Writers have a lot to do.
Maybe you’ve discovered that. Wherever you may be in your writing journey, you’ve probably encountered the many tasks a writer has to accomplish (especially during tax season, can I get a witness?): write, rewrite, edit, proofread, get critique, rewrite again, research, review, submit, record submissions, follow up submissions, book travel, register for conferences, pack for conferences, recover from conferences, and more. It can be overwhelming.
That’s why I have long followed a weekly productivity practice that helps me to stay sane. Okay, okay, “helps me to seem sane.” Happy now?
Every Sunday evening, I plan and schedule the coming week. And I ask myself three questions about upcoming events and tasks:
What can I automate?
What can I delegate?
What can I eradicate?
See how they rhyme? That just shows how inspired they are.
But seriously, folks, those three questions are an indispensable part of my writing life. In a fairly normal week, I might answer the first question by registering a recurring bill for autopay or, instead of writing a sticky note to remember something, tell Siri (because I’m one of those cool iPhone users) to “remind me to take out the trash every Monday at 7 p.m.” See how easy that was?
The next question, “What can I delegate?” focuses me on tasks I can assign to others: my assistant, a travel agent, an Instacart grocery service, etc.
And, finally, “What can I eradicate?” alerts me to the tasks I can simply eliminate (because that also rhymes) from my schedule or to-do list. Sure, I could write a fevered letter-to-the-editor of my local newspaper pointing out the misplaced apostrophe in their page one headline yesterday …. but it’s not necessary. And, yes, I put that free dinner to learn more about solar power in my calendar; but on further thought, I can unRSVP and eradicate that event from my schedule. What a relief!
At the end of each month, I also apply these questions to my plans for the next month. I still keep plenty busy, of course; but this little productivity routine helps me to focus on the most important tasks and events. Like writing this blog post … at least until AI can do it for me.