This is an ongoing series about managing writing-related projects. In this edition I want to get deeper into analyzing time. The original post is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here, part 4 here, part 5 here and part 6 here.
For a while I’ve been trying to work a schedule with my various projects but kept running into trouble executing the plan. I needed to blog, write short stories and complete my book revision however, my progress was minimal on the book even though I needed to emphasize it. During that time I’ve completed a short story and ramped up my blogging. But I just couldn’t gain any traction with the book revision.
The other day, the reason came to me out of the blue. I had a mole in my schedule. I wrote about finding the mole in your work several months ago so I considered my problem from that concept.
I concluded that I had been approaching my work in reverse and this had my perspective backwards. I kept putting blogging and short fiction ahead of my need to finish the revision. As a result I kept thinking these were in the way of completing the revision. This notion was completely wrong.
The book revision has been my mole all along.
It sounds strange, I know, but completion of my book has been the mole in my schedule that has kept things from moving more smoothly. How could this be? Simple, since I believed the other projects had more immediate priority they were eating up time for editing the book. Still not clear? In considering my shorter projects to be the impediment, I was doing nothing with the book. When I viewed the problem as the opposite – the book is the problem, that is, the mole undermining my schedule I understood my problem.
This doesn’t mean the that book doesn’t need to be addressed at all. It means that the book revision needed first priority. In other words, I needed to work on it before I addressed any other project during the day. It also meant that I needed to set a specific goal for how much to edit, complete that specific goal and move onto other project goals. In this way, I addressed the obstacle to progress – incorrect perspective. Of course I can always edit more than my goal after I achieve my other goals but mainly as additional work. By taking on the editing goal early with a limitation I eliminated the obstacle.
As I’ve mentioned in other parts to this series, it is important to be flexible and re-examine your schedule. I would say, “Look for the moles.” Look at the pieces differently and you may see a way to become more effective. In my case, I have been much more effective by reversing my understanding and, thus, my schedule.
Have you planned your projects only to run into obstacles? Have you been able to identify your “mole”? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed yesterday so take a look.
Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.