What to Do When You Have Too Much Time

My biggest challenge has been how to organize my time effectively so that I can reach my writing goals. (And stop beating myself up for becoming a night owl again...) It's especially hard when I have huge chunks of time to work in versus trying to fit in an hour here and there. 

I already have a desk -- a red, peanut-shaped IKEA desk -- that I love. It faces into my living room but with the backdoor on its right wall. This gives me natural light but keeps me from staring out the window when I'm supposed to be working. (Having said that, I'm all for staring out the window occasionally -- daydreaming is so necessary for creativity!)

As you can see  from this "before" pic, I have a real problem with things kind of landing on my desk. That pile of books? Only half really need to be there; those are the ones that I'm currently writing or sketching/painting in. The rest need to go!

What's funny is that at my jobs, I'm always the one who has to have an uber-neat desk before I leave for the day because it stresses me out to come in to a messy desk.... Yes, I know, I know. That's exactly what's happening here. So perhaps it's just that I need to develop better habits and that awareness to tidy up before bed. Like this:

Much better! (Oh and that little grey thing is a candle holder so worth keeping on to me. :) Maybe this will make it easier to make writing my first task of the day -- if I have a clean desk welcoming me to it. *crossing fingers*!

Then from there, I started an editorial calendar last week using just my Gmail calendar (I created a new calendar just for the editorial piece). It's helped a little bit -- to make me feel a little guilty if nothing else! No really it does help me to keep track of that week's goals. I've decided that when life gets in the way of me hitting a day's goals, I'll bump that goal to the next day I can because it still needs to get done and if it sits there as an expired calendar task, it'll stress me out more and might get lost in the dismissals. Moving it forward keeps it current. However, updating it every week is a little bit of a challenge for me but some of the goals -- like my weekly blog posts -- I was able to set up as recurring reminders and that helped. Then I can edit an individual day if I want to say, put notes in for that week's blog post.

I also have an ongoing list in a notebook (did I mention I have a thing for notebooks?? ;) that I can look at. It includes everything I want to work on right now, including my health goals. I don't put chores on it -- those get done as they need to -- but everything else that could be procrastinated on? It's on the list!

I'm going to start the 90-minute timing thing. I did tonight but then after the timer went off, I got caught up doing five other things so I really have to hold myself to it. Next challenge!


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