Measure and Manage ~ Outside the Margins with Tami Veldura

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Tami Veldura OtM

Peter Drucker is some guy who said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

I think my dad quoted this to me first, but I came across it at some point and went ‘ah.’

If you’re not tracking something, you don’t know for sure if you’re improving. We’ve all tracked things at one point or another, the easiest thing in the world to track is the current wordcount on my WIP. Sometimes I track it every day down to the word, other times I’m just mentally checking off the latest 10k. Both systems work: they tell me how close to the goal I am.

But you can track anything and everything in your life. I can measure how many words per minute I write. How fast I write in the morning vs the afternoon. How well I write after lunch. After a steak lunch vs. a pizza lunch.

Freelancers can track how quickly their clients pay the bills, what their labor is worth per hour, and how many leads have turned into paying clients from facebook, twitter, or upwork.

If 90% of your clients come from upwork, but 100% of your twitter clients pay within 3 days of receiving an invoice, maybe it’s worth increasing your twitter presence. But you wouldn’t know that unless you track those variables.

Sidebar, I LOVE spreadsheets. I am stupidly in love with spreadsheets. They make my insatiable list desires come true. And conditional formatting? Conditional formatting is like mana from heaven, it’s glorious.

So this love of spreadsheets combined with the knowledge that tracking things is good for me sometimes gets out of hand. I can spend hours perfecting a spreadsheet without actually getting to work on the thing the sheet is tracking.

Procrastination is a powerful beast I’m sure many of you are familiar with. I certainly am. I’ll clean the whole house before I can convince myself to sit down and write for the day. And writing is what I want to be doing! Frank Norris, a novelist, once said, “I don’t like to write, but like having written.” And that’s certainly the case with me!

But procrastination doesn’t have to be a demon on your shoulder. In fact, a study suggests that moderate procrastination might actually improve idea generation and quality. The kicker is, procrastinating before you start the thing, doesn’t help you. You have to start the thing first, then stop and let it stew for a while. When you go back to it you’ll find a fountain of ideas waiting for you.

So whip out a spreadsheet, or your favorite to-do app, and start tracking something: your workouts, reading, bills to pay, pet training, your sleep schedule–and see what you can discover.

~Tami Veldura

About Tami Veldura

Tami Veldura is a reader, editor, and author of LGBT work. She’s a petite dragon who hordes purple things and prefers the title Mx. Track her down on twitter or find her books on Amazon and AllRomance. Bring your best pokemon and cat videos.

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