So, thank you for humoring me and helping me see things more clearly. =)
Here are some other things that really help my productivity level—they all fall into the category of accountability.
First: In the comments on Time Management Ala Patty, Joanne mentioned the note we send each other every night. It's simply an accountability note of what we accomplished that day and our writing related plans for the next day. The note often includes more, but those are the “required” items. So that provides daily accountability for us.
Second: Over a year ago I joined a small group set up to help provide accountability in our writing goals. It's a yahoo group and every Friday night a Roll Call email is scheduled to go out automatically. Usually it's on Saturday that we email in to the group with two lists: our goals for the past week and how we did on each item and another list of our goals for the upcoming week. These are bullet point lists with measurable goals, and we do measure.
Some weeks every item on our goals list is followed by no. LoL, or nope or a variety of other negative responses, and we can get creative because it's really depressing to write NO on five out of five goals. Thankfully, other weeks there's more cheering than nopes on there. Those simple weekly lists keeps us on target. Progress is progress, no matter how small the steps are. Little things add up over time and we've accomplished far more since we started reporting in than we did before.
Sure, some weeks come when life explodes and all hope of progress is blown to smithereens. Some weeks our accountability group resembles a prayer group, and that's good. We cheer each other on, pray each other on and cry on each other's shoulders. Through it all, we encourage—even when we're wielding the fabled wet noodle. And yes, we do pull that out on occasion. It's part of holding each other accountable even as we encourage.
Third: The private yahoo group I have. I'm the only member of this group and there are two purposes for it. One, to act as an off-site storage for a few items, making it so if my computer crashes (banish the thought!) I haven't lost all my work. Two, to act as a reminder system for me. Yahoo groups have a calendar feature that you can schedule email reminders, and I need them.
Here are some of the things I have reminders set for:
- the due dates for the four sites I write for
- chores I have for the sites I own/manage, including backing up those sites
- changing the filter on the AC/furnace (LoL, and other such household things I tend to forget)
- to back up my manuscripts and the spreadsheet I use as a master index for EVERYthing
Without this reminder system I tend to forget many things—I am a very forgetful person, just ask my husband and kids. Yes, I have a daytimer, but to be honest, weeks sometimes go by with me forgetting to look at it, so the automatic email reminders are a lifesaver. It's worth the hour it took me to get the dates entered—many times over.
The key for me has been accountability and a system to be reminded. It's taken me time to find a system that works for me, but right now, this is what I do.
So tell me, what are some of your tricks that keep you productive?
The first two posts in this mini-series:
Time Management Ala Patty
Treasure Hunting Marathon