In 2016, my word for the year was YES. Instead of the usual knee-jerk NO I gave to everything, I decided to say yes to everything. It was a good year. In 2017 my word was COMPROMISE. Since I have a my way or the highway personality, I thought this word and the thought behind it would help me in my interpersonal relationships. And it did. Big time.
For 2018 I needed a word that would propel me into writing more and, thereby, produce more so I could get published more. Since I’m the type of person who gets easily distracted – the main reason I don’t listen to music when I write – I needed something that would help me remember to stay the course and not let little things pull me away from writing. Little things like the desire to watch The View, or read a book, or watch a Housewives episode.
That word is FOCUS.
My steps toward being more focused on my writing aren’t many, and that’s a good thing because there are less to remember and get frustrated by.
- Utilize a Daily Planner. You would think because I am such a plotter for my writing I would already do this. You would be wrong. This year I purchased a three-ring binder that holds 3 separate notebooks. One is my TO DO list for each day. One is MY FITNESS list so I remember to track what I eat, drink, and to remind myself to exercise. The third is a PROJECT MANAGER that lists all the works in progress I’ve got going on and their end dates, and ideas for new books.
- Set break time. If you work at a job in an office, or a school, or anywhere, you have built-in breaktimes. I’ve never done that. I simply sit at my laptop and write until I get bored ( or distracted) and then do things that waste time.
- Turning the alarms on my cell phone off. Every time my phone dings with a new email or Fb post or Twitter notification, I stop what I’m doing and grab my phone. This pulls me out of creativity mode and at this stage in my life it’s wicked hard to get those lost writing thoughts back! Alarms are shut off whenever I’m writing now.
- Clean up the workspace and keep it tidy. Another no-brainer, but I have a tendency to not put things back where they belong in my office, so my desk is littered with reference books, sticky notes, pens and loads of other accouterment that can be very distracting. Keeping my desk tidy is a good way to avoid having my eyes drift to all the mess and then get distracted with putting it all away.
So, four little steps that I think ( Hope. WISH!!) will help me be more productive in 2018.