I wasn’t planning to do an end of year roundup or even post resolutions. I figured with What to Expect for 2012 that would be my year end send-off, but I got to thinking of what’s my number one goal for 2012 after some thought I came up with this: SLOW DOWN.

In the business world, young executives are taught early on about the benefits of planning, but proper planning takes time and each task needs to be thought through in terms of prioritizing. As simple as this might seem, getting your thoughts down for the day can be pretty hard if the phone is ringing, you’re getting pinged by email, endless meetings are scheduled throughout the week on top of the writing responsibilities and the client hand-holding.

When I worked at PR agencies I got in the bad habit of having to multitask and write materials that were due “yesterday” or “ASAP!” That sense of juggling too many balls in the air, of rushing through each task ultimately developed into a series of bad habits. I turned everything around quickly and everyone was pleased by how fast I jumped through a hoop, but I always felt rushed and breathless because everything was made into a catastrophe if it wasn’t turned in by an unrealistic deadline. However, I managed to create a method to this madness that suited me, but numerous tasks suffered and that included proof-reading, which no matter how often I seemed to reread my work (mostly in a rushed state) never improved.

These bad habits and feeling rushed finally come to an end for 2012. My motto moving forward is SLOW DOWN. That doesn’t mean that I’ll ignore deadlines, it only means that I’m slowing down so I can organize, prioritize and do the job right.


  • Thank you for this reminder, Rebecca. I just took on the PR function for a nonprofit and am tearing my hair out because those little jobs that are needed yesterday are jumping ahead of my writing (my personal top priority) and commitments to other writers. So that balancing we need to consider for our overall sanity and the planning that will help us achieve our goals is absolutely necessary. You nailed this one. I may not SLOW DOWN but you motivate me to PLAN.

    • @bluebethley Beth, there are some tools that will help you that I’ve mentioned in this post http://www.rebecaschiller.com/software/digital-tools-of-the-trade/. I’ve been using Omnifocus. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but I like it because it syncs with ical. One of my daily tasks now is to sit down first thing in the morning and just empty my brain of what I have to do for the day and for each item completed, I make it a point to cross it out. Whenever I follow this routine, I am way ahead of the game. This year, because I have so many writing projects, my to do list are definitely must do. If I don’t then nothing will get done.