Berlin U-BahnI’m putting together a presentation I’ll be doing in a few weeks time. It’s about time-management, simplifying your life, and achieving your goals. But far from being an instructional talk, it’s more about how I’m incredibly bad at most of these things, and how I have to trick myself into getting stuff done and striving for that ideal life. For example, I’m writing this while sat in a cafe that has no wifi. And I sought it out on purpose. And I’m doing that a few mornings a week now. I call it “blackspotting – the act of purposely seeking disconnected areas in order to get more work done” (mainly in a vague hope the phrase will catch on, it’ll become a trendy thing to do one day and I can pretend to be the inspirational founder of a global movement that someone actually thought of years before me).

The thing is, like many creative people, I’m quite easily distracted, and with email, web, twitter I’ll often find myself sitting down to do some work and find I “need” some information. I open up a browser, ask a question on Twitter, or search through my email archive. But I’ll get distracted by a shiny link to an interesting report/blog/site/whatever. And before I know it half an hour has passed and all I’ve been doing is browsing.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. I’m finding that with all the things I’m doing now, and the increased amount of time I’m spending on Dizzyjam (full launch any day now!) and various creative industries consultancy projects, I’m finding less time to spend on the things I love that I do for free. The case in point is Nocci. It is a success story, with events happening all over the UK, and has attracted a huge amount of attention. However, because it doesn’t generate any revenue (well, at least not at the moment), I can’t justify giving it the time and attention it deserves. People have told me it’s been incredibly valuable to them in terms of meeting new people, finding project & business partners, and generating thousands of pounds of income. And now I’m starting to get requests to run international events. It’s on the cusp of being a truly global network of events for people in the creative industries, all run by members in their own towns and cities. But despite being effectively run and operated purely by its members, it still takes time to administrate, upload pics of events to the site, keep the news pages up to date etc etc.

So, I’m thinking of how I can get more people involved to get it expanding at the rate it deserves to. Do I ask for volunteers? Do I give “ownership” of countries/territories to members that are pro-active there? Do I appoint a news editor; someone who can write an interesting and engaging news piece once or twice a week? Will people be willing to give up their time to be involved?

Or do I go down the hard, sweaty path of trying to attract (a relatively small amount of) funding – say £40,000 a year – to pay someone to work fulltime for Nocci and have a small budget to work with? And what about crowdfunding (anyone had any experience of Kickstarter.com)?

To bring it back to the beginning of this post, one of my tricks is to put stuff “out there” as a means of creating dialogue between friends, Twitter followers etc that will spur me into action. By publically committing to running Berlin Marathon before I’d even found out whether spaces were available i kind of had to do it! And so hopefully by writing this down and committing it to the ether, it will have a magical catalytic effect!

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