Now we’re all home from a heady weekend at BML16, it’s time to unpack our goodie bags, dish out the toys and sweets to eager little hands, and get back to real life. This was my third BML, and possibly the one I enjoyed most, meeting lots of new friends and reuniting with those I’d not seen since last year.
I don’t know about you, but I always come home from these things with a notebook bulging with ideas. Not just notes hurriedly scribbled down during sessions, but thoughts and brain waves of the sort that come to you when you spend an entire day talking to bloggers, about blogging. And then there are the slides we downloaded, the handouts, the emails we subscribed to…
The problem is that none of those notes and ideas can do any of us any good when they’re shut away in a notebook or saved on our iPads. We all come home from events like BML filled with grand ideas and inspiration; we think to ourselves, “right, I’ll just get the washing on/catch up with the emails I missed/do this piece of work, and then I’ll sit down and go through my notes…” and then before we know it, the event was six weeks ago and the notes are long since forgotten about. When that happens, if you think about it the time you spent in the talks and seminars and panel discussions were somewhat wasted, weren’t they!
What we need to do is commit ourselves to implementing what we’ve learned in these sessions…
First things first, find yourself an hour or two. That sounds oh-so-simple, I know, in a very “while you’re at it, grab a spare million quid from down the back of the sofa” sort of way. But consider this: why bother to arrange childcare and attend these seminars and scribble down notes, if you’re not going to do anything with them when you get home?
Once you’ve got yourself some time, sit down and read back through your notes from the event. On a separate sheet of paper, make a list of all the things you want to do. Some will be small things you can get done immediately, such as “email this company about working with them.” For others, you’ll need to schedule in yet more time to get them done.
Put timings against your list points: how much time do you need to get each one done? Be generous with how much time you think it will take, or you’ll just end up with loads of half-finished projects hanging around you!
Now you know how much time you need to find in your schedule over the coming weeks and months! This might mean you have to cut other activities short, so weigh it up in your mind, what will bring you the better reward in the long run. It all comes down to priorities; you may find that you actually want to remove some of the items from your list because actually, they’re not that important after all.
On the other hand, if you have things on your list that you really want to implement, you need to find that time somewhere. Can you cut short your TV viewing time for a few days? Put a pause on your weekly coffee with a friend for a few weeks? Get up earlier in the mornings? Often we all find that if we look at it in terms of “which do I want more” we can find the time somewhere… do you want to improve your blog, or would you rather watch Eastenders? See what I mean?
So often when we go to events, we scribble down notes and feel all inspired that we’ve just heard the one thing that will make our blogs amazing or improve our businesses exponentially… but then we go to the next talk or catch the train home, and it’s forgotten about. In order to get the most out of any event, we need to make time afterwards to implement the things we’ve learned. If we can do this, we can ensure we really do get the most out of attending blogging events, alongside the wine and the chatting and the goodie bags!
As well as blogging at Single Mother Ahoy, I also train people in blogging and social media at VickyCharles.com. Here I produce a weekly podcast and publish posts on how to get the most from your blog and your social channels, as well as other ways of growing a blog or business.