Daily Organization

Some people are really great at simply staying organized. Wait, did I say simply? There is nothing simple about organization. It’s a personality trait you have or you don’t. You might be able to learn it. I know I struggle with it.

One thing I learned from taking a personality test (Big Five, not Myers Briggs), was that conscientiousness was the trait that had to do with being organized. Somehow that finally made things click in my head that when some of us look at a pile of stuff and label it junk and others will look at the same pile as treasured belongings – we see the same pile, but we treat our stuff differently. Does it mean the cluttered people respect it less? I guess the personality test might think so.

But there are other kinds of organization that fit right in, and maybe that will strike a chord, too. What about how we organize our time? Just as there’s a spectrum from the organized binder with color-coded tabs for each category to the lost stack of papers in the bottom of the locker, there are people that manage their time to get enough things done that make others look like they simply played video games all day.

Wait, some of them were just playing video games all day! Was that you?

I’m the type who sometimes looks at the piles and feels compelled to clear it out, pick it up, organize it to inches. When I say it’s done, a room is beautiful. [I swear it’s happened once or twice.] I am the one to put books on the shelves alphabetically by author then title with different sections for genre, but I have trouble keeping it that way. In six months there will be books piled sideways on top where I ran out of shelf space and ran into another magazine that looked so interesting I had to read it.

My days go similarly, but with a better track record of efficiency. Well, I think it’s better. My blog record isn’t the best indicator of this in the past six months. However, my two year old gets most of my time and attention since we stay home together all day. Example: we’re currently working on colors. Red = red. Orange = Apple. Yellow = Lellow, rarely yellow. Green doesn’t exist in her vocabulary, but she doesn’t mind drawing with it. Blue = Boo. Purple = Pohple. Brown = Bown. Black = B[w]ack. Gray is confusing. Pink = Pink! White = WHITE!

I’m focusing during her naps to get my writing projects going in a forwardly progressive direction. Somehow when she’s down for the night it’s more difficult for me to manage the energy required to delve deeply into the rewriting and editing needed for the book I’m working on. Not impossible – and I’m starting to get a plan to get what I need and still socialize with my husband in the evening when I’m done working.

Planning is one thing – implementation is another. So many things look good on paper, but fail in the workings. The only thing for certain is that I will continue working toward my goals, even though they keep changing. Changing goals are not an issue. Never working to meet those goals, never having goals to work toward, that would make it difficult to get anything accomplished.

So this coming week, I’ll have my plan written out and be working on the implementation. I’m not sure you should wish me luck – but definitely wish me determination!

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The Little Engine That Could

My mother brought a copy of this book for my daughter. I’m glad to share with her books I loved as a child.

The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper, is a great book to help anyone know that they can do something only if they try. The mantra of the Little Blue Engine is “I think I can – I think I can!” all the way up to the top of the mountain.

Do you ever wonder what you can do, if you just think that you can?

A lot of people tell me I do a lot of things. Okay, I do. Is it because I have superhuman abilities? Haha, I wish. Sometimes I wonder if I get things done because I think I can squeeze them in.

Somehow, I think I can squeeze in some time to learn Mandarin, and the time is there. I think I can squeeze in time to write a novel, even after having a child, and I managed a rough draft in about seven months. I think I can scale buildings in a single bound!

… Wait, I still haven’t managed that one.

I enjoy reading the book to my daughter, though. One day she may attempt things just because she thinks she can. It might even be because of this book we are reading together. Then again, it might also be due to me not letting little things like time crunches get in my way.

What obstacles threaten what you want to do? Can you get rid of them?

Focus

It’s something that seems to be lacking in me these days.

I just want to do it all. And sometimes I don’t see anything wrong with that.

But it’s also good to evaluate goals at different points to understand where the progress is going. Or if you’re making progress at all. Or if the goals still mean something.

It doesn’t work to put all your effort into something that you decide isn’t important.

So, what’s the most important thing? Don’t Tell Your Mother is what I want to finish this year for writing projects, which is why I have the rest of the things on hold. Even if they keep beating my brain trying to get out. I’m taking notes, but that’s all.

Hoping they’ll be a little quieter if I’m firm in my focus. The goal is still important to me! Just hang in there, help me rewrite my novel, and I’ll get to the rest of you crazy novel ideas.

I just don’t think they’re listening to me.

Thinking about the Future

In more ways than one…

The anthology theme that just began is “Destination: Future” which sounds like a lot of fun. I’m definitely letting that one rumble in my head for awhile. Let’s hope something cool pops out of that!

The other reason I’m thinking about the future is my writing meeting did an exercise on how we wanted to be introduced. There weren’t very many of us, so we went around the room (with microphone in hand) to give a short introduction that we wrote ourselves, but someone else read and sometimes ad-libbed.

Then we handed in the papers with dates for a goals list. Mine might be more realistic than some, but I didn’t hand that in. I made a different goals sheet with about a year’s worth of goals. More than likely I won’t complete all of them, but they are goals I am consistently working toward. I track my progress and keep them defined in terms that are quantifiable and meaningful.

It makes me really want to buckle down and do things to see them printed out in front of me, but these things take time. Somehow, everything takes time!

Productivity

Staying at home sometimes seems to be viewed by those in Corporate America to be a slacker way to go. I think it can be harder to stay at home and still get things done like I’d like, but I keep trying.

When you go to work, you often have set hours. You definitely get a scenery change. Someone sets goals and you meet them.

At home, I do all of that myself. I set my own goals and reach them. I set my own hours depending on what I need to get accomplished, but sometimes things like grocery shopping get in the way. Or the doctor appointment I expected to be out of the house for a total of one hour and ended up spending two hours only in the office.

Stress is an external factor at a corporate position, but it becomes much more internalized when I stay at home. If I don’t make my goals, there is no one to blame but me. I focus on what I want to achieve and try to find another way to do it in the time I have allotted, which is never easy.

I think the few who think I’m slacking by staying at home just don’t know how much work it is. Okay, I can’t keep up with my housework because I’m generally trying to spend that time writing. I also get a little leeway because I’m eight months pregnant. Sometimes I just have to accept that not sleeping all day is a pretty good goal.

Hey – I blogged today. What else do I need to do? I could rattle off the list, but most of it is baby-related rather than writing-related. Better luck tomorrow.

A purpose to goals

Reaching for the stars might be beyond your grasp, but the effort makes you better, right? At least, as long as you don’t allow yourself to become discouraged.

Goals are there to keep us stretching to improve ourselves. Often we don’t get specific enough or give ourselves the tools to make it. I keep evaluating mine, and a friend sometimes reminds me to revise them.

Things to remember:
1. Be specific about what you want to accomplish.
2. Make sure you have a time frame in mind.
3. Check your progress in time intervals.

Example: I want to revise the current novel I’m working on. I’m editing one or more chapters a week. I’d like to finish it by mid-year, which may be difficult. If something comes up that requires more of my attention, this goal can slip without me giving myself too much trouble.

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