Do you know when I get my best ideas? When I know my time is short. This isn’t the same as having a project started and a deadline to finish it. This is having a walloping great idea that I won’t work on because I look at my calendar and think I don’t have time.
This is horrible! I’m amazed I get anything done, because my calendar will forever be full of client deadlines, Mom weeks, doctor appointments, family demands. If I keep putting off projects because I’m waiting for a huge block of time to work in, I’ll never get them done.
I have a couple of ideas I’ve been toying with all year that I haven’t acted upon because (1) my editing business took off like crazy this year (thank you, Lord!), and I’ve been inundated with work. (2) I keep thinking I have plenty of time–and yet, here we are in the last half of the year, and I haven’t even started. (3) I’m scared where are a couple of the ideas are concerned, afraid no one will like them, afraid the end product won’t provide the results I hope for, afraid I’ll get discouraged and just quit. Along with lousy time management, that’s one of the biggest flaws in my personality, I get discouraged really easily. (4) Finally–and most recently–I’ve looked at my calendar, and instead of seeing the small chunks of time in which I can work, I see the huge chunks of times I won’t be near a computer.
Take this morning, for instance. I was playing some video courses about marketing, and one of the speakers inspired me to combine a couple of my ideas and use one to promote the other. While he was speaking in the background, I was outlining my idea and getting super excited about it.
Then I thought, today is Monday–my busiest day of the week, but doubly busy because it’s also Mom week, which means I’ll have zero time to work after today. Aside from all the housework-type stuff I have to do, I have to get my blog and my book ads scheduled, finish one of my client’s manuscripts, and prep for being gone for a while so everything will still run smoothly for MSB.
The rest of the month and going in to next month, I have another Mom week (happens monthly, ya know), doctor appointments, a minor surgery coming up, client manuscripts due, the ACFW conference to prep for and attend. The following months aren’t much better; then, looming ahead is November. From November through roughly half of January, my time is not my own.
Looking at that paralyzes me for some reason. The idea of maximizing productivity during those small chunks of time hasn’t quite sunk in yet, for some reason, resulting in the fact that many of those small chunks of time are squandered. Wouldn’t happen if I were a Type-A personality–which I’m not. Most definitely not. Someone needs to bottle whatever chromosome it is that makes a person Type-A, because they could make a mint.
But if I’m going to get anything done, I’m going to have to learn. This is what I want to do by the end of the year:
- Start a newsletter for my clients
- Write a nonfiction book
- Pursue a couple of blog ideas that would appeal more to readers than writers
- Update Give the Lady a Ride with new back content and larger font so the print version is the same size as The Final Ride
- Create the audio edition of the Circle Bar Ranch series
- Publish and promote The Bucket List Dare (a novella collection I’m working on with some other authors. At least my novella, Skydiving to Love is finished. One thing off the list.)
- Start Ride to the Altar, book 3 of the Circle Bar Ranch series
- Start the series of novellas starring Patricia’s friend, Marie Lambeau Davis
All this, along with promoting my new releases, keeping up with my newsletter(s) and blogs, working for my clients, and trying not to disappear from my “real” life entirely.
Comparing my list to my calendar, I’m already feeling paralyzed. There’s no way I can get all this done. Fortunately, not all of it has to be done this year. But I’d like to fulfill something on the list.
Starting next week. No way I can fit anything else in to today.
“Starting next week.” Lands. Those words sound familiar. Next week keeps getting farther away, and now it’s late July, and I feel like I haven’t done a thing all year.