Wednesday 3rd January 2018
My main aim for this week is to get my ToDo list up to date.
I have been a long time user of ToDoist and have processes for tracking and progressing tasks. It’s pretty effective and has allowed me to be super-productive in recent years. I don’t just use it for writing. I use it for all aspects of my life from swordfighting to health to even aspects of the day job.
However, I do lapse. As I’ve become more accustom to being productive I use the app less, which in turn results in me being a little less organised, which then requires me to go back into it again.
As a result, I tend to use ToDoist as an aid rather than a crutch. If things are going fine and work is getting done, I don’t beat myself up for not having tracked all my tasks. But, if I’m feeling overwhelmed and that my task list is spiralling out of control, then I go back to using it more hardcore.
I track both my short term and long term goals with the app. ToDoist allows you to set up repeating tasks, or to schedule them into the future. One such example of both of these that I use is to set recurring tasks a week before people’s birthdays to remind me to send them cards.
As you would expect, over the years, things get a little cluttered. I still have tasks in my ToDoist to write monthly articles for websites that I either no longer have time to write for… or don’t exist. It’s easy enough to just tick the tasks as complete when they come up to get them out of my list, but I know I’m overdue a clean up.
I use a variation of a process called GTD (Getting Things Done) to manage my time. It’s not the only productivity process out there, but it’s the one that works for me. I say a variation, as the process states you should do a review and clean up every week. Whilst I do review, it usually results in my punting some tasks several months into the future.
So this week is really about me looking at my various projects, deciding which ones I still want to do and which I should just kick into the long grass or archive.
It’s meant that some projects, like The Four Realms have been closed down. I’d like to return to that series sometime in the future, but I feel I’ve progressed enough as a writer that when I do, I think The Four Realms would see a revision. Being realistic, if Black as Knight sells, then I’m not going to be looking at another series for at least another 3 books. And if it doesn’t, I don’t think The Four Realms would be the replacement.
It’s not gone for good… it’s just on a hiatus until such time as I can establish myself as a professional author. Heck, book 2 is written (albeit first draft) and book 3 is plotted out (weirdly at exactly the same stage as the Black as Knight books)
But it means taking the project off my ToDo List. That’s purely for active projects. Future ideas get stored elsewhere ready to be turned into projects when the time comes.
I’ve made some progress on deleting tasks, but I still need to a little more. Then it’s a task of setting up new tasks and scheduling time for them to be done.
With 2018 looking incredibly busy, I suspect I’ll be relying on ToDoist a lot more this year so it’s worth spending some time now to properly prepare myself.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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