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I became more effective online when I got offline


The most exciting thing to me about my non-stop flight to Los Angeles from Nashville yesterday was the thought of 4 uninterrupted hours to work on my website and get caught up on my emails.

But alas! My Southwest flight lacked any sort of WiFi! What was a blogger to do?
Luckily, I packed more than just my laptop in my new mobile office, and had come prepared with a battery of other tasks to fill my time:
-I read Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s “Trust Agents” that I won at the Disney Social Media Moms celebration last year (and with this year’s event next weekend, I was determined not to return without having finished it!) Even if you’re not a blogger, you’ll find great business and life principles to help you no matter your field – check it out for yourself!
-I went through all my to-do lists and notes from conferences, meetings and brainstorming sessions from the past 3 months. What I quickly realized was that I was a prolific note-taker, but a very poor executor of said notes. So I took a sheet of paper and used it to create ONE SINGLE LIST of action points that I compiled after going through all my other lists & notes. While it’s not a small task ahead of me, I already feel a huge sense of accomplishment for reviewing what was important and setting specific, strategic goals for the coming weeks!
– Most importantly, I wrote. Yes, without the hindrance of twitter windows popping up in the bottom corner of my screen, my Facebook tab beckoning to me or the ding of new emails arriving…I simply wrote. I opened up my netbook and freely let thoughts come out of my head and onto the screen. Some were things I’d been putting off writing and some (like this post) were purely organic and unplanned. But it reminded me of why I love to do what I do: write.
I admit, I get bogged down in the tyranny of the urgent on a regular basis and forget to simply write. But being forced to unplug, I dare say, will make the next time I actually get back onilne so much more productive simply because I was able to take a step back and get a clearer road map of where I was headed.
It may sound silly, but after several mentors prompted me, I actually set up and scheduled a weekly writing time in my calendar. Hey, if it’s important enough, you schedule it, right? (After all, relationship experts have been telling us the same thing about sex for years!). So I bit the bullet and did it (not the sex schedule, the writing schedule :).
My first appointment with myself was yesterday, but so far so good!
It’s interesting what can happen when you go back to basics. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation where the unexpected actually became a better plan than your original one?