Monday 28th December 2020

Although it’s technically a bank holiday here in the UK, it’s been back to work for me.  I know a lot of people like to wait until the start of the new year before getting started but I always found that when I did that, I ended up taking a month before I got into a groove.  I’d rather start now and build myself up as we go into January.

Monday is my admin day and as such I’ve been spending a lot of time in Notion and ToDoist.  I use the former for notes and tracking, the latter for tasks.

I want to put a lot of focus on a lot of writing in 2021, and as a result I want to ensure I have the right systems around me to support me.  I’ve built myself a word tracker in Notion so I can log how many words I write each day.  I used to do this in Excel but I like the idea of having everything in one place so that I can build links into it.

I did that today.  I worked on a new section for all my writing projects.  The idea is that I can take the other spreadsheet I recently created – my draft writing schedule- and put it into a calendar.  So each project has little pieces of data that you’d expect such as genre, whether it’s a first draft or a edit, as well as a date range for when I’m supposed to be working on it.

I’ve built links into my weekly tracker which is where I plan the focus of my week and review it at the end.  I’ve also linked into the word tracker so that words can be linked to a project.

There’s still some work to do, particularly in the area of summing up word counts by project, year and week.

I’m happy to spend this time investing in my system because it’ll support me in the year ahead.  Something I’m incredibly conscious of as I go into 2021, is that I have a lot of things going on and I need to make sure that I have some sort of priority on tasks so that the actual writing doesn’t get pushed to the back of the queue.  That might be as simple to solve as making sure that I bang out a thousand or so words first thing,  or write for 15 minutes at the start of each day.

And I know, it sounds stupid to build a system and then spend so much time on the system you don’t actually do the work it was designed to support, but I see this time and time again in productivity.  It’s an easy trap to fall into.

So, I’m taking mental note of those tasks that I seem to gravitate towards currently, and trying to come up with ways to slightly deprioritise them.

That said, the work I did today has been complete, and I’m very happy with it.  No doubt I’ll revisit it in the future – possibly to sort out those totals – but I don’t see this being a distraction day to day.  This feels like an evolution of the goal tracker I implemented last year.  It’s taken me a good 9 months to really get the hang of it and only now am I starting to modify it for my own needs.

I’m hoping the benefits I got from it in 2020 will be enhanced with the addition of writing projects and I look forward to using it in 2021.

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Past Years: 2019 – The Year of Soldiering Through | 2018 – The Year of Priorities | 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive