Overcoming Newsletter Procrastination

If I had a buck for every newsletter that was ever intended…and then put off, sometimes indefinitely…I’d be a super wealthy woman!

The problem is that every week that goes by without your newsletter “touching” those in your market is an opportunity lost. An opportunity to demonstrate your caring expertise, to build credibility and trust, to develop a loyal following, to promote your services and products, to add value to people’s lives.

The other problem is the amount of energy you actually expend in the process of procrastinating.

You know…the mounting pressure, the relentless mental chatter (When am I ever going to find the time? Why can’t I just get this over with?). You want to get to it but you don’t, over and over again, until just the thought of it brings a sense of dread and heaviness. If you do manage to finally get the dang thing done, it usually involves some form of burning the midnight oil — and then the day or two afterward to recuperate!

That’s a lot of wasted energy. I know. I’ve wasted plenty of it.

But take heart! There are ways to overcome newsletter procrastination, practices you can put into place that will help make your newsletter a simple business task you regularly tend to.

With these in place, you’ll derive the vast benefits a regular newsletter can bring: more connection with your database, more visibility in your industry, more clients, more sales, more opportunities of all kinds.

To know the “cure,” it’s helpful to first know the cause. Here are seven big “reasons” that most people procrastinate on newsletters. Any of these sound familiar?

  1. Schedules that seem impossibly busy.
  2. Discomfort around writing (don’t like to, writing not a strength).
  3. Lack of skills in the areas of design or Internet technology.
  4. Perception that doing a newsletter is an onerous task.
  5. Belief that no one cares what you have to say.
  6. Feeling vulnerable about “putting yourself out there.”
  7. Perfectionism.

In this article, I’ll give you some ways around Reason #1.

How to Get Around Crazy Busy Schedules

We all seem to have them, there’s just no getting around that. And too often, the newsletter is the first business task to go out the window. These strategies can help you keep up with a regularly produced and sent newsletter:

Create an annual newsletter calendar. Give a date to all pieces of the production process, from start to finish, for the entire year. When you lay this out for the whole year, and write the tasks in your calendar, you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” everytime a newsletter deadline comes along.

Go on a newsletter retreat. You can do this once a year or once a quarter. In one weekend, you should be able to bang out at least three months’ worth of newsletters, more if you work with Ready2Go Articles. If you get distracted in your normal home or office surroundings, go somewhere else. I like to check into a hotel room where there’s nothing to divert my attention.

Think small. The opposite of a newsletter retreat is to work on your newsletter a little bit every day. Don’t let the whole of the project overwhelm you. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in 20 minutes a day of focused time.

Break each issue into parts. One way to get any major project done is to break it into parts and work on one piece at a time, rather than face the entire project all at once. The five parts might look like this and could be done on five separate days: 1) writing, 2) editing and revising, 3) layout (putting it into your ezine template), 4) proofreading and testing, and 5) publishing or printing.

Chunk your tasks. This is kind of like doing one of those huge tabletop puzzles. You can’t do it all at once; you have to work one section at a time. So, with a newsletter, try doing all your articles for the next three months at one time, and then all the promotional items. Another chunk would be to format the issues all at once. You’ll get into a flow that wouldn’t happen if you do each chunk at a time.

Reward yourself. Do this often and generously for accomplishing even the smallest of tasks. Celebrate. Pat yourself on the back. Enjoy your accomplishment, and the benefits it provides.

Want to reprint this article in your ezine, or on your blog or website? Please contact my team for permission. They’ll send along my bio to attach at the bottom. Thanks!