The Discipline Issue

When we received the most recent newsletter from Paul (Do Your Own PR) we felt it rather relevant to the wedding industry where there is such pressure to be active on all social media platforms. When doing the job + running a business, finding the time to tweet or pin or post, can be rather difficult.

This issue I want to talk about discipline, and, no, this isn’t going to be about Fifty Shades of Grey, although I do have a post on my blog here about that! I want to talk about self-discipline and its importance in doing your own PR.

Paula Gardner

I’ve been struggling with self-discipline lately. I don’t think I am busy lazy or unmotivated. I have noticed that recent changes to the way that we work, such as having one eye on social media ready to respond, retweet or reply, are making a difference to my output, and not in a good way. I am a big advocate of social media, but, at the same time, I realise its dangers, for me especially. I find it can be rather addictive, but, more than that, completely distracting.

That’s not to mention the fact that I often have Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome running all the same time, all logged into different accounts and doing different things. And I haven’t even got around to Skype, Tweetdeck or Google Chat. Argh!  The end result has been working when I should have already finished for the day, catching up on myself. And that’s not good.

I used to think I was good at multi-tasking but now I am wondering whether I have just been kidding myself.  Not only have I been flicking from one activity to another, that flicking from activity to activity has become a habit – the norm, and I don’t like it.

So, I’ve taken myself right back to the way I used to work – a short to do list that isn’t too overwhelming, only opening one account at a time, reminding myself that that latest Tweet/Facebook post isn’t really going to add to the bottom line of my business, not in reality.

But getting that article done/replying to my client/sending this newsletter out will.

It struck me that I seem to work best when differentiating between what I would call HARD WORK – getting things out there in front of potential clients and journalists, and SOFT WORK, things that I can be doing (often via social media) to raise presence and just keep up a profile out there. Ok, perhaps hard and soft are not perfect ways to describe them, but the HARD WORK is often just that – hard because it takes self discipline to get down to it, and the other stuff doesn’t (for me that is – you might be completely the opposite in what you find easy and hard to get done).

So, my to do list needs to have the HARD Work items prioritised, and I can’t do the easy distracting (and often fun) stuff until they are done. Sounds a bit simple doesn’t it…but try putting it into practice after a good few years of living a multi tasking life. It is incredibly hard, but already I am noticing a difference. I can stay with a task for longer, have seen solid shifts the amount of revenue raising work I am doing, and actually, I do feel calmer and less distracted.

How can this help you?

You might want to think about those PR activities you keep saying you’ll do (press release, phone up journalists, offer to write articles) and think about whether like me, you are being distracting by a million other things and just not getting them done. It might be a case of you simply don’t have time, but I bet at least half of you out there could easily find the time if you cut down on something else.


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