Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekened Update: Manageable Productivity

It's that time again: updates! And wow, do I feel productive. Funny, because I've had more productive weeks, but I tended to feel run ragged. This has been a week of peaceful, manageable productivity. I venture a few guesses as to why later in the post. but I have discovered: I will take peaceful, happy productivity over an epic word count any day.

What have I done since the last check-in? 
1. Written @ 1400 words
2. A whole lotta editing
3. Plotting, planning and brainstorming
4. Blogging- back on schedule with this, plus an extra Cover Love update yesterday
5. Organizing for "Bestseller for a Day"- an IBC book tour/ publicity op at the end of the month
6. Set up a photo shoot for new publicity pics- head shots and candids (this actually terrifies me because it involves going to the salon, possibly a manicure, eek! But at least the setting is outdoors, which I enjoy.)
7. Wrote a gift fic for a friend who's been having a pretty rough time.

What helps with being productive (for me):
1. Making lists
2. Becoming better about knowing when I'm veering off task, and either self-correcting or (gasp) taking a break
3. Using some of the wealth of character sheets, plot planners, outline graphs- any of the millions of tools available on the internet to help jump-start me when I feel like I'm losing focus, or I'm out of touch with whatever I'm working on. Let me repeat something from an earlier post: Kait Nolan and Susan Bischoff have a wealth of these tools available on their blogs, in the sidebar.
4. Limiting television time
5. Staying on top of other areas in my life. If the shopping, laundry, cooking, and what not are managed, or at least there's a plan in place, then it gets that much easier to relax and focus on the other things. I am certainly no expert at this, but it's getting better. It probably helps having a supportive spouse and almost-teenagers in the house. I don't think I could have pulled this off when my kids were babies, or unable to empty and load a dishwasher. I've even got one of them doing laundry. Parents of small children, do not despair! The day will come when they will hold their own!
6. Working in the mornings. With the exception  of something do-or-die, like putting dinner in the crock pot (because crock pots take all day and otherwise dinner won't be ready), I'm not allowing myself to put anything ahead of writing and/or writerly tasks.
7. Letting go of chronic overwhelm. In my case, I've been asking for help and remaining highly cognizant of my actual abilities to get things done. In other words, boundaries.
8. Respecting my workspace. I have a studio. I should use it. I get a lot more done out there than I do on the sofa, surrounded by family and interesting TV.

It's been working pretty well so far. I still always seem to over-estimate all that I think I can get done. But I have been getting more done than I'm used to. It feels good. So all in all, it's been a pretty good half-week since my last update. I hope all of you are having smooth sailing this week.


  1. My crock pot has been a best friend lately. Can't get enough of it....

    Love the title of this "Manageable Productivity"... sounds like it was peaceful productivity, too!


    Grateful to "meet" you via #ROW80 this week!

  2. Yay for productivity!! Glad you're finding your groove. Congrats on all your recent good news too! Hope you have a great and very productive week :D

  3. This is a great post! It makes complete sense to me that you're resetting your expectations for yourself now that you can see the pattern of the next step in your career. Sounds like you're doing a good job of determining the balance that will work for you long term. Awesome!

    Thanks for the shout out to parents of young children. Instead of help around the house, I have two little ones making messes as fast as I can pick things up. Here's to giving up on household perfection in favor of happiness!

  4. @JR- You know, I look back on all those messes- esp. the way legos get *everywhere* and how much they hurt when you step on them- and I miss them from time to time. (and don't even get me started about playdoh!)
    @Lauren- thanks! I hadn't thought of it as finding my groove, but hopefully so, and hopefully I'll be able to keep it up!

  5. Hello, Julie Jordan Scott! It's nice to "see" you hear,thanks to ROW80, too! Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Wow, you're such a busy bee! I like how you organize everything. It makes for much calmness. :)

    I really need to start being better at making lists!

  7. Lists are my favorite. I've been known to make lists of my lists.
    Ok, that sounded kinda sad. Need a hobby, besides chocolate and loud music!

  8. I totally feel your productivity methods- I share quite a few!