As I indicated on Wednesday, part of my strategy for tightening my focus is list keeping. I have letter-size things to do pad for this. However, my chores are segmented in the following way:-
My posts to Twitter are random, at best. I downloaded Tweetdeck, but it’s heavy on memory usage and slogs down my system. Still, I’m trying to do better at tweeting. I’ve linked my blogs and my Twitter/Facebook accounts like most everybody else to save time on notifying others when there’s a new post. Makes sense for busy writers like us.
Goodreads is a bit of a challenge that keeps hanging around the edges of my mind, but I need to make a note to post there at the end of each week, at least. Amazon is another venue where I need to post more regularly. I’ll make the same note as with Goodreads and do them together.
I’m fooling myself, but I hesitate to write on my blog which days I’m posting. If I do that, I’ll be committing to another schedule and can feel the invisible chains called duty tightening around me. I’m working on this.
I have a list of books written to date. After that I have a note against each as to what needs to be done and whether it’s on submission. I do know what I’m working on at any given time, but I also get sidetracked with non-writing activities, which leaves my project to fall by the wayside. I usually set a deadline date on when it’ll all everything done for each work-in-progress. Eg. I’ve given myself 5-6 more months to get my self-pub project completed (the writing aspect) and a cover done.
I now need a third list and this is to do with interviews and blog posts. This one works in two ways.
(1) There is the stuff I’m writing for other people’s blogs and
(2) The people I ask and/or those who make a request to do something on my writing blog.
If I don’t keep track of the days, they go by without me realizing and when an email pops up from the person a few days prior to our D-day, I panic – mostly when it’s my turn to answer questions.
Anybody ever used virtual Post it notes? I used to live by these. They can get out of hand if you’re not careful so use them sparingly and for the really important stuff you don’t want to forget. Sticky notes are also a good option that can do some cool stuff like classing them by priority and emailing them. Of course, like the lists I keep, you need to look at them once in a while. This is easy, since they’re on your desktop, but like everything else, once you get seasoned your eyes kinda pass over them without seeing them.
Apart from my things to do list, I have one of those year planner thingies on the wall beside my desk. It’s something I need to use more. I think I’ll go the monthly planner route in addition to the list. I’ll post the current month and jot important stuff in the relevant date/day. You find these using MSWord.
Then there’s the Pomodoro Technique, where you work in blocks of 25 minutes. With the Pomodoro Technique, you use a timer. You can buy theirs or use your own. You can also write your tasks on their worksheets, which are free to download. Focus Booster is an online timer you can use to count off your 25 minutes. If you’re short on time, this is a good way to get some stuff done with a specified time limit. You can use it online or download to your computer.
Now these methods may seem like an awful lot of work to keep yourself organized, but I’m sure you didn’t think this was gonna be easy. The important thing is putting a system in place. Once you get used to organizing yourself in a particular way (remember, we’re creatures of habit) your work becomes easier. The smart way is to choose something that goes along with your lifestyle and will work for you. A simple ‘to do’ list might work for one person, while another prefers the sticky notes route. For me, I use a combination, but lists keep me focused and moving at a good clip.
What methods to you use to keep you on track with your writing/marketing/networking?