Riddle Me This!
They work for Father Time,
But some people hate them
While others love them,
And all writers need them.
What are they?
Do you know the answer? How about taking a guess? No, it is not a clock or timer. Nice try. Nope, if you guessed calendar, oh, you guessed a To-Do List and Schedule. Then you would be totally and completely . . . RIGHT!
One thing I find that works to my advantage is having many To-Do lists. I sit down and look at all the things I need to do for the day, week, month, and even the whole year. I find having To- Do lists work better for me over a schedule. However, I do have a daily schedule even if I do not stay on task all the time.
I am not sure how many of you use both or just one of these to help you as a writer. To be honest, I feel To-Do lists are one of the best tools to help you be a successful author. If you think about it, you sit down at your desk or open a file on your computer and it shows you all the things you need to get done in order for your manuscript to be mailed out to a publisher or agent. Maybe even both!
To-Do lists break down each thing making the task at hand seem less over-whelming and more manageable. The other thing I love about To-Do lists is if something is not completed the day I had it down, I just move it to the first thing to do the following day and so on. Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try . . . there will always be some kind of work needing to be done. However, To-Do lists help keep is all in perspective. For example, here is what my To-Do list looked like today.
Write article about To-Do list and schedules for posting.
Link, Twitt and post to Facebook all current SFC blog posts for this week.
Finish reviewing submissions for Stories for Children Magazine.
Post book reviews.
Manuscript editing for publisher.
Now, most of this I have worked on through out my day. However, my daily schedule/routine sometimes does cause a bit of conflict in getting my To-Do list for the day completely done. That is why I have a To-Do list for the week. The reason…my daily schedule/routine includes taking care of all three of my kids. And as any parent knows, children don’t always follow the planned schedule/routine.
The one thing to keep in mind about a schedule/routine is it is always changing based on things that need to happen. I look at my schedule/routine kind of how the Pirates of the Caribbean look at their Code. “It’s More Like Guidelines.” I don’t think I could have said it better myself.
That is why I have a weekly To-Do list. It will include each thing I want done on a daily basis. I break it up by day based on how much time I know I will have for my writing, which is normally about three to four things on my weekly list per day and that means I am really working my butt off to get it all done or my children are being very cooperative.
The thing I find helpful about my schedule/routine is it helps keep the momentum going so I can reach my writing goals. My To-Do lists help me reach my writing goals by breaking them down over a manageable length of time. As much as I hate having to keep a schedule or something close to a schedule, I find if I didn’t then I would not find the success I do by completing each of my goals as a writer with my To-Do lists.
So how do you stay on track with your goals, workload, and time? Do you keep a To-Do list? A calendar? Use a timer so you don’t work too long on one thing? I would love to know what works for you.
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