You’re awesome. I can’t see you through this screen, reading this document, but my analytics tell me that you’re more awesome because you clicked on this article.
Let’s say you’re a blogger. You read things on the internet. You post about them. And you have a voice all your own. Pretty awesome, right?
The problem is, there’s only so much of your awesome that can go around. Simply put, if you put too much of your awesome in one place, there’s a good chance that, if you aren’t careful, you’ll spread your awesome too thin and you won’t make quite so awesome things.
With that in mind, I came up with an awesome idea to help you hold keep your awesome in line. It’s called Minimum Viable Awesome — it’s the way you balance all of your awesome ideas so you’re giving just enough to all the various things in your life as a curatorial snarketing genius.
Here’s how to sort, organize and keep it all together, pal:
Everything’s an idea.
If you’re really good, I mean really good at this writing thing, you’ll be able to pull an idea out of anywhere and run with it. But the problem is, if you’re looking for these ideas all at once, it’s a lot more work and you’ll be slamming your head against a wall trying to make your brain work. Don’t do that. Make a mental note, a bookmark, an Instapaper save or an Evernote clipping out of the cool stuff, and save it for later. Your sanity will thank you.
Don’t invert that pyramid!
One of the major journalistic tools you’ll run into in news stories, especially those written by wire services, is the inverted pyramid. But writing for the web is way more effective when it’s broken up into short pieces, drawing your eye and making you, the reader, feel smarter. You’ll also find that when you’re trying to post a lot quickly, you’ll write faster, too.
Learn the key commands.
If you spend all your time trying to move your cursor around the screen, you’ll be adding a lot of extra time to your workflow — especially in complicated apps like Photoshop. Spend a little time researching the key commands, and work on making them second nature. It helps, dude.
A little Dropbox goes a long way.
Why futz with e-mail and having to add extra steps on multiple platforms? Use a service like Dropbox, Box.Net, Cloud.app and anything that suggests clouds, boxes or storage. And if you do this, my favorite lifehack? Instead of having my Mac’s screenshots go to the desktop, I have them go to a public Dropbox folder, which allows me to share them on the internet instantly. It speeds things up.
Work a little. Then stop.
You may work hard, but everyone needs a freaking cat video sometimes. You need to finish that article, but it helps to take a look at your Twitter vox every once in a while. And dude, leave the office sometime — you look like you’re starving! By not tying yourself so tight to your work and focusing your energy, you work better when you’re actually trying to focus. And if you’re an obsessive and need some sort of device to do this for you becuase there’s no way you could possibly keep all of this time measurement in mind, may I introduce you to the Pomodoro Technique, which literally involves giving yourself a timer to work and take a break.
Don’t add unnecessary workflow.
One thing that I’ve found incredibly helpful in working on Associations Now is that we don’t edit copy using Microsoft Word at all. People use the tools they want (I write everything in Markdown using the content-editing tool Mou) — which means people are happier and more comfortable with the tools they use. We edit everything in WordPress, track changes, use e-mail and GChat and keep in constant communication. By keeping the process as streamlined as possible, it prevents backups on the copy front. If your workflow is “Minimum Viable Awesome,” it means you can focus more on what you really want to do: Write.
Great list, huh? Couldn’t have come up with it better myself. I think.
Anyway, say it with me. “Minimum Viable Awesome.” “Minimum Viable Awesome.” The more you work on your MVA, the closer you get to your MVO. What’s that? We in the me-writing-this-article industry call that “Maximum Viable Output.”
Now, you try.