1000 Competing Ideas & Tasks

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Getting the Writing Done

Some days are overwhelming with 1000 tasks and ideas competing for attention. How do you focus on what really needs to get done? How to you make sure the “imperative” things (those things that must be done TODAY) don’t take over the “important” things?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/4207563765/First, make sure you know what’s important to you! What are your long-term goals for your career? Carve out the time for what is important. When I had four children at home and I home-schooled them, people would ask where I found time to write. Basically–you do what is important to you. I don’t know how. For sure, I can’t tell you how. But I know this: if it’s important enough you WILL find time. Somewhere.

Second, lists help me a lot. I make a list of things I need to get done and make sure that the list includes those important things, as well as the imperative. It works well for me to cross off things from a list. If something doesn’t get done today, it’s on tomorrow’s list. Well, really, I have a sort of weekly list, a messy piece of paper that sits in front of my computer monitor. I make notes from phone calls and doodle on it. But the list is still prominent. And when that piece of paper gets too messy, I get a new one out and put the current list on it and start again. Shrug. It’s messy, but it works.

Writers write. That next scene may not actually be written on the page at any one time, but believe me, it’s written on the important list in my mind. I always find time to work on something about my WIP novel. Yesterday, I just managed to plan the revision of the next scene. Today, I’ll write that and hopefully, plan the next scene’s revision. But if I can’t get that planning done, I’ll start there tomorrow. I don’t worry so much about how MUCH I get done each day, so long as I’m always chipping away at the task.

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