Showing posts with label Zoom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zoom. Show all posts

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Time Swapping


Does this sound familiar?

"Some day, I am going to write my memoir ..."

"Oooh, next week, I am finally going to start that blog. Maybe ... "

"I really want to launch a podcast to promote my writing, but who has the time?"

The answer to that last question is, "Everyone!" With COVID rules, most people are working from home these days, which enables them to use time-swapping to increase their productivity!

Time-Swapping


Tell me, how long was your commute to work? Was it 20 minutes? An hour? And what are you doing with the time you used to spend walking, riding the bus, or driving to work? 

Use only a fraction of your weekly commute time for a passion project, side hustle, or even networking, and you will still make a dent in those often ignored back-burner goals. 
 
Here are 4 more ways to find time to work on your great American novel, screenplay, or passion project:

1. Driving Time. Even if you worked from home pre-COVID, you still had plenty of places to go each week from lunch meetings to the gym. Thanks to Zoom calls and video workouts, a lot of in-person events are now virtual. No more driving ... or even parking. With the time you save you can actually attend twice as many events each week.

2. Netflix Time. We all love our Netflix ... or Hulu ... or whatever our preferred platform for binge-watching after a long day. I'm not saying to get rid of binge-time, just shorten it. Binge one less episode a night, a few times a week, and see what you can accomplish during that found time. 

3. Your Prime Time. When is your prime writing-time? In the morning? Late at night? With family at home, you may be struggling for personal time. By extending your day - getting up 15 to 30-minutes earlier or staying up a little later - you can sneak in some productivity. Not sure which is your prime time? Try them both, and see what works best for you. 

4. Cooking Time. Whether you are a natural-cook or someone who took up cooking as a COVID-hobby, chances are you are eating out a lot less. One of the best ways to do food prep is to batch your cooking time. Pick one day a week to make multiple meals. You can easily freeze things like soup, spaghetti sauce, and casseroles, and pull them out later. I also love the Instant Pot as a productivity hack

To find time for those back-burner projects, you don't have to make sacrifices. You just need to be creative with how you spend and/or swap your time.


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So, where do you find found time? And how do you use it? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.



Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Tips for a Better Zoom Experience

Tips for a Better Zoom Experience
To Zoom or not to Zoom? It's not even a question. 

These days, Zoom is the primary platform for connecting people and events. Whether you are attending a virtual conference, workshop, or networking event, it helps to be comfortable with the platform.

My friend Steve Dotto, Dotto Tech, created a series of Zoom videos, and here are two to give you a nice background without too much overwhelm:

Zoom Basics:


 

And Zoom FAQs:

Beyond Zoom basics, here are a few things you need to know for a better Zoom experience:

1. Download Zoom. Before you attend a Zoom-hosted event, download the software on your computer. It'll make it much easier to join in when the event-time comes, so you are not scrambling to connect. You do not have to sign up for a paid account - a free account will enable you to personalize your Zoom experience, so your name and image will show up when you attend an event. 

Yes, you can use the Zoom app on your phone, but I think the computer - or tablet - makes for a better experience. It's much easier to watch, chat, and listen when you are not concerned about the position of your phone.

2. Use a Headset/Mic. You don't need to invest in a fancy microphone to Zoom. However, plugging in your hands-free earbuds - like the one on your smartphone - will reduce background noice, while making it easier for others to hear you. Keep your phone on mute unless you are talking. I also recommend turning off your video when someone else is presenting a workshop or seminar. Frequently the host will turn off the video and audio for all until the Q&A at the end. 

3. Clear the Clutter. Set up your computer in a place where the background is clean. You don't want your messy kitchen or office distracting others from the conversation. Zoom also has background options you can use with a green screen or clear background. However, those can tend to be distracting. My office setup has my book and my logo framed behind me. Simple, clean branding done the old-fashioned way.

4. Write Out Your Deets. Have your contact details ready to cut and paste into the Zoom chat box (usually in the bottom right of the screen). Keep a notepad doc with your website, email, and LinkedIn link. Use the https:// so it shows up as clickable. That way you don't have to retype it ever time you have a call. Oh, and be sure to save the chat toward the end of each meeting, so you have the info of others too. 

5. Avoid Zoom Overload. As easy as it may be to schedule several video conferences in one day - you're dressed. why not? - it's much better to pace yourself. Video calls take a lot of extra energy. Try to limit them to just a one or two a day and, if you have more, schedule downtime in between sessions. 

Bonus: Follow up: Like in an IRL event, if you make a new friend or business connection, be sure to follow up. Connect on LinkedIn, set up a coffee meet, and/or invite them to another event. 

The same rules to real-life events apply to virtual ones. Be polite (not salesy). Make new friends. Be genuine. And have fun. That's key for any event, live or virtual. Enjoy yourself and you will attrack like minds in the process.

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What are your tips for Zoom? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Friday, July 10, 2020

5 Steps for Creating Virtual Events

Creating Virtual Events

Even before COVID-19 kept us "safer at home," virtual events were an important part of your business' networking strategy. You could meet new people, learn new things, and develop relationships with others from anywhere in the world.

Now more than ever, virtual events are essential for staying connected, generating business, and having some semblance of a social life. While it's fun and often educational to attend events, organizing virtual gatherings is an even better way to up your visibility, showcase your authority in your industry or niche, and make new friends.   

Here are the basics of producing a successful virtual event:

1. Determine the Purpose. Before you jump ahead to planning the event itself, decide your reason for having it. Is it a mixer to reconnect with friends, family, or colleagues? Do you want to host a webinar to share your expertise and promote your product or  service? Is it a party to celebrate your book's release, a holiday, or other significant event?

2. Decide the Details. Once you know the "why," the rest of the details will fall into place. Choose a date, time, and platform. The top choices are Zoom (for activity and interaction), a webinar solution (like WebEx), or Facebook, where you broadcast a livestream to a group or business page. Another option is to do a virtual party on Facebook and mix up short videos with conversation-starter posts and interactive activities.

You may want to create a panel or conference, and invite other speakers. Or start an ongoing podcast or video show. I will go into that in a later post.

3. Plan and Invite. Once you have your concept, plan it out. Make a short outline of what will happen and when. If you need a script for your event itself, that's fine, but remember to stick with bullet points. When presenting, casual is much more effective. 

Create a Facebook event, a meeting in Zoom, and/or an Eventbrite invite, whatever is appropriate. Then, write up your event and post it on your blog, which you - and others - can share via social media. Invite your friends, community, etc., via Facebook, through email, and in social media posts. 

4. Produce. If you've done all the planning, your event itself should be a snap.  Show up a little early. Greet your guests. And - especially in those mixer situations - keep the conversation going. And remember to have fun!

5. Follow Up. After your event, send a follow-up email to all of your attendees. Thank them for joining you, and also share a little more about who you are, what you do, and how they can connect with you to follow up and/or be notified for future events.

One more thing: After your event, take some time to review what went right and what could have been done better. That way, you can make changes accordingly and plan an even better event in the future.

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Are virtual events one of your 2020 goals? Have you already planned virtual events? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.

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Join  my virtual half-birthday party for Your Goal Guide on July 14 on Facebook. Details are here.


Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

One Last Edit: Re-think before Submitting

Think of a story as a string of pearls. If you don't have a string, you can't put the pearls around your neck.                      ...