I am a checklist and progress bar kind of guy. I like to see progress, and I love to put checkmarks in boxes. These are the systems I live by. So, I hate it when something gets in the way of either of these. My most common enemy to progress and checking things off my list is procrastination. Every writer, every person on the planet, deals with some form of procrastination.
I stare at a blank page, wondering where to begin. Or, I see a long list of tasks and want to do everything but tackle them. I surf the web, check social media (even though there’s usually nothing there), check my email, check my promotions and updates tabs in Gmail, and do anything I can possibly think of before I have to tackle my tasks.
Maybe you’re the same way. Or, maybe you’re a go-getter, jumping in headlong and destroying tasks left and right. I rarely have that desire. I shoot myself in the foot most days, putting tasks I don’t want to do, or big tasks, first of my list. Worse than that, most of my task lists get Powell up on one another from day to day. What I didn’t do yesterday is piled onto today. And of course I didn’t do enough yesterday. So, the piles get longer and longer. Then I resist getting anything started.
Hopefully only a person who does this. But I’m probably not. I don’t separate long tasks into shorter ones to gain momentum. All of the things they tell you to do in every productivity book, blog, audiobook, and a video to not do. I’ve watched a lot of them. I’ve tried to do what they tell you to do. Sometimes it works for a while. But then I sink back into my problem of being unproductive.
So, like every other year, one of my goals (and I say goals instead of resolutions) is to be more productive. That’s actually the word I chose for 2023. I chose it because it’s one of the things I need to do better. I want to be more prolific not only in my writing but in all the goals I have for 2023. I’m calling out my elephant in the room. One thing I do well is focus. When I am productive, I am very focused. I often forget to look at the clock when I get this way.
Another problem I have when my productivity gets derailed is things I did not leave time in my schedule to do. For instance, this week my website is on the fritz. This is the second time in a month’s time that this has happened to me. I don’t plan for problems like this to arise. I don’t leave room in my schedule for many surprises. I need to get better at this.
I also need to get better at taking time to rest and reflect. I want to get better at that too. On Monday this week, I was trying to make my website more efficient and faster to load. I was on a roll, working on the little things. But then I bit off more than I could chew, tried something I’m not really well-versed in, and broke my website.
That means the things I have written like my Daily Devos, my divine discourse blog posts, and everything else that happens on my website comes to a screeching halt. Tuesday I was backing up my website so I could put it back online. Once a month, which happened yesterday, I get my trach changed. This prevents the plastic adhering to my skin and causing infections.
When you read my book “Healed in the Name of Jesus,” you will see it is one of the most apprehensive parts of my month. I usually stay up late and take some drugs that keep me from coughing and spasming when the trach comes out and the new one goes in. Needless to say, the rest of my day is shot. I spent most of it sleeping, or not talking if I’m awake so the trach can settle in.
These are not excuses that show the lack of production this week. They are the facts of life I am learning to factor in to each day. If I’m really honest with myself, I need to take a little time in the week to play games, watch TV, or do something mindless. As funny as it sounds, this might actually make me more productive. So, I am learning how to be productive by giving my body and mind proper rest this year. What about you? What are your goals for 2023? I’ve talked about my goals in the last two Author News posts. They say you need to have big goals for quarterly times and to break those big goals into smaller chunks to do each day and week. Since I have never really been able to accomplish this system, I’m giving it a try this year. What are some ways you stay productive?
Image by Thomas Staub from Pixabay