged down that when we finally have free time we spend it in the bottom right quadrant- doing things that are not important or urgent. Becoming “stuck” and living our lives in quadrants 1 and 4 is very common. There are four secrets to escaping them.
1. Have a clear vision of your future
What’s the point? Why are you creating the blog? What is your end goal? What matters most to you? Will your blog help you get there? If you can’t answer these questions- your blog will die an ignominious death. You won’t have the motivation to keep going.
2. Have a set time each week for planning
You’ll never find time for blogging. You can’t “make” time for blogging either. You need to schedule it, and that requires you to have a planning process. Set aside time each week to schedule your week and make it a priority to blog at times when you are less likely to have distractions.
3. Build accountability into your blogging goal
Who else knows about your goal to blog? Does your wife know? Does your boss know? Your business partner? Your coach? Make sure someone is checking up on you. Almost daily I hear professionals complain that they aren’t good at keeping regular commitments. Being accountable to someone else can help.
4. Make blogging a habit (this is probably the hardest step)
This comes as no surprise, it is difficult to start new habits.
“Man, I can’t floss my teeth. People talk about how hard it is to stop smoking; about as hard as it is to start flossing.” – Mitch Hedberg
If Mitch were alive today, may he rest in peace, I think he would agree that blogging is AT LEAST as hard to start as flossing. It takes commitment and dedication.
Ok, that is all I have to say right now. My wife is calling me, and it’s time to take my son to the park. Let me end by saying, if blogging is important to you, make it happen. If not, don’t beat yourself up for not doing it.