Time can be your nemisis, or your BFF.
Getting thoughts discussed during meetings, conference calls or during those moments of brilliance in the shower typed onto paper to share with others is the first step toward execution.
The "it's all in my head, I just need time to type it up" reasoning - let's face it, excuse - is one of the biggest roadblocks to setting a social media or marketing plan into action. When we excuse the lack of action with the lack of time, time is empowered to become our nemisis. Once the plan gets on a screen or on paper, assignments are given, timelines set, editorial calendars written, content created and management put in place, i.e. execution commences. The first step is getting the thoughts from A. (inside your head) to B. (on paper for the rest of the team).
This is no new dilema. It is not unique to social media execution either. This is a widespread, relentless obstacle across industries and areas of practice. Many fantastic ideas with potential for great innovative new products, groundbreaking services, market shifts, and record-breaking funds raised fail to launch because they never convert from talk to action. It has been addressed by some of the greatest thought leaders in history:
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well done is better than well said. - Benjamin Franklin
You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action." - Tony Robbins
One of my favorites is the Chinese Proverb: Talk doesn't cook rice.
What's the remedy? For me, it is writing as soon after a discussion as possible. I build time into my calendar to write at the end of a scheduled meeting. I've begun forming a habit of note taking on my iPad or even iPhone during meetings. These notes become the outline afterward, then I flesh it out and share it with others. This is when time and I become best friends. When I'm writing I also find it necessary to shut off all distractions - email reminders, my tablet, cell phone and even close Firefox and Chrome. If I don't, inevitably I become distracted by things I would much rather be paying attention to like tweets, texts, posts, notices and updates.
When I do not take these steps, I regret it. The result of waiting even one day to come back to notes from a meeting is much more time to get it done. Time is added to recall what I was thinking during the discussion, make sense of my notes, get my head back into the specific strategy or ideas for the social media plan. It snowballs from there. When it comes to the constantly improving nature of social media, waiting to execute a social plan is likely to result in the strategy losing its relevance.
What do you do? Are there tips that help you translate words to action?
-- Christine Stineman --