What are your virtual routines?

It was at the Connecting Up 2011 conference where I met Heather Gold. When one of our keynote speakers had to back out due to an unexpected personal situation, my coworkers and I had to think of an alternative keynote speaker who can come to our conference with about two weeks' notice.

The situation was made even more complicated with the fact that our CEO and myself were in Colombo, Sri Lanka at the time. My boss and I had meetings to attend for one of our programs and I also had two presentations to give (another MS NGO Day + Tech4Good Summit).

Tough one, yeah?

Thankfully, David Hood and Beth Kanter already alerted me to Heather's work. The idea was a little bit off-centre for our conference, but I thought it might still be worth considering.

So, I told the boss and our small conference committee talked about it and agreed to go for it. I then asked Heather, and incredibly, she was available. AND she's willing to fly from North America to Australia at such short notice.

Other than witnessing Heather's interesting and lively keynote, I had a handful of other opportunities to talk to (and work alongside with) her.

Heather said a lot of really thought-provoking ideas. She shared a number of interesting concepts (anyone heard of tummeling?).

Yet, out of everything that Heather said, there's one thing that really stuck with me. And, she didn't say it during her keynote or one of her other official talks. She said it in passing when we first met and we were simply chatting about Twitter and online communities in general during a short one-on-one chat.

She said that it's really important to have virtual routines, as it gives people the opportunity to look forward to the same thing regularly. They don't have to be anything big or fancy. Something simple, if done right and regularly, may create the right impact.

Heather reckons that even saying goodnight, every night, just before signing off Twitter, has been a good routine for her and her Twitter community.

I've seen other people do similar virtual routines. For example, I know a number of folks who start their days with posts about needing or drinking coffee. There are people who post weekly recipes or weekly quotes. I've found some who ask questions or do polls.

Whatever it is, it becomes part of who they are and what they do online.

To be frank, I've never really been that great with routines. I prefer flexible schedules and adjustable agendas. I like to plan and strategise, but I'm also one for going with my gut.

Now, having said that, I do acknowledge that having routines for some things can be really great. In fact, doing this NaBloPoMo / NaNoWriMo challenge has really helped me to blog and write more than I've ever done in a very long time.

So yeah, I'm beginning to look in to how I can continue some of my online routines (without having to blog daily 365 days a year!).

And, I wonder, if anyone else have personal virtual routines? If so, I'm curious to know what they might be.

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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