by Cara Lumen
A best practice is something that continues to work well in a given situation. A best practice takes the least amount of effort and achieves the best results. What are your best practices? Do you know? Do you have any in place? Do you have any in mind?
Stop a minute before you read on and write down a few of your best practices. They may systems or techniques or habits used for time management, project management, marketing, life in general, personal development, self-care, and/or preservation of health. What action steps get the job done? How do you choose your best ideas? Here are some of my best practices:
- I write blog posts and articles first thing in the morning when I am fresh and eager to philosophize. One hour gets a lot done.
- I group my coaching client appointments into specific days rather than have them spread out all over the week. I allow fifteen minutes on either side of a call to focus before I speak to them and to complete my notes after we talk and get their Call Prep Homework Sheet out to them within hours of our call.
- I set aside one day a week to work on my business rather than in my business. This may be direct outreach, it may be posting articles to article submission sites, it may be working on a new product or service or updating my web site or it may be about exploring what else is out there around my target community. It is time spent taking action steps that will move my business forward.
- I put off looking at my email until I write. They pull me off target. Using my first hour at my computer to create serves me well.
- I use the Priority email feature in gmail to help me sort my important email and quickly delete what is not necessary.
- I unsubscribe to things I am not reading.
- I read a few blog daily: Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Mike Dooly, Darren Rowse and Brian Clark. I learn a lot from them.
- My blog posts files are labeled “ny-(name of post)”. NY means “not-yet”. That keeps the incomplete or unposted posts in one place in the folder. When I post them I simply remove the “ny-“.
- I have a master Blog Post URL file that keeps track of the name of each post, its URL, the date posted and its category. It is in Word and I can easily sort the posts by content so when I add my “You might also like” list of articles to a post it is easy to find appropriate ones to reference.
- I keep new blog post ideas on this same list.
- I also have put my affiliate links to products I recommend on that document for easy capture for my twice monthly emagazine.
- I try to write several blog posts at a sitting so I can post ahead.
- I keep my courses in binders so they are easy to locate and I can quickly put notes and ideas in them.
- I have a project manager document that breaks down the project into steps, date to be completed and who is responsible for that step.
- When I write a new course or ebook I start with a very strong outline and work that in outline form for a long time before I write. It helps me keep seeing the overview.
- I use the heading feature in Word to write: Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. Then I throw up a table of contents and can see how my written content is organized.
- When I write anything I start by answering “Students leave with an understanding of…” Then I write.
- Blogging remains my favorite way to reach out to others. I blog three times a week.
- I put versions of some of those posts in www.ezinearticles.com
- I write for my blog development site www.magneticblogbuilders.com
- I add “You might also like” to each post with a list of related articles for additional reading.
- I keep in touch with people in my community. Sometimes only through my twice monthly emagazine, sometimes through personal emails and calls. This is the very best thing you can do to nourish you and your business.
- I love to teach and work to offer four courses a year.
- I sit down quarterly and examine how I’m doing – what’s working and what’s not.
- I go on line and see what people are offering to my target community and look for what I can add that isn’t there.
- I schedule three or four teaching opportunities a year to keep me connected with my core community and have an opportunity to interact with new people.
- I study my outreach and measure its effectiveness. How is my blog doing? How is my list growing? What products are selling?
- I outline a promotion plan – emphasizing one product a quarter to build interest and sales.
- Many of my blog posts are philosophical in nature. I write to figure things out, or observe how others are living their lives.
- I read several thought-provoking blogs – Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Mike Dooly’s Message from the Universe.
- I love Emerson, Rumi, Hafitz and Kihlil Gibran’s “The Prophet”
- I have supportive philosophical friends who call me on my stuff.
- I take a walk mid-morning for a physical break from my computer. I love my new walking sticks – they exercise the upper part of my body and help me burn more calories as I walk.
- I love Falun Gong www.falundafa.com as an energy balancing, meditation. I do that at the end of my walk. It leads into meditation.
- I keep learning new healthy dishes to cook.
- I take time to watch the clouds do their thing.
Allow your best practices to evolve
A best practice is a work in progress. You put it in place and adapt it as the circumstance changes. Sometimes we have some less-than-good practices in place. Once you notice them you can get rid of them. Remember, a best practice produces good results with little effort. What are your best practices? Please share them with us in the comments.
© 2010 Cara Lumen
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