Write on! Write Strong! What’s your do?

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What’s your do? Let’s manage that dreaded TO DO LIST!

In the hustle and bustle, most of us are buried in tasks and/or those wish projects. No matter your scenario, the burden of feeling overwhelmed can swallow us whole. And of course, stress and defeat is sure to follow. So let’s unbind that nasty personal or work-related list.

It’s ok…really. Using a “To Do List” effectively can set your focus and whittle away the worries, not to mention…those wonderful tasks.

One method I would suggest is using a calendar. Try assigning at least one task per day, or for larger tasks, one task per week. This method saves time in the endless evolution of updates.

But if you’re like me, notes on writing, span many categories and in so many directions. Keeping it straight can be just as time-consuming as the tasks themselves. What is one to do? Below, I will give you step by step, but first, keep these suggestions close at hand:

  • With the availability of apps are you using one? At a simple level, Word and Excel type programs can be useful. Email services can provide tasks list assistance as well. Software allows the ease of updating without the need to rewrite as your completion list grows or priorities change. Suggestions to try:
    • Remember the Milk – basic user checkmark list, sync ability, twitter function for reminders
    • Todoist – track productivity, sync ability, tons of features, flexible
    • Tooledo – assist with assigning priorities, good for simple management tool
    • GoogleKeep- fast, flexible, and user-friendly (but not for IPhone)
    • Any.do– syncs, can handle recurring tasks, tons of features
    • Wunderlust – syncs with PC and Mac too, simple and easy, great design
  • Break large projects down. This way, you feel more accomplished as you weed through them.
  • Organize tasks by category. I use several: one for each novel, one for writing tips, and even one for editing tips. The categories are endless, so use them!
  • Work on hard tasks at your prime. I am at my strongest in the morning. Others may hit that point in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter, just find your niche and have no fear, grrrr!!
  • Set priorities by numbering or alphabetizing each task. Intelligent prioritizing will allow greater focus. Time and energy will thank you for it.
  • Most of us often select the path of least resistance. Well, what usually happens is the larger tasks sit – incomplete. Tackle one large then move onto a small task. On days where inspiration peaks or aggression settles in, tackle many large tasks.
  • Take the time to congratulate yourself. When’s the last time you patted yourself on the back? Most of the time, others won’t acknowledge it, so maybe you should. It will drive your hunger to cross those chores off the lists.
  • Keep it simple! If you are feeling bogged down, don’t have more than you can handle on your list. Set a rule of thumb, maybe no more than three tasks on a given day.
  • Set a plan of attack the night before to help plan your day.

Now, we have great focus, right? So here are good recommendations to begin:

  1. Start by listing all the tasks that you must carry out.
  2. Then prioritize and categorize.
  3. Remember to keep it simple.
  4. Remember don’t stress.
  5. Be flexible and tackle the most important tasks. At any signs of defeat, move to a simpler tasks. But be careful; don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.
  6. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back.
  7. Track your progress. You should be proud every time you cross something off. Celebrate with another cup of coffee, or something harder perhaps? Just keep the latter away from work. I know it’s a bummer. J
  8. Tackle what you can, when you can! You should start to see that list become more manageable.

If you enjoyed this, I also have an effective method on mapping out your novel plot. To see this and more on writing tips, CLICK HERE!

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