Hi, so – how did your week go?
I have to say that I had quite a crazy week last week, lots of huge family parties, with my Dad’s 80th, my middle sister’s 50th and my oldest’s 16th which happened to be on the same day as his confirmation. And with my youngest sister visiting from London for the weekend I didn’t honestly think I’d get much writing done at all.
Which was fine, cause I decided it would be a less productive week beforehand – all as a part of the plan. But then I thought of a webinar I’d recently done with NBBS where Kate Watson-Smyth mentioned how she writes a daily to-do list.
Well, I do jot down the odd shopping list, I thought, so why not try this? And I was blown away!
It works – big time:
I got the shopping done, planned what I was going to wear on all three occasions, organised all the presents, the venue, the menu, walked the dog, did the washing etc etc – had time for my nails and even some extra reading before I fell asleep, plus: a fair amount of writing. AND I got everywhere on time (they’re big on punctuality here in Switzerland, something else I need to work on..)
And here’s for the cherry on top, I picked up singing again after a seven year break and with my fourteen year old daughter, we practised and sang my Dad a personalised version of Hallelujah (yes and I am aware that does sound horrific but I did actually take some singing lessons over the past few weeks, so it wasn’t quite as bad as it could have been 😉 !)
To think what a bit of planning and a few scribbles can achieve.
In fact I loved it for two reasons –
Crossing out the ‘done that’s’ was ridiculously satisfying as I felt like I’d actually accomplished quite a lot.
It felt useful to think about time management on a realistic level and realised that actually there is a lot you can do even in half an hour!
As you (may or may not) know, I am working on my first novel. So, using last week’s pointers, where I talked about committing, I asked myself all the questions and decided YES! I do want to finish my novel (even with all the difficult bits).
So, this week, I’m going for a WRITING to-do list, and this is what I’ve come up with:
- I jotted down when I could potentially write (and noticed that in my present situation without a paid job, I actually have quite a few windows before the kids come home – who’d have thought?!):Mondays (2pm – 4pm)
Tuesdays (2pm – 4pm)
Wednesdays (4pm – 5pm)
Thursdays (11am – 4pm)
Fridays (3pm – 4pm)
- However, in order to really have that time for me as well as a free enough mind to write, this is what I have to do every day:
get up early and do the washing,
kids’ school snacks,
walk the dog,
clean the house (a floor at a time),
walk the dog again.. (it’s my perpetually guilty conscience cause I don’t like playing much!)
And I adapted the list to what I really think I can do every week until my novel is finished, including blog and all. Once I get into that routine I plan to work on sending out articles to magazines.
You may have a job or need to drive the kids around to their various activities and so you will have to see where you can fit it in around your schedule, even if it is just an hour once a week on a Sunday evening. As long as it’s every week.
Or you may need to fit the gym in – I started jogging with my dog two to three times a week and with yoga once a week that works for me.
Whatever you plan please be kind to yourself, which means:
= be realistic!
In fact, I think that was the most useful advice given to me by Leigh Shulman when talking organising. Really think about how much energy you have on a regular basis not just for the first few exciting weeks but also long-term. Whether it’s every day or twice a week, as long as it’s regular, that’s how I have come to understand it.
So go ahead, have fun trying to plan out your realistic routine and let me know how you get on. And, if you have any questions, fire away.
It’s fun to see how much you can potentially get done and then when it is done the buzz you get out of that success feeling is pretty excellent!
Happy planning xx
In the meantime, if you want to check my instagram for everyday things that inspire me, feel free to have a peek and a share 🙂