Holy crap, we have a week and a half until Christmas, and it doesn’t feel like my list is getting any smaller. Next time I think it’s a good idea to publish a book in the middle of December, someone remind me that it’s a really, really stupid idea.
But I get a little done, every day. Every day there’s progress, every day I’m a little closer to a finished product. Every day I can say, “I got some done.”
Of course, it’s really easy to say that. “Just do a little, every day.” Yeah, okay. What does that even mean? And more importantly, how does someone put that into practice?
There’s not just one way, actually, but a whole list of tips that I use to make “A little every day,” work for me.
I’ve done a whole post about this before, and after ten months of using it I still swear by it. 25 minutes is usually all the time I want to spend on house cleaning. 25 minutes is also usually all I can ask of myself to sit in my chair and focus, what with the adult ADD and all.
Priority based to do list
Alright, so it takes me no less time than 15 minutes to write my to do list for the day. Why? Because it’s a two step process. Step one, write down all of the things I need to do/want to do/ don’t want to do but probably should. (I’m looking at you, bedding that needs washed.) Then, I rank these things from most to least important. I might get everything on my list done, but then I might not. At least if I only get the first three things done, hell if I only get the first thing done, it was a really important thing.
Know when to multi task, and when not to
This one’s all about being honest with yourself, and knowing yourself. I know, for instance, that I can update my social media with half of my brain. I can also make boring phone calls to the bank, post office and doctors office with maybe one fourth. Then there’s all the time I’m going to be listening to hold music! I can get a whole weeks worth of tweets done during one call to my gas company.
Writing and editing, though, that takes focus. I wouldn’t dream of trying to do that while I’m doing anything else.
Insist upon your time
I know when my monsters were little this was harder. But a child as old as two can understand ‘quiet time’ for at least ten minutes. When the older one was that age, I used to play Baby Einstein and Bear in The Big Blue House so I could write. Now that they’re older, have set rules in place. I tell the monsters that I will be writing, and how long I will be writing. This is based on give and take. I give them my attention before and after, and they give me peace until my timer goes off. (Yet another way the pomodoro method helps me. It reminds the kids that I am focusing, and tells them how much longer I will be focusing for.)
But know it might not happen anyway
I might have a morning ruined by a doctor’s appointment. I might have to deal with a dishwasher throwing up soap all over the floor. I might have a cat that’s decided to take an interest in the Christmas tree and knocks the damn thing down on herself, Harper. One way or another, I know that I can’t depend on getting a lot done, so I have to be content some days with only getting a little done.
A little every day works best if it really is every day.
That’s the hard part. I take a day off here and there, if I’m sick. I also always take one day off a month and specific holidays. But most days, I make myself get some little thing done. A few pages, written, edited, typed, something. Every day I need to be farther ahead than I was before.