August 20, 2018
Getting Organized and Staying on Target
by Christina Hicks, 3 minute read
While coaching authors through their writing journey, it is my job to help them stay on target, stay focused, and get the writing done, making sure they stay organized throughout the process. There are a million ways to stay organized, but I have found a few things that seem to work the best for me and keeping myself on target.
Plan, plan, and plan some more.
Yes, planning takes time. Valuable time. The time that people don't have and surely don't have to waste. Convincing others to take the time to make a plan for their book always gets push-back and when planning for other areas of your life, it is easy to skip this step and get to work. But trust me, it is worth it. Whether you are planning your day, your week, your book, your blog post content for the next six months, your social media strategy, or whatever daunting item is staring back at you on your to-do list, take the time to plan. What are your topics? What are the holidays during this time-frame? What other events in your community or life can you tie into your content? What points do you genuinely want to make in your book? Take a day or a week and make a plan so that when it comes time to taking action, you have no excuse, you have the items in front of you that need to be addressed.
Block your time.
Seriously the most life-changing thing I have ever done. If you are anything like me, you make a list of all of your to-do items and then get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks, and then you think of something else, only making the list longer, more daunting, and perhaps even more overwhelming. What to do first? How long will this all take? How in the world am I going to get this done? It seems endless and hopeless.
Blocking time is nothing new in the world of organization, but until you sit down and start the practice, you have no idea of the impact it can do on your productivity. Manage your time better, discover that something you expected to take an hour only takes ten minutes, or that something you planned for 30 minutes takes an entire afternoon. Take that overwhelming to-do list and start picking timeframes to tackle each item, prioritizing scheduling the most important and time-sensitive tasks. The first few days or weeks will reveal to you where you are spending your time and how long your tasks take. Be sure to make a note of these times and be better informed for the next time you perform that task again. Once you have a better understanding of your abilities, you will be able to block your time more appropriately. Be sure to also block flexible time for unexpected projects, interruptions, or client meetings. Something last minute always comes up, so you need to account for some flexibility in your schedule but also be sure to keep firm deadlines and commitments in mind.
Follow your plan.
Now, this is the hard part. You have spent all this time planning content or activities and blocking time, so make your self stick to it. Whenever you find yourself stopping and getting on social media or getting tempted by cute cat videos, go back to your calendar and see what you are "scheduled" to be doing. When I first started this process, I think I had to stop and check my calendar 50 times each day until I could stay focused on the task I had assigned to myself.
Stick with it, follow your plan, follow your schedule, and watch your productivity soar! It will be exceedingly satisfying once you get the hang of it and realize how much you can get done when you focus on your plan!
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