The Night Owl diane.a.curran 300Let me fess up right now: I am a card-carrying Night Owl.

Science loves studying such stuff, and they say it’s in our in our genes, so we can’t really change, save for a short aberration called adolescence when all our biorhythms go haywire.

Sleep researchers say we revet to type after that. They also say true “Early Birds” or “Morning Larks” are the rarest with “Night Owls” a close second.

Most folks are traditionally circadian, which bodes very well for them being awake when everyone else is, and being predictably alert for work and such.

When I was a little kiddo, I discovered that I was helpless to keep myself from springing out of bed in the morning, unless I kept my eyes shut tight.

But at night, I had a really hard time going to sleep, even in the dark. Too many ideas in my head. It really puzzled me, until I finally experimented a bit. Eureka! I found out that it made all the difference if I actually closed my eyes, instead of watching night shadows from passing car llights play through the windows on our busy street. Oh, the discoveries of youth!

Some sleep specialists say there is a 3rd type, the “Hummingbirds” who are happily awake and ready to buzz about, any time at all, Maybe that’s me? But I do behave like a Night Owl, really loving the wee dark hours for creating, when it’s actually palpable that the world around me is asleep.

What does being Night Owl have to do with marketing, you ask? Lots!

Social Media is a bit of a Hummingbird, skewing toward Morning Lark.

Most of use have seen serious stats that tell you when the best time of day is to post online, and it’s not 2 AM, dearest Night Owls!

The best time to post online, generality speaking, is simple to remember:  Mid-day, and generally, Mid-Week.

Here are a few worthy citations for the statistically minded:

I’ll vouch for this from experience. There are nights I just have to post something fascinating in the wee hours, and “engagement’ is pretty non-existent for those posts.

But any card-carrying Night Owl will insist that the day isn’t over until we go to bed, even that’s at dawn. The day is 24 hours long, and doesn’t end at Midnight for us!

Last night, I was excited a having reached Day #80 in our 100 Day Deal, so this  post moves it head to Day #79. With the clever use of nighttime posting when I need it, I have reliably posted something new each and every day so far; even if some days were at 11:45 PM. With social media’s unforgiving clock, I was often racing to get my finished piece online before the clock struck the witching hour’s chime. I’ll beat that by 2 whole hours, tonight 😉

I even had my theme for today’s Diary post: Night Owls. naturally. Yes! I was tempted to start writing and get ahead of myself by a half a day, but was so tuckered out, I decided just to create the art collage you see above and get up early to write today. Whoo, moi?? Art is a dangerous game late at night, because it gives me 3rd wind, and my Hummingbird gangs up on me with Niight Owl, energy abounding. What fun collaging bejeweled feathers to make my Night Owl image.

What’s the scoop… how much time does it really take to create these dally posts, Ms. Diarist?

100 Day Deal Log screenshotLate in a day spent video script writing, shooting, and editing tomorrow’s video post, I still had today’s Diary post to write. Uh Oh. Night Owl’s sneaking up on me.

That’s when I realized I should share what it’s taken me to get this far— 21 Days into to this 100 Day Deal. Since I log my time for client projects; I’ve gotten very used to doing it, and find it keeps me grounded, as I work on my Book Launch and Course Launch in parallel. They say you get what you measure for, so I’m taking “them” at their word!

So, here’s a handy little chart to show the time it really took to dream up the concept, design & write the content, format it to post, and publicize on social media. It includes time spent getting a few attendant tools in place, like new teleprompter software, a new graphic design platform, and switching the ESP (email service provider) for my opt-in forms and tracking. I’ve dedicated 107.50 hours to date, not counting writing this post.

While 107.50 hours might seem like a lot in 5 weeks, it averages out to 3.03 hours per post, which is not bad at all for generating all new original content, start to finish. Of course you can see that some weeks I did far less on this project, working on other launch projects instead. But the ebb and flow factor is to be expected in any creative endeavor.

Are there any shortcuts to spending this much time on a Launch?

Of course there are:

  1. Pay vendors or staffers to take on specific tasks that you won’t, or can’t, do yourself. This takes less time but more money.
  2. Enroll volunteers with the desired skill sets who are dedicated to your cause. This requites flexibility and clarity about their availability and commitment levels.
  3. Just say no and buy yourself a ticket for a summer vacation. Just kidding. You know you want to Launch!

There are 2 absolutely essential supports to put in place. While they may not look like shortcuts; secretly, they actually are. Why? Because they will keep you from getting derailed.

(A) Make a schedule. No way you can do it without this and stay sane. Whether its a calendar, a spreadsheet, a treasure map, or a whiteboard, you MUST have something with tasks and dates listed to keep you sane. No matter how much you think your head can hold, fuh-ged-about it. You WILL forget, and you will get muddled; and not too far along in the process. Tasks get sidetracked, delays trip you up, and life tries to blindside you. Expect it and use your schedule to keep yourself sane, tapping into your best commonsense as you go.

(B) Get a support gang. I have several. I’ve got my personal cheering squad. Lifesavers in those scary moments when I lose confidence that I can ever do this. I also have my peeps in the courses I am taking to keep me on track. We’re in private Facebook groups, and wow does that come in handy to keep us all moving forward, not with pressure, but with empathy and appreciation, even though IRL we’ve never met. Or, you can put together a Mastermind of Equals. I’ve done that, many a time. I just caution you to set an end-date for the Mastermind commitment. even a renewable end-date, for clarity, focus and a dignified exit option.

• • •

So there you have it, this week’s Diary for left and right brain aficionados. Until next time! Chirp, Whoo and Bzzzz.

Cheers!

— Diane A. Curran

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