Every Sunday, I make my weekly to-do list. It includes reminders of all the things I try to do daily, like morning pages, blog, read 5 poems, daily poem, 15 minutes of nothing, work out, train Jack, track my food, etc. Then there’s a list of specific appointments I have, like my Wordsmiths holiday crit group lunch and meeting today, and my daughter’s orchestra concert tomorrow, etc. And then on the back of the page, I make my to-do list by categories: There’s household stuff, there’s freelance work stuff, and of course, there’s writing-related stuff. This is the biggest section, and it lists my next steps I need to take on anything related to my writing work (including actual writing but mostly filling up with marketing and business-related tasks).
This weekend, we had a humongous snowstorm. That was on top of several household items breaking and extra stuff on the schedule (my Mentors for Rent freebies sessions on Saturday afternoon). We had schedule changes (work and social plans for my kids totally overruled by the weather!) We had chaos.
So we watched a family movie and enjoyed the beautiful snow falling and were glad our power didn’t go out.
But as a result of all the stuff going on, I didn’t do my weekly to-do list on Sunday like I always do. And you know what?
I bet you thought I was going to say how free and creative I feel.
Wrong. I am lost. I have prep this morning to do for my critique group holiday lunch, but other than that, the FIRST thing I’m going to do is get organized for the week. Without my list of what I’ve determined are my most important goals for the week, I’ll spend the whole week doing whatever everybody ELSE decides is top priority. I’ll spend the week putting out fires instead of saying, “This week is all booked up. I can take care of that next week, though.”
I’m not saying everybody needs a weekly master plan. But I do. It’s one way I keep focused and keep all my various projects moving forward even when life gets chaotic.