So today has been…strangely encouraging. When I got up this morning, I made a promise to myself that I would write out a list of all the things that I needed to do each day to feel like the day was successful, and that I would complete said list before doing anything else “fun” (as I oft do). That means no arts and crafts, no TV, no reading tons of unrelated books, no Facebook, (not even any email), or video games until the Day’s List has been done. I tried to keep it relatively small and something I felt I could accomplish by around 2:30pm or 3pm, after which, with everybody home and around, things get much less predictable, and I *like* the flexibility of being able to say “Yes!” to friends who want to hang out or to watching a movie or whatever without feeling guilty. (Guilt-management is the name of the game this year.)
The Day’s List consists of a few things I felt would make me feel productive, and would address some areas I feel have been somewhat missing in my day-to-day planning. What’s different from previous attempts to govern my time is that this list can be done in any order, and each task (save those with time requirements) can take as little or as long as they need, allowing a lot more flexibility, which I found was a weakness of the formal “this hour to this hour” scheduling I’d tried before. However, to have a guilt-free successful day, I must complete all of these. They are, in no particular order:
[ ] Get up/get the dog his breakfast and take him out/have my breakfast (This is normal day-to-day anyway, but it’s on the list since it takes up A.M. time).
[ ] 1 Hour of Writing (this is the requisite minimum for any day, timed because editing is difficult to quantify for me)
[ ] Cello Practice (which includes running through all of my exercises)
[ ] 1 Lesson of Mandarin I (trying to get back up to speed on this, as it’s a major goal of mine that seems to keep getting slipped by the wayside)
[ ] 1 Chore (vacuum, laundry, dishes, pick up, etc.–trying to get back on the tidy horse)
[ ] Water Plants (I’m notoriously bad at remembering to water plants–it’s a running joke between me and my husband–so this is on the list, but it doesn’t usually take long ^_^)
[ ] 1 Hour of Reading (this from specifically the book I’m trying to finish for the week, with a little flexibility for articles/short stories)
After those seven things are done, I’m free for the rest of the day. I can read more, I can write more, I can play video games, I can junk out on Project Runway or Big Bang Theory or Biggest Loser, and not feel remotely guilty about not getting more done. I’m going to try this for a week and see how it goes. *fingers crossed!*
EDITING PROJECT: Ghosts and legends and Bluebeard, oh my! The cold Maine coastline! Haunted grounds! Ribbons and bitter, ghostly wives! Dueling secrets! True love? Perhaps!
Current Editing Project: Nobody Here But Us Monsters (Revision Edit–2nd Pass)
Accomplished in Edits: Got through another chunk of pages this morning. Mostly focusing on cutting down words so I can see the story a bit better as a whole. Finding *lots* to cut out, so that’s a good thing, but still quite a few pages to go on that. Then, I think, I’ll tackle the Butcher “POV/Goal/Conflict/Setback” check, and see how each scene plays out in that regard. I’m cautiously optomistic, but still rather in the “poke it with a stick” frame of mind for this chunk of fiction. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. We might get snow, so it’ll hopefully be a quiet day with lots of editing time. :)
In response to this blogpost by Jodie Llewellyn, I’m just copying over my summary of writing goals for February, which are as follows:
This February, I’m going to focus on getting in a regular day-to-day habit of organizing my time so I don’t have days where I look back at 6pm and wonder where all the time went. I’m going to focus on editing for now, because that seems to be the zone I’m in, and I’m especially going to work on not feeling *bad* about that! It’s a new phase in the cycle, and that’s perfectly all right. If I could get my current work in progress completely edited and submittable by the end of the month, and maybe fix up another one to submission-status, too, I’d feel pretty darn good about that. :)