Phew! It’s Sunday, the start of a new week and already I feel a bit overwhelmed by the week. It’s one of those weeks where I have got so much to get through and wonder how I can juggle it all. So, first off, I’ve made a list of what needs doing.
1. Finish edits on two non fiction reading book titles.
2. Mark two batches of assignments for my tutoring job.
3. Finish writing notes for performance poetry manuscript.
4. Write five new reviews for Aussiereviews
5. Update Aussiereviews
6. Finish rewrite of picture book wip
7. Make contact with author and illustrator I’m interviewing for Reading Time magazine.
Of course, these are just my writing goals for the week – I’ve also got a trip to Perth to take Murphlet 2 back to boarding school, a day and a half in the classroom, an athletics carnival, washing to do, meals to cook, floors to clean and so on. I sometimes make a separate list of these things, but when I’m at my desk the writing stuff takes priority.
Now that I’ve written the list I can see that it isn’t as bad as I’d thought. For some reason lists seem longer when they are buzzing around in your head. And the great thing about written lists is that you can cross things off as they’re completed, with great satisfaction, and you can look at them to see how much progress you have made. Also, a physical list can sit on a desk as a reminder not to get too sidetracked.
If you are going to make lists for yourself, try to make the items as specific as possible. For example: write some reviews is too vague as an aim – how many is ‘some’ and how will I know when I’ve finished it? Also write more of my novel would be similarly vague whereas write 1000 words is more measurable.
Also try to make the list achievable. I know I have a busy week aside from writing, so have tried not to include things on the list that aren’t so pressing. The only items on the list that aren’t deadline-driven are the picture book manuscript and the reviews. The picture book is there because that’s the thing most important to me – producing new, quality manuscripts. And I’m excited about this current one, so need to keep redrafting and fine tuning. The reviews don’t have a deadline because I own the website – but I try to keep new content going up at least every fortnight and feel I owe it to the reading public and the books’ creators to get reviews up as quickly as possible.
I find the use of lists a great way to keep focussed and to get things done. If you are feeling swamped, why not try setting yourself a list of targets for the week? I’ll let you know how I go with mine.