If you're a regular here at "My Far-Flung Life," you know that I haven't been getting much work done since late last summer when my family got news that we would be moving back to the U.S. from China (after nearly 5 years in Shanghai). At that point, my writing/work life pretty much came to a screeching/hollering/ba-ba-ba-banging halt.
Since then, instead of hunkering down at my desk every day, I've been "transitioning"--me, my daughter, my husband, our stuff, our life, our grocery store purchases, our snow boot supply, our...(you get the picture).
But today--January 3, 2011--my almost-three-year-old started preschool and I once again have a handful of sacred, silent hours to work.
Aaaahhhh! Sweet writing/working time.
And in the same breath...uuuuuuuggghhhhhhhh! Holy *#(!, I have way too much work to catch up on, like:
- four-month-old emails that I never answered (sorry, sorry, sorry if you're one of these!)
- an outdated website to update (cringe)
- two online courses to design, write, and publicize
- a novel to polish & send out
- writing students to connect with
- on and on it goes...
But honestly, after such a long hiatus, I've got no rhythm. I'm sitting here at my desk staring at the shadows the sun is making on the wall and getting absolutely nothing done. All of which got me thinking about what boosts my productivity and gets me working. Surprise, surprise, I got a list:
- Make a to-do list.
- Ignore the 20 or so boxes of stuff from China stacked up around you...the ones you really need to unpack but are NOT going to unpack right now. (Remember, you are working.)
- Read whatever you're writing out loud. (I just read that out loud. The more I read out loud, the deeper I go into my work. It works, I promise.)
- Sit cross-legged on your chair. (A must! I cannot work with my feet on the floor.)
- Focus. Choose one of the gazillion projects on your plate and stay with it. (Forget multi-tasking right now...you're not up for it.)
- DO NOT LOG ONTO TWITTER!!!!! (Did you hear me? DO NOT LOG ONTO TWITTER!)
- When you get the urge to call your daughter's preschool to check on her, first look at the clock. If no more than seven minutes have passed since the last time you called to check on her, DO NOT CALL. If an hour or more has passed, go ahead...make the call. Then get your arse back to work.
- Read something you wrote that works...that you feel good about. (Make sure it's short.) Get inspired. You are pretty darn good at this, you know.
- Hang a "You love writing!" sign on the wall over your computer. Because you do.
- And finally, when your husband sends a "Stuff" email listing all the things "we" (meaning "you") need to do, ignore it and get back to work. (Also, resist the urge to strangle said husband when he gets home from work tonight...he's kinda cute and nice to have around...despite his missteps.)
Stop Photo Credit: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Go Photo Credit: Scott Chan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net