Are you stuck? Do you have dozens of blogging decisions to make but can’t figure out which one to focus on first?
I suspect that you’ve mentally marked all of your decisions as important. You are trying to get them all answered satisfactorily before you set up your blog or even write a post. You might be making the process more difficult than it really is.
Tim Ferriss, the prolific mental hacker suggests, “I’ve always suspected that we start each day with a limited number of decision-making points, once depleted, leave us cognitively impaired.” I agree. The moment more than 3 key decisions are put on my mental plate, I freeze up, and procrastinate. How about you?
I recently spoke with a good friend about his blog and he listed off a few blogging questions he was trying to resolve. Each question led to a list of other considerations. I can see his mental gears grinding to a stop as his brain decided that this problem wasn’t worth tackling.I told him, “The good news is that half of the decisions you’re thinking about don’t need to be resolved today.” In essence, I was giving him license to procrastinate. But there is a method to my madness.
Frank Partnoy describes himself as an inveterate procrastinator. He prides himself on taking as long as he can to make a decision. You would think he would be the poster boy for sloth, indecisiveness, and unreliability. Not so in fact, he has turned the art of decision-making on it’s head.
The key question he asks when making a decision is “When do I absolutely need to decide?” The timeframe dictates the importance and urgency of the decision.
Partnoy says that if the decision needs to be made in 10 seconds then wait nine. If you have 7 days to decide, then diligently gather information for 6 of those days.
He believes that we’ve been duped by the Type A “worry warts” that stress fast decision-making. In his book “ Wait: The Art and Science of Delays” he argues that fast decision-making is often qualitatively worse than the easy as it goes approach.
Ferriss and Partnoy together have provided an interesting way to get your blog “unstuck”
Most blogging decisions can be divided into three groups:
- Creation: What content will you produce?
- Design: What will your blog and blog posts look like?
- Evaluation: What will other people think about your blog?
Now, if I were a Blog ER Doctor, I would triage these groups like this:
Creation: Immediate action. Research reader needs, pick topics, create an editorial calendar and start creating.
Design: Delay until the decision affect your creation decisions What is the “minimum effective design” you can work with until you’ve dialed in your content creation? Many times, selecting a premium theme and framework that can be customized quickly is all you need to do. For example, I wasted months selecting a theme for my blog before I wrote the first post! A dumb mistake that wasted time I should have devoted to writing.
Evaluation: Delay as long as you possibly can. Questions like:
- Will people want to read what I have to say?
- How successful will this blog be?
- Should I wait until I have more time to blog?
- What return will I get on my blogging investment?
These questions are interesting and worthwhile to ponder. But, in the end, you can’t reliably answer them until you’ve started creating content and getting meaningful feedback from readers.
Invest in Momentum
Momentum is the skeleton key for blogging success. Getting started is the most difficult part. Make it easier by moving quickly on the “Creation” decisions now. Get help if you are stuck on these decisions. Invest what you can to release the log jam and get moving. Everything else is a distraction.
When you read through the groups (Creation, Design, Evaluation) which questions came to mind? Which “evaluation” decisions are threatening to kill your momentum?