Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Comfort Zone

Lists are my comfort zone.  Sometimes I make lists within my lists.  Often actually.  In the days before I discovered planners, my brother-in-law picked on me for the weekly lists I made on yellow legal pads like the image above.  I kept myself very organized this way.  I am a pencil and paper person by nature, so I prefer planners to online tools. If any of you have a suggestion for a planner that works well for writers, I would love to hear it. But back to my point...

Have you ever had so much to do that you get overwhelmed and simply do nothing at all? Or nothing of importance on your TTD list anyway?

I'm finally getting further in reading Vinita Hampton Wright's SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD (so I am getting some things completed!). The beginning lines of the first chapter stopped me. They fit me to a T! Wright says, "There's so much to do that I don't know where to start. I think of everything I'm responsible for and everything I'd like to accomplish, and I panic--and sometimes I cope by doing nothing at all."

Bam, yep, that is me. In a nutshell. And it isn't just writing or writing-related tasks but more just the combination of happenings, work responsibilities, things I NEED to get finished and things I WANT to do. I try to keep my lists manageable and reasonable whether it is daily lists, weekly lists or just the overall collage of things hanging over my head that need to get finished soon.  And. I. Love. Lists! I love to make them. I love to cross items off my lists and see the end in sight and the re-shaping of the upcoming week's target goals. I can feel accomplished as I see this shift in my TTD list. As Wright says, "Lists are good for dreaming, for prioritizing, for helping the mind make order out of a situation that has become overwhelming."

My list is a way to navigate my time to be most efficient, and I find I am getting better at keeping it useful to stay on track and keep order in my day. And on the worst of days, lists do help, as Wright says, "regain some control over a mind gone berserk with clutter and worry." Berserk certainly seems like the perfect word somedays:)

Do you use handwritten lists? Online tools? None or all of the above? I am always interested in the best ways to stay organized should you feel inclined to share what works for you.