Are you awake yet? It’s 2017! And I have a question from Jeannie to start up the year and get us going!
It sounds like you have to have great organizational skills to consider being a writer what with planning, research and getting in actual writing time. What’s your secret to success!
Well, I’ll admit, I’m a bit of an organization junkie. I used to wander the office supply aisle of CVS when I was little. I still have a minor addiction to sticky notes. And planners. And lists.
I might have a problem.
I’m also a very visual person. I like to see my calendar on the wall, not just on my phone or computer. I have a yearly calendar on the wall, a monthly list of my to-do items, and a weekly planner that I keep with me. Yes, it’s overkill, but it’s all necessary for me!
One of the most important things for me is figuring out what I want. I set goals every year. I limit myself to ten goals for the year and then I break them up by quarter. Some goals I won’t accomplish until the end of the year, but some I’ll complete in the first few months. I have a blend of personal goals, production goals, and business goals. Sometimes I don’t meet them all, but I try.
A big thing for me is saying no. I’m very bad at it, like horrible, but I’m learning to say no. Saying no to tasks that make it harder for me to accomplish the things most important to me is the right move. If I forget to say no, I end up taking time away from my family so I can get all my work done, and that goes against something very important to me.
The last key, for me, to my success is taking a break. I need that chance to recharge. I watch TV, build Legos with my kids, and go on dates with my hubby. We get together with family and friends. And I read. A lot. I love reading. It doesn’t really matter what it is though, I need a break from work every week. I don’t check email on weekends very often. I try to work during the day when everyone is at work and school. I even take a lunch break every day. And it all helps. When I go back to work, I’m ready, anxious even, to focus again.
What’s your favorite organization trick?
Thanks so much, Jeannie, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!