Monday, March 12, 2012

The incredible, maddening To-Do list!

Most of you know that when I finished writing The Old Man in the Void--now renamed Dex's Way--I said I needed to tackle my to-do list before I could start writing again.  The goal was to get down to 30 items from the 150 or so I had piled up.

I don't know if I'm good or bad with to-do lists.  On the one hand, I generally keep up and do an impressive amount of stuff.  On the other, I cannot chop them down--it's like a hydra; more spring up in their place.

My to-do lists are in two forms:  Outlook and written.  Written usually has more to do with the real world--like groceries, housekeeping chores, etc.--while the Outlook one is more writing.  However, there is a lot of overlap--I flag or send myself e-mails abut the kids' school events, for example.  Overall, the list has these items:

--Things I'm sure I'll forget, like call the chiropractor because I've been sitting too long at the desk.
--E-mails I need to follow-up on but can't do right away.
--E-mails I've sent to others that I need to follow up on, like following up on submissions (I flag these for months from the send date.)
--Things I want to read later or read again
--Long-term projects that need occasional reminding.

For one day, I actually made it!  Technically, it was down to 60+, but most of those were follow-ups.  Then I started planning the Live and Let Fly book tour, and that added nearly 50 items.  Of course, there's all the usual stuff I get, which can generate about 5 flagged tasks a day.  So, now I'm back up to 100, 30 of which are follow-up later.

I am proud of myself, though, because I chopped down some of the bigger projects this past week, things that took days instead of hours.  This week, before the Catholic Writers Conference Online, I hope to chop the list back down to 60.

Not that it will stay that way, but in April, I start writing Gapman, anyway!

What's your to-do list look like?


Zakgirl said...

I'm wondering why you renamed your novel?

I find the name, The Old Man in the Void, an compelling title. I probably wouldn't give the title, Dex's Way, a second glance.

Why the change? Curious.


Zakgirl said...

Oh, and to your question.

My TO DO list is a pain in my ...

Anyway, it's long and it's partly written on paper, partly scrambled notes on iphone, Outlook, Notes and 43 things (online).

THEN, I've got this increasing MOUNTAIN in my head that nags at me. Life is not long enough to read all the books, do all the things and be all the occupations but I try.

I took particular attention to your comment about needing to call the Chiropractor. This is one of the worst things we do to ourselves that is, neglect our health. We need to revise our TO DOs list and stick Chiropractor or Eat Better to the TOP OF THE LIST!


PS: Thank you for posting your TO DOs list. I don't feel nearly as bad as I did about my list now, and ahem, I've just added to yours sorry :( ;)

Karina Fabian said...

It's still a working title, but after 50,000 words Dex was no longer in the void and no longer old. Needless to say, that's when the outline from Old Man in the Sea ended and Dex took over in typical seat-of-the-pants fashion