For years I’ve believed I could multi-task, after all I’m a woman… we’re supposed to keep all the plates spinning, right?
That’s what we’d have the men and the others in our life believe, anyway. *smiles*
Do you ever have one of those days where it starting to get dark and you wonder what the heck you’ve been up to? I have, more times than I’d like to remember. It’s only very recently that I’ve learnt that I’m not such a master at juggling multiple balls, not in the real sense nor in the figurative sense. For what seems like forever, I’ve felt frustrated and unfulfilled at the end of my writing day.
“Multitasking is overrated – I’d rather do one thing well than many things badly. Quality supersedes quantity every time.”
― Stewart Stafford
So, I’ve decided to take a different approach, much like with my annual goal planning, I’m trying to look at it from different perspective. One that gives me a chance of succeeding instead of failing. And, I’ve discovered that I don’t need to choose between multi or mono tasking. I’ll do both, as I say it’s just a matter of how you look at it.
“If you have time to whine then you have time to find solution.”
― Dee Dee Artner
One of the issues is that I don’t have to have a lot of structure to my time. I work from home, I don’t have to watch the clock but what I do need is some kind of structure and routine. Writing out a list of ‘To Do’s and sitting there with my red pen, hoping that miraculously I’ll be able to tick them off just won’t do. And I can’t stand using the well worn excuse about being ‘too busy’. I’m not. You’re not. It’s a matter of priorities and organisation.
“Inevitably we find ourselves tackling too many things at the same time, spreading our focus so thin that nothing gets the attention it deserves. This is commonly referred to as “being busy.” Being busy, however, is not the same thing as being productive.”
― Ryder Carroll (Designer of the Bullet Journal)
My approach (along with a bullet style system of organizing my whole life – a subject for another post) has been a week of multi-tasking, i.e. getting several different things done but mono tasking on a daily basis. So my week looks a little like this:
- Mondays: Admin which includes scheduling social media posts,, writing blogs, sorting personal stuff like birthdays and anniversaries and planning for the days ahead. It makes a good start to the working week
- Tuesdays: Editing my current WiP, Wolf Moon – on a good day I can sort out 32 pages, around 9k words
- Wednesdays: Are dedicated to designing, producing and marketing the journal/planner range I’m developing for writers.
- Thursdays: Is for drafting my second WiP which is a series, I’m currently in outlining mode for The Rainbow Warriors (working title)
- Fridays: I’ve allocated Fridays for new ‘short’ writing. I try to submit a piece of freestyle writing to my online writing group and working on some short fantasy stories.
Of course other things happen on these days, sometimes I get a good six hours, sometimes not, and I can swap the days and tasks around if I need to. And I have the weekend to catch up on! So it’s flexible enough whilst being a structure nevertheless. And at the end of everyday I feel that buzz of achievement which is pretty encouraging!
I’m sharing this as something that works for me… I don’t go into these ‘How To’ posts because unless they are technical based, I think it’s about what works for you, personally. The benefits so far have been thus:
- Good slug of time means I actually move forward whether it be word count, pages edited, blog posts written, admin tasks ticked off… I do love a list and a red pen
- Stops my butterfly brain and promotes concentration
- I don’t get bogged down with one task, sometimes doing something completely different will bring inspiration to another project, I make a quick note but don’t switch tasks
I’d love to hear what helps you ‘Get Things Done’…
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft