In essence, if I were to consider this blog a business, then I am the chief executive, financial, operating, and technology officer. I’m also the outside consultants and HR department. My girlfriend’s title is still up in the air, but I’m thinking she can be Vice President of Keepin it Real. Together, we’re learning when it is smart to be effective vs efficient.
Our cat (pictured above) decided to not help out on this blogging expedition, but I do find her checking out my computer from time to time. If I had to give her a title, she would be, “Chief Officer of Sitting on My Keyboard While I’m Trying to Type”.
I laid out these titles to show, A) the blog has absorbed A LOT of time and, B) having a partner through a new venture is absolutely vital to its success. Each of the titles above requires care and attention, but nothing is as important as someone there to keep everything in perspective.
I quickly learned a blog is an extension of your life AS IT IS, not as you THINK it is.
If we have chaos going on in our personal lives, then it will likely dip into the blogging life (at least for me). Despite having less free time now, I have become much more productive because I know I need to carve out the time to blog.
This relates to my next point:
Knowing when to be Efficient vs. Effective
I’ll explain via a typical week for me:
Naturally, we all live busy lives and similar to many of you who are reading at this point, I have a full time job in addition to family and social obligations. With so much to do, there is a lot I could do to become more efficient. I could cook and clean my place quicker. I could spend less time snoozing in the morning or spacing out when my girlfriend is watching television (I do this way too often!).
To combat my natural tendency to find distractions, I’ve focused hard on getting all my shit done as soon as possible to CLEAR UP my schedule to blog. BUT, when I am blogging I switch gears 100% and focus on EFFECTIVENESS.
To accomplish this, I typically spend a large amount of my Sunday cooking, cleaning & preparing for the week. I’m very much in a “task orientated” mode and try to cross off as many to-do’s on my list as possible.
During this time, I prize efficiency over effectiveness.
If my ironed shirts have a wrinkle or two showing in the back, then I will qualify that as good enough and move on. If I forget to add a specific sauce or spice to my slow cooker, then I’ll just try to do it next time.
With blogging, on the other hand, I do not measure my success based on getting tasks done; I measure the success based on delivering VALUE.
Of course, it would be nice to get things done quickly, but I have opted to spend as much time as it takes to satisfy my effectiveness requirement at the expense of my efficiency.
When I sit down and write an article I always think to myself, “What does the reader want to read about?” Or, “How can I offer the reader the most value via my post?”
Contrast this with an efficiency approach of, “How can I write a post as quickly as possible?” Or, “What is the least amount of words I can use to satisfy my readers?”
If I don’t nail a paragraph or a message is muddled, I’ll take a break, and come back to rewrite the section. I don’t want to publish anything that isn’t effective.
I find it most effective to write my posts first thing in the morning. My morning routine is basically, wake up, brush my teeth, slam a glass of lemon water, and sit down at my computer.
The very last thing I do is set a timer for 50 minutes so that I can truly zone out of everything and dive into my writing.
I feel like I am waking up within the document as my mind slowly starts to turn on.
There are no distractions early in the morning and I’m left with my own thoughts. Setting an alarm helps me avoid looking back at the clock and thinking about the next things to do that morning. Having this clarity helps me start my day off right.
Blogging has brought a lot of joy for being something so inexpensive. In this regard, I hope everyone can have some type of frugal hobby to help them along the road to pursuing financial independence.
Do you find there are certain areas in your life where you focus only on effectiveness? What are the other areas where your sole purpose is to be as efficient as possible? Have you had success finding the balance when it comes to effective vs efficient behavior?
P.S. I enjoy talking with readers and I learn a lot about what others find valuable in my posts. The best part is being able to provide value by answering specific questions or going deeper into the details on a particular topic. I hope to continue to do this, but I’m seeing the demand is moving higher as the blog continues to grow. With that being said, I’ve started drafting a “Consulting” page for those interested in learning more and looking for tailored feedback. If you’re looking for a detailed response, I’ll recommend contacting me now before the demand gets too high.
P.P.S. For those in the US, enjoy the extended Memorial Day holiday weekend!