Fiendish Friday: Productivity

I had multiple people ask me this week how I find time to do what I do. I had no answer for them. I don’t know how I find time to to do what I do. I often feel guilty I haven’t accomplished more. It seems to me there are plenty of hours available in the day. And it only makes sense to allocate them to projects that need my attention.

I am only guessing, but I know for some people, “I only have x time” is a real hang up. If I only have 15 minutes until I need to get in the shower to get ready to go somewhere and the kiddo is busy, I’ll spend 15 minutes bashing tile off the wall in the bathroom I am renovating. Or prepping dinner 8 hours before I plan to serve it so I can free up extra time later. I’m kind of compulsive that way.

Part of what helps me is tracking my time for a few days. Generally when I start feeling less productive, I will track everything I do for 3 days and see where my time is going. It might be that I’ve fallen into a bad social media habit or gotten obsessed with a new time wasting game. Sometimes I find I am actually spending my time where I need to be – my feelings just don’t align with reality. Sort of like that guilt I feel for not doing quite everything under the sun(rain) possible.

The concrete, written record of what I do do forces my negative nellie to stuff it. That little internal me who says you really could have done so much more today, this week, this month, this year. She has to shut it. Because there it is in black and white. I do a metric f**k ton of work on a daily basis. LOL.

What do you do when you start doubting your own productivity?


Craft Workshop

Last Saturday was the first in a  year long series of workshops I am presenting at the North Bend library called Nanowrimo to Publish. I was so excited about the turn out. Even more excited about how far some folks drove just to attend, an hour plus in some cases. And about 75% of the participants signed on for the year.

The class/workshop/seminar, I really need to figure out what the bleep to call it, is really an effort to take people from point A, a lump of a novel that is a total mess after Nano, to a beautifully edited and honed work that increases the reputation of self publishing. And to do it in nine months. But I don’t aim high or anything. LOL

If you don’t live in the PacNW you’re missing out so I’ll give a bit of a run down here the following Saturday after each workshop class.

Yesterday we talked about the schedule, it’s pretty tight. By next month’s meeting they need to return their first pass critique of their partners work, which I assigned yesterday based on what people like to read and what they wrote and who was ready to send it by Sunday and who needed a week or two. It was actually easier to work out than it sounds. They have March and April to fix it all up and get it ready for Beta, integrating that first pass information. We’ll be helping with that and be talking about how to find betas, how to keep your family from revolting, things to do while your book is out to beta, etc. May and June beta integration. July, Create Space and Kindle. August Cover design. September final clean up based on ARC feedback. Not to mention we’ll cover blogging, marketing, and launch parties over the year as well.

That’s not too bad right? The truth is I publishing Scripting the Truth in eight months last year and while I don’t have a wide readership, I have an average of 4.8 stars so it must be at least decent. But I missed a lot of the critical marketing points and I now know better.

We also talked about critique. How to give good critique. It’s so important I’ll spend a whole blog post on that one alone.

Finally we talked about time management and productivity. There’s no better tool to evaluate your time management, in my humble opinion, than Chris Baty’s simple suggestion that you track your activities for one week in 15 minute increments and look at what you could cut. I’ve suggested an hour a day is enough to get you to published this year. I shared this productivity link, which is heavy, I know, but something on here will speak to you and that will help you make the most of your time.

Feel free to follow along at home and let me know how it is going.