Holidays can really throw a curve ball in goals. Just pointing that out. If you’re like me, you totally forgot about the holiday when figuring the week’s goals. However, I’m hoping these oversights will soon be a thing of the past.
See, I’ve always battled between “schedule” and “flexibility.” Most of us know we need both. The trick is finding the balance between these mutually-exclusive needs. Schedule says, “DO IT NOW!” Flexibility says, “Is now the right time?”
Somewhere betwixt the two must be a peaceable fulcrum of magical time management. Right? *listens, but even the crickets are silent*
Over the past two years I’ve tried many methods. I’ve done hard and online calendars–one still emails my “daily schedule” from six months ago. I’ve tried timers, and am glad it was a software timer or I’d have thrown it against a wall. I’ve tried lists until the post-it’s turned into their own script-covered wallpaper. Pretty design. All to no avail, at least not in the long term.
And then, I came across two interesting concepts. One concentrated on a type of fast drafting and the other a method of time management. At their hearts both share a single concept: Dedicated Focus.
You see, we all have the same amount of time. And, we all have essentially the same amount of distractions, obligations, and personal wants. Yet some people get way more done. Are they just crazier in pursuit of their ambitions? Perhaps, but I think what sets these achievers apart is dedicated focus.
As writers we hear about other writers who can write in a busy conference hall until a minute before heading to the stage to speak (Hugh Howey). We hear about ones who are constantly taking notes, even at red lights. Racing to interviews. Living. Breathing. Pulsating. With writing.
And we wonder how they do it? Take away the glitter veil and the answer is dedicated focus. Which takes a bit of dedicated focus to gain.
Focus achieves. Focus drives. Focus guards against distractions. Put that focus into your desire to be a writer and the odds of success rise. Dramatically.
This is what I’ll be exploring over the coming weeks (months–years). And here is where I’m starting. Inglorious week.
1) Write 500 new words of fiction a day, or the equivalent (3500 words) during the course of the week. Weeks count: 1258. Which is not 3500. No excuses except I allowed a bit more downtime for the holiday than originally planned. Keeping the goal for week two and “focused” on getting it.
2) Meet all college class deadlines with my best work. Right on track here. All assignments are in, quizzes at 100%, and I have solid A’s in both classes. We are at midterm, so I’m sure things will be heating up in the drive to the end. Keeping goal for week two.
3) Brainstorm ideas, take a look over what I’ve done and how I’d like to do things this time, and have a written return plan in hand by the end of the week. Goal completed. I have a plan in hand. That said, now I have to start implementing it. New Goal: Spend 15-30 minutes a day, up to 3 hours a week, writing or editing blog posts. Ship (publish) when ready. No hesitations.
4) Pick one stalled project (I have a few) and get it ready to ship. Total fail on this one. New week, more focus training will be applied to this goal: Keep goal into week two with more focus on getting it moved forward.
How did you do on your goals this week? Any thoughts on “dedicated focus” and what that means to you? I’d love to chat with you.