My day job is an interesting combination of marketing writing, teaching Business English and being on the Community Aid Committee of the wonderful Hanoi International Women’s club. And of course those tasks get juggled alongside everything else that most women (and yes, some men) deal with on a daily basis – currently that includes moving house. So it will come as no surprise that I cannot function without a daily To Do List, combined with jottings and slips of paper in a desk calendar, a pocket calendar and electronic calendars all neatly synched between laptop, iPad and phone. Simply keeping these aide memoires up to date and colour co-ordinated regularly provides endless hours of entertainment (I think that was someone’s catch phrase but don’t know whose?).
In that wonderful way that only the universe fully understands, my various ‘worlds’ often overlap and merge in a very satisfying way (and occasionally collide in a less pleasant manner) and I marvel every time when I’m asked to write an article on a subject that is just the topic I need to know more about at that particular time.
Two recent examples illustrate my point. The first, more positively than the second, was an article I wrote for an e-newsletter where the topic was how to handle email overload in the office. I have the Post It Note in front of me as I type: Do, Delegate, Designate Time and Dump and I have to say, this system works very well for me (when I remember to use it!).
The second article was a longer piece about business blogging – why you need one and how to get started. Researching this article had me engrossed and I enjoyed writing it so much I even decided to implement some of the advice. An hour or so later I had a hand written, a typed and an Evernote version of my blog’s mission statement, frequency, editorial calendar and keywords.
That was back in April and since then I ‘should’ have written fortnightly on:
- Public Holidays in Vietnam
- Getting a second dog
- Trailing spouse syndrome
- Visiting Thailand
- Staying home alone in a strange country while hubby works away
- Visiting Phu Quoc island
- The CAC and HIWC
- Moving house, what you look for in a home when living abroad
- Holidays redefined – when going back home is not a holiday
And since April I think, from memory, I’ve posted about two blogs and probably not actually covered any of these topics. In fact, I haven’t felt inclined to blog at all. What had been a pleasure that I admittedly didn’t indulge in as often as I would have liked, had suddenly become a chore. Creating this plan took all the creativity out of the process for me. What had been fun has now become work.
Three months later here’s what I’ve learned – not all plans are good plans, you don’t always need a plan and – if it isn’t working ditch the plan!
So, hopefully I’ll be back more often and writing about the stuff that appeals at the time of writing rather than following a ‘features calendar’ and hopefully my readers will enjoy the randomness of ad hoc writing. I’ll leave you with a photo of me and the hubby getting soaked playing splash with an elephant in Thailand – just to bring the fun back into this blog!