Thursday, 15 September 2016

Setting up for success

Day 5 of the challenge. Write out my daily success plan. What structure can I put in place to do more, more efficiently?

Well it's a big dream this dream of mine. So planning makes sense. And like everyone, I have my share of distractions.

Things like Facebook (part of our marketing strategy and an important way for me to stay in touch with friends, particularly the ones who live far away) although I do admit it is easy to lose time in that world.

Also things like an ageing Dad, so when his carers call I do drop what I'm doing. Friends in need. Family stuff. Making time for my man. They're all legit in my world. But not always convenient.

I've been frustrated with planning for a while. Other people's stuff messes up my planned timetable and leaves me feeling like I'm always on the hop. But that's largely my choice so holding myself accountable has a big role to play.

One of the things Nat said is to pick three MIAs a day. A MIA is a most important action. I like the idea. I usually have more than three so this is an opportunity to see if I can change my thinking.

Another thing Nat said is to use the Pomodoro technique. Now this technique keeps coming up for me. I've read about it in many blogs, seen it in webinars, there's definitely a growing awareness and smarter people than me seem to love it.

Now I've never been one to let distractions get me down. For me it's all about choice. I'm the only person in charge of my focus and to other's chagrin, most of the time I can just block everything else out. Especially when I'm writing... or reading.

I do find it harder to multi-task post chemo - definitely. That gets worse when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It's then that the neighbour's dog's barking drives me spare or the Council funded weed whackers do my head in. Thanks to my man (love him), I have ear muffs to get me through those times.

I beat myself up about that for a while. But them's the breaks. I was exceptionally good at focus before and I'll work with what I've got now.

You gotta remember that I used to work in open plan radio stations. I'd be in a pod of writers or producers and we're a weird and noisy bunch.

Each of us playing sound effects, music snippets or speaking loudly into a stopwatch to check our writing will work on air. And when I say speaking, I mean quacking, popping, whispering and shouting or anything else our copy prescribed.

If you can tune that out... you can tune out anything.

Unfortunately, that often meant the sales team would have to say my name before I realised they were speaking to me (and start over as I hadn't heard anything they'd said up 'til that point).

Anyways... my success plan.

  1. Fitness - physical fitness. If I want my brain to work at its most efficient - I have to be body-smart. Am on it. That gym membership and my training plan is underway. Eating better. Drinking better. 
  2. Start putting in MIAs. That's going to be an end-of-day-plan-for-tomorrow, daily practice. That way I can hit the desk each morning and get stuck in.
  3. Try out the Pomodoro technique and see how it works for me. Am conscious that in my work, "staying in the voice" is important. Stopping and starting for a writer? Hmm. But I won't know until I try. Will let you know,

What I know in my forever plan is that I always need a room of my own. I work in a shed because I can lock it, leave it and come back to everything exactly as I left it.

That's vital for me. It's that or an office and I like the convenience of a shed (and on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl, who copied the writing hut idea from Dylan Thomas - there's a lovely synergy in working in a shed, just sayin').

My shed's not quite so pretty. One day it might be. But so long as I have a room of my own (thank you Virginia Woolf) I'll be happy.

Roald Dahl's Shed

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5.

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