Busy, but not Accomplishing Much

Ever had one of those days, or weeks, when you feel like you’ve been busy the whole time, but haven’t marked much off your to-do list?

I was discussing this phenomenon with my daughter recently, and she said when she has days like that, she looks back and realizes she actually was busy–with chores. Stuff that needs to be done, but isn’t part of our regular goals.

I’ve had one of those weeks, but I can’t blame chores. In this case, it’s Facebook, mainly keeping track of our groups in Tennessee who are working on fighting the zoning change across the street from our new house. That’s something no one in the neighborhood wants. I am not able to do much from 300 miles away, but moderating the groups is one way I can help, along with little bits of research, so I’ve been doing those things. I have a website to work on today for them, so this will be a short post.

I don’t have any new photos of the house, but work is continuing there, and as far as I know, all is on schedule.

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What I’ve been Reading: My own book! I’d hoped to get through the read this past week, but only got about halfway through. Part of that is because I haven’t had the time to devote to it that I wanted, the other part is simply because, have I mentioned it’s a long book? I’ve been watching workshop videos while on the treadmill, so no nonfiction reading either (though the videos count, right?).

What I’ve been Writing: Again, nothing. I’m focusing on the read-through of my WIP. That’s also the plan for this coming week. I’m hoping I’ll have enough time to finish the read-through, so I can then move on to revisions.

What about you–ever have one of those days, or weeks? What’s been going on in your life? And how are you doing with whatever goals you might have, writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

9 Responses to \

  1. The week before last ‘felt’ like one of those weeks… Thing is, sometimes other things in life just take precedence. And the funny part is that if we had a baby or a sudden illness or accident that left us unable to write, no one would think twice about the lack of productivity… but if we’re dealing with ‘just that bit more than usual’ or another (equally important, but different or new) project, suddenly it’s “what are you doing with all your time?”

    At least you’re spending some time with your characters and words, even if it’s not the 1000 words a day.

  2. Hope this week won’t be so full of ‘busyness’ for you. I usually feel the other way, that I didn’t really do much then look back and see that oh yeah, I actually did a lot it just wasn’t all where I maybe wanted the progress to be. I also find that it takes me longer to do a read through of my own books than another book the same length. Maybe because I’m trying to be more critical than when I’m reading for enjoyment.

  3. Jennette, give yourself credit for what you did do. Moderating more than one group, creating websites, interacting with future neighbors over a common cause, reading your book, watching workshop videos, exercising–hello, that’s a lot of stuff. Yeah, it’s not words on the page–but it’s all fodder for the page. It’s things that you are dedicated to. Those things count. Not to mention all the things you did but didn’t list!

    I used to get down on myself for those “nonproductive” days until I started listing things I do under the “home” category. Even without listing things like making three meals a day, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, letting the dogs out, etc…my list was really long and if I assigned time to each activity…well, I forgave myself for being “nonproductive.” Make a list of everything you did, assign estimated time dedicated to that thing–you’ll be amazed.

  4. I’ve definitely had one of those days or weeks. Particularly at work proper where everything seems to take three times longer than I expect it to, due to bureaucracy. Sending good vibes your way about the zoning changes.

  5. Oh, Jennette:

    Thanks for this post! Can I ever relate to your lament.

    This is the time of year when the tons of household paperwork and the car, home, etc. insurances are due. Before I renew, I always shop around for better insurance deals and that takes lot of time. We need to make changes to my husband’s retirement investment accounts, and that’s another bear of a task. And seeing out valentines to the younger members of our family. And birthday cards to some of them. It’s not just the time it takes, but the planning and organizing and so on.

    But at least you’re doing Facebook work, which is necessary, and trying to do a read through of your book. I’m stalled doing a read through of my essays—which are way shorter than any book manuscript!

    Do you find that sometimes it’s hard to get back to your book because your mind keeps switching to all the other little piddling tasks you’re responsible for?

  6. Eden, you are soooo right about other things needing to take precedence, and yep, this is one of them. Frustrating, but you’re right, we shouldn’t beat up on ourselves for it – thanks!

    Fallon, I have those weeks too. And yep, this is taking longer because I have to mark the mistakes.

    Lynette Burrows, when you put it that way, it does sound like a lot! I think I’ll skip the list making for now though – because I don’t have time. Thanks for pointing that out!

    Shannon, I hate those days at work! Almost worse than when it’s writing, because in my case it’s usually something I can’t get to work right. And thanks for your good vibes – we’ll take all the help we can get!

    Lynette, I totally find it hard to get back to my book for that reason! It’s hard to focus on anything, really. And you’re totally right about all that minutia – I don’t even have time to think about shopping around for services, and no Valentine’s cards here. Instead, it’s taxes I need to work on next, ugh. Good luck getting to your essay reading!

  7. Sounds like you are doing enough with this new commitment that popped up. It’s great that you are able to help out with the zoning issues from afar. Hoping that it all turns out!

  8. It seems like every day I’m incredibly busy, but don’t get much accomplished, so I feel you. I’m sure you’re getting more done than you realize. You’re just creeping up on finishing things over a longer timeline. I’ve been trying really hard lately to just concentrate on finishing one thing at a time before I move on to something else. The problem with multi-tasking is that it takes longer to accomplish everything you’re trying to do. Hope things even out for you soon.