My $35,000 list
Do you ever feel like you’re running all day long without accomplishing much of anything? Do your days feel full of endless activity, yet at the end of the day your list remains without many items crossed off?
That was me. Working, working, endlessly busy. For myself, I found that my biggest problem was that I spent more time off chasing ‘rabbit’s. I’d be hunkered down, busy at a task … and … flash … there went a thought that I thought I should chase. There I was, off across the field, chasing the newest rabbit in my field of vision, leaving my current’s day’s to-do list in the dust.
That changed when I read Miracle’s Happen, by Mary Kay Ash. In it, she shares what she called her $35,000 list. Basically, she advises that at the end of each day you make a list of 6 things to accomplish the next day. Prioritize them 1 – 6, in order of importance. The next day, start with #1 and work your way through. If you don’t finish, transfer the items to the next day and continue working. (Read more about the Mary Kay’s version of the story here.)
I started using this method with my writing 1/31/14. That day I crossed one item off the list. But, I kept it up. Now to be truthful, with working full time and only writing in periods in between my work and home life, sometimes I’d work three to four weeks on those 6 items. But now that I’m writing full time, I’m finding this method indispensable in keeping me on track. (This blog is #4 for today.)
Something I discovered with this $35,000 list, is to break some of the items down into smaller bites for an individual item. When I had: Edit Scooter’s Tale (a whole manuscript), Finish Starting Over (only about another 30k words needed), write 3 blogs, research next project … well, with each item having this magnitude, there was no way this was all happening in one day. So I’d end the day frustrated because I hadn’t made a dent. I’ve learned to list my tasks in more manageable pieces. List each blog separately – that’s three items in itself. Add 2k or 3k to my WIP. Edit first 50 pages. Being realistic with what I can accomplish in my allotted time is just as important as staying focused.
Now, I’m off to upload this and head to Task #5.
Give it try and see if this helps. Let me know!