Hello, Loyal Readers!
We’ve all got a lot on our plate. Most of us have jobs or school, families of some type, friends, and various other obligations we must fulfill in order to continue functioning in our silly lives.
But sometimes we get ambitious. Especially if we’re authors. We’ve got all the normal responsibilities above, plus the social medias to think about, the blogging, the reading, the beta reading, the job search, the agent queries—oh, did I mention the writing? Yeah, that thing that MAKES us authors. It’s important, too.
So it’s natural to feel swamped sometimes. Swampier than swamp-thing. Swampier than the Florida everglades. More swamped than a peat-bog mummy. (Those things are weird. Seriously don’t google unless you have a strong stomach—they put me off lasagna for years!)
So how does one navigate a swamp?
Very carefully, but this e-how article makes that sound easier than managing all of your daily obligations.
Here’s some tips:
Don’t make a “To-Do” list; Make a list of your goals.
To-Do lists are great when you’re grocery shopping or have some easily completed, one-time tasks. But if you rely on them exclusively, you could lose sight of the big picture.
A goal list reminds you what you’re working for. Why are you social media-lyzing? What’s all that editing for? Break your goals into longer and shorter term goals. Kind of like this:
Long Term –
- Publish a book
- Travel to Europe
- Eat one of those Football Sized Burritos in 30 minutes so its free
Short Term –
- Submit to Three Agents Monthly
- Save for a trip
- Eat several smaller burritos for practice
Schedule time to Do Things
This requires discipline, but people are more likely to actually DO something if they set aside time specifically for that purpose.
Think of it this way–Remember that vacation you’re planning? The one you keep putting off? Well, do you think if you were to buy plane tickets, you’d still put it off?
If you’re like me, you’d probably get your ass to the airport because plane tickets are expensive.
Granted, most of the things you do don’t cost as much, but the principle is the same; this is time that’s set aside for a specific purpose. You have nothing else to do during this time and vastly reduced excuses for not using it as intended.
Me? I’m making Mondays at 6:00 pm writing times. If it works well, I might make some time on Tuesdays, too.
Also, make time for goofing off.Don’t give me that look!
This one’s actually REALLY important, but here’s the trick–Don’t just ALLOW time for goofing off, MAKE time for goofing off.
It’s kind of like the one above. Structured goof-off time helps you get it out of your system guilt-free. We all need leisure time.
Set aside a day that’s ALL about fucking around and doing nothing productive. It’ll help you to recharge your batteries and keep going the next day.
Don’t Be Afraid to Let Some Stuff Go
(Incidentally, now might be a good time to get something off my chest: I think the ‘Let it Go’ song from Frozen is overrated. There, I said it. Tangent over, article continues.)
Have you got a whole bunch of things to do? Working on seven novels? Have a full time job AND are a parent of four? Then it’s time to quit somethings. Okay, I’m joking about that last one–not a great idea, but spreading yourself too thin isn’t gonna help all your shit get done. You’ve doubtless heard the research about multitasking and how shitty it makes us at everything.
I hear a lot of people say, “Oh, not me! I’m the best at multitasking! I can’t NOT multitask!”
Right. Because you’re such a beautiful, unique snowflake that human physiology doesn’t apply to you.
OK, sure. It’s possible to do two things at once. And it’s possible, with practice, to do them in an acceptable fashion. But some of these things deserve your full attention and won’t get done as well, or as quickly as if you gave them your undivided attention. Things like driving a car. Editing a novel. You kinda need to focus for them to be done well.
So that’s it for now. What are your thoughts, comments, and questions? Leave me a comment and Tune in next time!