Welcome to the first in a series of productivity posts for writers. This one is a post packed with tips, easily-doable items and even the tools to help you dominate your writing projects.
That said, the steps here are clearly laid out for you, so get reading, and bookmark the post if you want to go back to it. More importantly, the tips in this post are designed for easy implementation, because how else would you dominate if things were hard to start in the first place? Let’s get to it!
1. Willpower is an extremely limited resource. Internalize that truth.
Yeah, I can hear you going, “But it will take willpower to change my habits!”
That’s true and it’s certainly inescapable. Even so, the first step to this planning method is acknowledging that you have limited willpower. Research shows that it does exist, but it’s not an endless fount. Before anything else, I’d like you to come to terms with that so we can carry out a solution. Go on to the next step!
2. The secret to planning is to stay within your willpower limits.
It’s really time to get real. Knowing how limited your willpower is, you should be realistic with the number of things you plan to do. If you aim too high, you’ll end up with burnout and the ugly feeling of not achieving what you want. On the other hand, if you aim just right, you’ll consistently complete tasks as time goes on.
“Wait!” you say. “How do I know how much to aim for?”
Let me take the decision out of your hands. For as long as I’ve used my method, I’ve always stayed within a maximum of seven tasks to complete in a day. Many times, it’s often less, and I haven’t left a task undone in the four months since I perfected my planning method. It’s left me in control and very organized.
“Can you define task?”
Well, my typical definition of task will include anything from researching a blog post, writing and posting it, doing work on my novel and completing tasks at work. For me, work includes administering the social media for an environmental foundation, but that’s beside the point.
Customize for yourself, but stick to seven at most. You’ll be doing your self-esteem and your happiness a huge favor when you see all your daily tasks completed. Next step, the tools.
3. You’d better learn to reduce your inbox to zero and use a proper to-do list application.
If you’re wondering how to cut your inbox volume to zero, here is a post with the steps to do so. Just to put that in context, please do learn that your e-mail inbox is not your to-do list. You have no excuse for cluttering it and not deleting e-mails which have no hope of mattering again.
If you’re doubting me, ask yourself, “When was the last time a 2, 3, or 4-month old e-mail prompted any meaningful action? When was the last time a year-old e-mail had much significance?”
Allow yourself to be really honest, and you’ll often find that the answer to those questions is a big, fat no. That said, purge your inbox and transfer the tasks to an application. No, don’t use Post-Its too.
Can you imagine the paper wastage and how many you would stick to your monitor? Paper is ineffective here, and you can be disorganized. Best way to avoid the possibility? Use an app, detailed in the paragraphs below.
And if you were disobedient, here’s the e-mail domination post again. Read it!
4. Dominate with Week Plan
Week Plan is exactly that – a weekly planner. It provides an easy way to add tasks and see what you need to get done for a given week. By providing a top-level view of your weekly tasks, you can see what you need to do in a day, and get started on other days when there’s time to do so.
The learning curve to use the app is pretty much nonexistent, so you’ll be adding, prioritizing and moving tasks like a pro in no time. I mean, you just drag and drop to move a task to a different day, then you type the data and hit Enter to add a task. How easy is that?
Wanna see what last week looked like for me? Hint – it was awesome. See all the gray? It’s what happens when you complete a task. Seeing it is empowering, trust me.
If you want to use Week Plan for yourself, I have the link at the end of the post. You can also use the functionality as an editorial calendar for your blog. You can schedule posts and what not, depending on your preference. Personally, I use it that way, and I recommend you do too.
Let’s move on to the last step.
5. Doing it again and again is key.
Like I mentioned in the post for e-mail domination, I’m not trying to make things hard for you. What I am trying to do is to make things freakishly easy by outlining the steps and tools you need. You see, I also understand that many balk at difficult tasks, which is why I’ve tried to help downgrade that difficulty.
The point here is to make sure that you carry out the tips. I can make it as easy as I can, but in the end everything will rest on you. If you don’t want to do these things, that’s fine. However, if you want to do more in less time, follow the steps and see the results for yourself.
Okay, your turn. Any thoughts or tips you have to get even better at planning? Share them in the comments, and get Week Plan for yourself here. Here’s to domination, and check back tomorrow for a post on learning to write everyday. Want to dominate your e-mail too? Remember, the post is here, so look no further!