I’m an enthusiast. I go full-steam ahead into what interests me. This is a good thing because I can work long hours, and I usually (eventually) finish everything. The down side, however, is that I often spread myself and my writing too thin.
My current circumstance might be a good example. I have one inactive and five active blogs. I am working on three books and I am a semi-busy freelance editor. In addition, I’m a photographer and am taking art classes. Why do I do all of this? Because I love it. I have unbounded enthusiasm for these projects.
HOWEVER… (Weren’t you just expecting a big HOWEVER here?. I mean I must have a point to telling you this and I must be intending to drive some point home.)
However, I know that I must be very careful to keep the quality of all these self-assigned tasks at a high enough level that quantity doesn’t surpass quality, and I must pace myself to a certain extent so I don’t burn out.
Just this week I have devised a plan for this… You are welcome to copy it and use it if you find it useful.
1. At the beginning of every week, I’ll make a list of what I want to accomplish in that week. It’s the master plan. I know I must keep the list reasonable so I won’t frustrate myself.
2. Everyday, I’ll decide what I can reasonably accomplish in that day and what I will work on. I will be as honest as I can be about what I think I can accomplish. Again, making a gigantic to do list will only drive me crazy.
3. I’ll use early morning hours to check blogs, write my blogs of the day and comment on others. That done, I won’t return to them until I have a break in my other work.
4. I’ll schedule work on my books and art around other events scheduled in my week. Now, I do have an advantage here. I don’t have a family to cook for everyday and I’m not running kids here and there. So, I can pretty much set my own schedule. I don’t work the traditional working hours of businesses. I may take a couple of hours to meet a friend for lunch. When I do, I’ll work in the evening if I want to finish an item on my list.
5. Midway through my workday, I’ll reassess my daily list and I’ll revise it if I feel it’s needed.
6. And, midway through my week, I’ll reassess my weekly list.
So, I’m off to start my experiment. I’ll let you know how it goes.