Notes on (surviving) the writing life

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How to Actually Get Things DONE: Suggestions for the New Year

How to Actually Get Things DONE: Suggestions for the New Year

Getting things Done

Are you a getting-things-done systems junkie? I am, and I thought I had my personal system settled once and for all until I took a Tim Grahl course on being a productive writer. Yeah, I know, my sixth novel will be published this coming spring, so some might think I already am productive. Not so! It takes me three to five years to write a novel, and I find that I’m constantly chasing my tail. I’m not getting younger and I have a number of books I want to write.

So here is my current system, in short:

I use the Things app as a database for recording the procedures of those chores I do rarely (like taxes) — things that I forget how to actually do. Keeping an itemized procedures list means I don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. Time saver!

I use Levenger Circa notebooks which are handy because you can add pages and take them out. I would stick scraps of little post-its with To Do items on them onto the notebook pages. The problem was that I rarely looked at all of them, so some important items were forgotten. Also, I was drowning in scraps of tiny post-it notes.

One thing that has worked for years: I restricted my daily schedule and things I aimed to do onto a 3×3 post-it. (I’m partial to white, which I have to order.)

The new and revelatory addition to my system is using The Autofocus Time Management System. I tend to stall when faced with doing something I’m just not into doing.This system solves that problem because there is always something I’m inspired to actually do. Also, I tend not to forget things. I recommend it!

Good luck! I’m curious to learn your tips. If you use this system and like it, let me know.

Happy New Year!

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