I think one of the things I’d like to do for myself is start making better short term to-do lists. Lists that are more like 24 - 48 hour rather than just weekly and monthly to-do lists.
I’ve read a lot lately about long term goals and “chunking” them back and then making them non-negotiable. And if you miss one set you have to add them to the next set of goals so that you'd have an even longer list in the next “time period” but you’d stay “on track”. I think having to add whatever you miss to the next section would encourage you to not put off much on your list. I think you have to make sure you’re being practical but I also know that if I give myself a week to do the task I’ll be doing it on Friday. I might do a little of it on Thursday but most of it would get done on Friday. I have a tendency - and I don’t think this is uncommon - to let a task take as long as I’ve given myself to do it. What I should really do is give myself two days to do that task instead of a week.
Part of it might be to say okay if I want to get this list of 10 things done, I need to then assign two a day to myself and that way I don’t get stuck rushing around trying to get all 10 completed on Friday. And honestly if I can complete that much on a Friday then maybe I need to be setting myself bigger goals.
Of course another thing I’ve been reading about lately is the idea that most people give up at about 40% of what they’re really capable of - less than half of what we’re capable of is what feels like all we can do. I know that there is part of it that we just don’t want to any more. You hear about “the wall” with people who are running marathons - a place where you just feel like you cannot go any further no matter how hard you try - and most runners get past that to finish the race. I read an article that did a study on a recent London marathon and their study suggested that about 21% of the runners in the marathon hit “the wall” but it doesn't talk about anyone not finished. I suppose that isn’t anything conclusive but I can’t help but think about what this says about us as a species.
Maybe because almost everything we do seems optional? I don’t know. Running isn’t something we do for survival any more. Sure exercise is important and life extending but we in so called modernized countries aren't trying to out run mountain lions so we don't get eaten or chasing down a deer for food (even people who hunt typically do so from hunter’s blinds - or whatever they’re called).
Okay, I’ve gotten sidetracked I think.
If I’m stopping at 40% of what I’m capable of, then perhaps my goals should be pushing myself a little harder too. Yes we all need rest but I do feel like I could be doing more than I have been. I’ve made leaps and bounds for sure in the last few months, no question, but that doesn’t mean I should plateau goal wise either. And all my reading suggestions that having a plan for the day makes you way more likely to accomplish goals than if you are just winging it through the day.
I have a tendency to wing things, but I don’t think it’s serving me. I think it’s time to start being more purposeful about my time and my intentions and goals.
I have big goals. I want to get to the point that I can support myself writing - a mixture of copywriting and storytelling. But I want “support myself” to mean the freedom of living where I want to live with the people (or the lack of people) I wish. That’s going to mean putting myself out there over and over again. It’s going to be scary and it’s going to be hard. I have a copywriting course of sorts that I’m taking and I’d like to complete most of it before I start submitting anything but as long as I make progress on it every week, I’m okay with it.
I don’t know how long each of the parts are (I’m not looking at it right now but I think there are 6) - the first one was something like 64 pages and 2 exercises where the second part is something like 134 pages and 2 exercises. I’ve done one exercise as they’re not “do this once you’ve read all the material” so much assigned every so often throughout the material in general. So I think for this particular endeavor I’m going to need to commit to working on it so much each week. Reading or working on exercises for 15 minutes a day - surely I can work that in somewhere.
Writing, man, writing. I’ve been aiming for 1000 words a day and mostly hitting it but I wonder if I need to dedicate myself to writing for a focused 60 minutes a day. It would probably be better to do two 30 minute sessions because I think that’s usually about where my brain starts to tell me to fuck off. I think if I practice then I can get longer sessions later. I’ve already got writeordie on my computer and iPad that I can use to help with that. It’s really awesome for helping with that.
I never really have trouble working reading into my schedule - that happens as naturally as breathing if I’m honest. And sometimes stopping reading feels as hard as holding my breath. Even reading the self improvement nonfiction and the writing books are coming very naturally to me right now so I just have to maintain that. I want to make sure at least 15 - 20 minutes of my time is spent reading for the purpose of improving myself or my writing every day.
I'm doing really well at scheduling time to exercise - I’ve been doing that usually when I first get home from work and that’s going well. The dog will need walks this week so that will definitely keep exercise on my schedule. I’ll need to start working on a system for cutting back on sugar - finding snacks and things that are handy enough or making time to make snacks in advance that will be handy so that when I’m hungry and I need to eat I have something that isn’t a honey bun from the vending machine. God I love honey buns. I don’t think that’s gonna be for a least a day or two because I’d need to gather a couple of recipes and got to the grocery store. And while I will have to go to the grocery store tomorrow… Well, maybe I can look for a few things at work tomorrow so I have a list ready for when I go to the store. That could work.
Next there’s editing to do. I think I can spend fifteen minutes doing editing a day. If I’m always writing then I’ll always have stuff I can edit. As it stands right now, I have a set of stories from Reb I’m working on and both her Mrs. Claus story and mine.
I need to spend thirty minutes a week - I think I’ll make it a Sunday appointment - to work on my public stuff - website, medium profile and posts, maybe eventually a GoodReads author page that sort of thing. Eventually I think this will likely need to be a twice a week appointment but we’re gonna start smaller since I’m also learning the copywriting stuff.
This is going to be my schedule for the remaining four weeks I have of work until my six weeks off. I’m going to need to spend some time thinking about what my summer schedule is going to be but I think I need to wait until June 9th or so to start working on that because otherwise I won’t be able to get any of my day job work done because I’ll be so excited about my break. I’m so excited about having six weeks off.
I’ve seen some planners and things and I am thinking about trying some of them out. Having a schedule to stick to I think could be really beneficial.
So my big goals for next two months or so are:
Finishing the Copywriting material
Getting my website up and running
Posting to it and Medium
Learning about MailChimp and or ConvertKit
Edit Mrs. Claus stories and submit mine
Edit Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack Stories
Write, edit, and submit a story for Writer’s Market
Write my manuscript/story for DragonCon
Read Story Genius and complete activities
Read The Artist’s Way
This week will be again:
15 Minutes Exercising
15 minutes on Copywriting
15 minutes reading for writing improvement
15 minutes a day editing
60 minutes a day writing
30 minutes on promotional work
At work I should also get a bunch of fall stuff rebooked and planned - especially August/September stuff.
I got a ton of shit to do y’all so wish me luck!