A Kinder, Gentler To-do List; Blog Scavenger Hunt

Last week, I was overwhelmed – and the holiday season was just beginning! My writing was suffering – there just weren’t enough hours in the day. It was stressful, and all I wanted to do was play computer games.

That was not acceptable. Something had to be done.

I looked at my to-do list, which had grown to epic proportions. Each day, there were more things on it than anyone could hope to accomplish in the time I had! I remembered an email I’d read – from the Flylady list, I think – that said we tend to put far more on our lists than we can possibly do in a day. I had a lot of things on mine that had been on there for months, and I still hadn’t gotten to them!

It was time to be ruthless. Anything that wasn’t really that important was gone.

This little button = less stress!

Other tasks – stuff to do when I had some spare time (LOL) or after New Year’s, when I planned to kick my book promo efforts up, went onto another, separate list.

Stuff I did every week, and had finally developed into enough of a habit that I didn’t really need it on the to-do list anymore, also went bye-bye.

My stress level immediately went down.

Now, the list has expanded once again, but a lot of that is one-off, holiday tasks. And a lot of those are easy, little things that don’t take a ton of time, but that I might not get to or remember if I don’t note them. And the weekly list? Down to four things at the moment, included in the above.

What’s your to-do list look like? Do you routinely put way too much on it? Or do you make one that’s more realistic – if you make one at all? Any more tips for managing that list? Please share!

Just for Fun

I am participating in a blog scavenger hunt, posted by one of my writer colleagues, Samantha Warren. Samantha writes fantasy, and is turning 30 today. To celebrate, she’s hosting a week’s worth of scavenger hunt fun and prizes. The grand prize is a new Kindle e-reader! There are a bunch of other cool prizes – one or two every day, including an e-copy of Time’s Enemy. So stop by and wish Samantha a happy birthday, and check out some of those blogs to see if you can answer a few questions and win!

ROW80 Update:

I did not post a Wednesday ROW80 update this week, as I had nothing to report. That will probably continue to be my pattern, as the Wednesday blog post update is something else I’m taking off my list.

I did meet my goal of getting Chapter 17 revised – wow, was that one a lot of work! – and I exceeded my type-in goal, and completed two chapters.

However, this pace is not satisfactory. So this week, I want to:

  • Finish type-in through Chapter 9. Type-in is something I can do while the TV’s on, and interruptions are much less of a problem, so hopefully this goal is within reason.
  • Get Christmas decorating done
  • Order Christmas cards
  • Figure out gifts
  • Begin online shopping, especially gifts that are needed sooner than Christmas for events, party exchanges, etc.

By the way, my overall goals have been shot to hell, a long time ago. I didn’t realize how badly until I just now looked up the original goal post. Stop laughing! Let’s just refine the goals right now. I just want to get this edit done, and out to the beta readers. That’s i! And I still fear it may be too ambitious, but I’m going to try, because readers are waiting for this book! If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.

How are your goals coming?

10 Responses to \

  1. Good job on paring down the list. I keep a master list of everything, well, actually two–one for personal and another for work things. I have ADD, so I have to have everything on a list somewhere. Then every week, I go through to see what I have to do this week; then daily I make a post-it note of three or four things and stick in the middle of my monitor at work so I will remember them. It’s probably too much work for someone with a fully functioning brain, but there may be some snippets of it that would help.

    Don’t be upset about having to tweak your goals–we all have to do that, which is part of why we are in ROW80.

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth! That’s one of the things I like about ROW80 too – it’s “the challenge that knows you have a life!” I don’t know about any fully functioning brain here, though. 😀

  3. Yep, it sounds like it was time to prune that list down to size. When it comes to lists, only the high priorities go on it (and not the daily routine). Eventually those medium priorities and lower ones will get worked. One thing at a time. I’m the same way with work. No shame in getting focused 🙂 Good luck!

  4. I usually pick one thing that I want to accomplish–usually writing or editing a chunk, and then I move on to the next stuff if I’ve finished that. I don’t let myself go on the internet at all or anything like that until I’m done with my major thing. My son and I call that “eating our frogs”–this summer we listened to an audio book on beating procrastination called Eat That Frog. Funny, but for the most part it works 🙂

  5. Good idea, Coleen! I’ll have to try that, though I suspect I’ll give in and go hit Facebook or play games.

  6. please dont eat the frog they are particular firends of mine:) – I have a list for household matters its long and moves slowly but it does move and things pop up to the top then a list of what I want to do this week today now for writing some days I finish them, some days I dont – but it doesn’t really stress me cos I know they will get done sometime. I think I need to have to many to keep me going – need the nudge the sight of the list gives me!!!- sorry not much help to you.

    all the best for this week

  7. LOL Alberta – that’s what my list was like, and it was stressing me out! The stuff that does really need to get done, got moved onto another list, and the main list has a reminder to look at that one, so we’ll see how it all works out. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Lists. Don’t even get me started. LOL! I love lists and would be lost without them. They can easily get overwhelming but I do find they help me prioritize and really understand everything I’ve taken on so I can adjust my goals to ensure they are realistic. It’s all about knowing what’s at the top of of the list and making sure I get my big rocks done first – then I can work on the smaller rocks and sand if I have time. Now, it’s not always that easy but…

  9. LOL rocks and sand, I love it! My problem is that everything was getting buried in the sand. Too many rocks too, so I moved some. Thanks for sharing!