Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: ........ Already?!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a monthly bloghop where writers can share their doubts, fears and insecurities with each other. It's a nice way to vent, but also to realize you're not alone. If you'd like to sign up, click here.

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You know, you'd think that starting fresh for the New Year would leave me fresh and renewed and at least a little less insecure than usual, but alas... No. 

What's the problem? Oh, it's an old one. I have it frequently...

Namely, the sheer staggering amount of items I have on my to-do list. Except this year is worse. Why? 

Last year, I kept track of my list with a diary and pens, which meant that I had at most 20 tasks on a given day. But I switched to Trello last year, which is the same thing, except digital, which means I can set myself an unlimited amount of tasks. 

And it seems like my life has taken it upon itself to meet that challenge. 

On January 1st, I cleaned up all my lists, starting from scratch with only my goals as a starting point. 

Then I started adding the little tasks I have to do from day to day. And added... and added. 

And in two days, my list of things I need to do today shot up from 0 to 30. Count them. 30 items. 

*Cue maniacal laughter* 

To be fair, I can shift a lot of them out to other days, but for some reason, I'm just not getting to the ones I deem to be essential, like having to spend at least 20 minutes today on editing my book. I literally can't figure out where I'm going to squish that in yet. 

And this is supposed to be a day off. 

Whelp!

How are you doing? Do you also feel like 2018 is starting like an avalanche?

43 comments:

  1. I just read another post on knocking down the goals to just a couple things, along with the to-do list. Maybe it's time to scale back. If only for your sanity.

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    1. LOL this is me scaling back. :-P

      Seriously, though, I tend not to mind having a lot to do. I just don't like having so much to do that I can't get to what I wanted to do.

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  2. Oh no, not the maniacal laughter so early in the year! I have an anxious brain that often feels overwhelmed by my to-do list. I'm trying to practice mindfulness skills to stay more in the present, but it's tough.

    Happy New Year, Misha!

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    1. Mindfulness is a good idea.

      I also try to adopt and maintain a one-thing-at-a-time mentality. If I do one thing, finish it, then do the next, and so on, I get more done than when I'm stressing because I'm not getting anything done.

      Happy New Year to you too!

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  3. You should definitely shift tasks to other days, spread them out more so you don't stress yourself out and have time for other things. Wish you luck for the New Year! And with all of your to-do list items. :)

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    1. Yeah that makes sense. After this post, I picked five things and moved the rest out. Got all but one of those done.

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  4. Despite my simplified goal phrases this year, I do have to-do lists looming over my shoulder, but I'm trying to keep each day's tasks limited to some basic goal points so I don't get overwhelmed. So, today is: walk, write, pray, work (teaching stuff), and health (daughter is sick today so there is care needed). That's it. I know the house needs to be cleaned more (maybe that fits in health) and so on, but I am going to tackle it all in five areas, not 20.
    I hope you ski the avalanche (on the top).
    Happy 2018!

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    1. That's a sensible approach, yeah. I also try to lump my goals into categories. It helps me maintain perspective over why the goals are what they are, but some days, perspective doesn't help me much. XD

      All the best for 2018!

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  5. I like Trello. It's a very versatile tool, and I'm sure I've barely scratched the surface as far as all it can do.

    My To Do lists have been creeping up in length. I do my best, but a lot of things still end up bumped to the next day, and so on and so forth.

    Best of luck to you!

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    1. Trello is AWESOME. I'm also still finding nifty tricks it can do, and I've been using it since November? October?

      Best of luck to you too!

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  6. I hear you! I quit so I'd have time to clean my house, do laundry, cook for my family and write. As soon as friends and neighbors realized I'd quit, my phone started ringing like crazy. "Can you help me with...", "I'm looking for someone to...", etc. 'm having to learn to say no once again.

    I love lists as well. You may want to try picking the top 5 most important things to accomplish in the day. Put those at the top and tell yourself those have to happen, but the others are bonus. I had to do that. Once I started on those five, and finished them, I felt so good that I often got many of the others done as well. I've also started turning my phone and internet off. It's amazing how much time is wasted on my phone, or browsing the internet.

    Good luck with it all. You may have to decide to cut out certain things for a while if it's too overwhelming.

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    1. I hear you. We all work from home, and people we deal with always assume that we have a world of time at our disposal.

      I did end up following your advice. Picked five things and worked through them. So far, I haven't gotten farther than that, but the tasks I've set were big ones, so I won't hold that against myself.

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  7. To do lists are very controlling and can be a bit overwhelming when so much spills onto the next day (or week!). I'm more comfortable with goals in segments of time, i.e., laundry some time this weekend; groceries in the next three days, etc. I am seriously appalled at how much time can be lost/wasted on the internet and having "device-free" dedicated time is a must.

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    1. You're right about device-free dedicated time. But I.... I just caaaaaaaaaaaan't. *dramatic sob*

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  8. Those to-do lists can help, but they can also overwhelm a person. This year I'm trying weekly goals, so if I don't have time to do some things on some days, then I still have other days to accomplish something. Best of luck!

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    1. That makes sense, yeah.

      Best of luck to you too!

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  9. That's definitely a lot of tasks to fit in one day. Don't be too hard on yourself if you can't get everything done. I make to do lists all the time but I never seem to get the whole thing done.

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    1. Yeah me neither. I think yesterday's freak-out came from a place where it felt like I'm not getting anything of note done.

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  10. Maybe Alex's suggestion is a good one. When I have too much to do. I put the most important for the day on a post it and check them off. Good luck!

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    1. Yeah I went with a version of that. Looked at which ones could be done on other days and moved the deadlines out. Just making the list shorter helped a ton.

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  11. Congrats on all the progress. Happy 2018. Wishing you much joy and success in 2018.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Thanks hon! I hope you have a wonderful 2018! X

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  12. I just started using Trello as well. It's probably dangerous for a list-making addict like me, but I appreciate being able to share lists with my husband, too. @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. Yeah I think Trello could be seriously useful when there's heavy collaboration involved, or when lists need to be shared for some reason.

      I just love its way of being simple, but capable of storing a lot of information at the same time.

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  13. Wow - 30 items? I'd be laughing extremely manically too :-)

    My 2018 has had a quiet start so far, but it's probably because I'm not pushing myself hard enough. All the best to you for the New Year - Ellen

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    1. I feel it's better to start a year quietly. Take stock, mentally prepare and all that.

      Sadly, that was never an option, since I had a book to edit by Jan 2.

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  14. I'm letting the first week of this year slip by without guilt. So many personal appointments to take care of. Next week however, I will write - even if its just book reviews. You are such a go-getter Misha, you will accomplish a lot of things, even if they are not on your today list.

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    1. Yeah take care of the appointments first, and then get into the writing zone guilt- (or distraction-) free.

      All the best!

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  15. Hi Misha, though these to-do-list are helpful they can also stress us out, that's why I avoid making them. I try to prioritize that keeps me sane and stress free.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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    1. Yeah I prioritize quite heavily. But last year I found that quite important things went undone because somehow, they had never been important enough at the time. :-/

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  16. I have a lot of tasks on my list, but many of them are very small. I like to be able to tick things off at regular (and short) intervals.

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    1. Yeah that makes sense. I try to go small too, but I guess that's part of my 30-item problem. They're mostly a lot of smaller things that need to get done, but because there are so many, it feels like I don't get to any of them.

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  17. I need to learn to set goals. I found it highly beneficial in the summer months. While I doubt if I could uphold all that you have on your to-do list. But it sounds like you like to keep busy. Keep up to good work. Wishing you great success in 2018!!

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    1. Goals are not for everyone, but I find it helps me be more productive, as it gives my every day a sense of purpose.

      That said, it's wild if said purpose consumes my every waking moment.

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  18. 30, wow that’s a lot! But pacing yourself and spreading your tasks out over the calendar can help, I think, to not feel too overwhelmed. May your year be both productive and peaceful!

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    1. It definitely does help. :-)

      Happy 2018!

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  19. Every new year one of my great aspirations is to simplify. Every year. So far, I think I'm succeeding, but I hear you on the lists. Mine are crazy! If I make them before the previous night, I tend to have panic attacks, so that's my way of keeping it in perspective, one day at a time. (With a few major goals broken down in advance.) Happy 2018, and don't die! ;)

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    1. Hahahaha yeah I try to make my to-do list every morning, so I don't have to stress every day.

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  20. That does sound intimidating. I find if I try to do too many things, I don't do any effectively, so I try and stick to what seems most important and give it more time. Hope 2018 is productive for you!

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    1. Yeah, it's the same with me. I spend more time stressing about the things that need to be done than on actually doing things.

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  21. 30 items?! Whoa. Your to-do list is far more ambitious than mine! I can only imagine how overwhelming that must be...

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    1. Yeah. And now I'm starting to get the jitters again. Got a freelance job that kept me busy for days on end, so I'm behind on everything I should be doing for myself, and will remain that way until Tuesday.

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  22. I always add way too many things to my list too. I suppose it keeps me busy and out of trouble.

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