Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to focus

On Friday I talked about sacrificing something in order to get some writing done. I've thought about it and actually while emailing a response to Carolyn V's comment, I came up with a solution to my problem.

I've decided that I am not a multi-tasker, so I need try to stay focused in what I'm doing. When I'm with my kids, cleaning the house, at work, etc, I'll try not to think about writing. When I'm writing, I'll try not to think about all the things I need to be doing.

Pretty simplistic, but we'll see how it works.

Last week's goals: Don't eat peanut butter on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Write draft of chapter 9 and send the three queries I didn't send last week.
Result: I wrote two pages of chapter 9 and didn't send any queries (because I'm trying to decide on something - more later). As for the peanut butter. I did pretty good. Nothing on Monday and Wednesday and I didn't eat any on Thursday, but I Friday while making a peanut butter sandwich for my daughter I licked the knife. Ugh, so I'll count Thursday.
This week: Try to stay focused. Finish drafting chapter 9 and wear tight jeans on Tuesday and Thursday - just to see if it will help to eat less.

What are your goals this week and are you a multi-tasker or do you like to try and focus on one thing at a time.

21 comments:

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Patti, these are awesome and attainable goals. My goal is to limit my writing (and computer time) to when the kids are at school and after they are in bed so I'm not rememberd as the mommy always staring at her laptop LOL! I plan to start this week and see how successful I can be:)

Tracy said...

I totally don't think licking the knife counts. Unless, of course, you stuck it in the jar and scooped a huge helping out before you licked it. Then, yeah, you kinda have to count it as a #fail.

Good luck not thinking about writing. I can't seem to shut it off. In fact, it seems when I'm trying NOT to think about it is when the best ideas jump into my head. Grr!

Colene Murphy said...

Nope licking the knife doesn't count. You were just making sure it was safe for your daughter. I call that good parenting.

Good luck on getting focused!

Laura Pauling said...

Probably the most important thing is figuring out how you work - and you seem to have done that! The comment about the peanutbutter cracked me up!

lotusgirl said...

So what's up with your decision? To query or not to query?

Dara said...

This week I need to do a quick edit of my rough draft chapter for crit group. By the end of today. Heh.

Also, I need to make sure I try and write every day. I'd like to start working on my new short story but I'm thinking it would be best to focus on getting my rough draft of this current book done.

Susan R. Mills said...

Ha! Wearing tight jeans... maybe I should give that one a try too. :)

Candice said...

All I have is tight jeans (ugh)!! Unless I wear them for like two weeks straight without washing them. I think I need to try your goal list here. No sugar on Mon, Wed, and Thurs (cuz Fri's date nigh :).

Christina Lee said...

I like that you made them simple and to the point. My goals are too scattered right now *sigh*

Kasie West said...

lol I love your tight jeans goal. I think I might need to try that. I have some tight ones too. Plenty of tight jeans. :)

Melissa said...

Lol, I've tried the tight jeans and I end up unbuttoning them when I sit;)

I hope I can get a few chapters revised this week. I've been sick and two of my kids are sick again so we'll see how that goes.

Heidi Willis said...

"I licked the knife..." You are so funny!! I love how specific you are about your goals, and how specific you are about keeping them!

Focusing is hard for me.... I don't transition well, so when the kids come home, I'm still in writing/reading/computer mode. I need to work on being more present with them faster.

I'm trying to finish my book today, so I can have another one finished by Thursday. Also, I'm hoping to make it to the AWP writing conference in DC this week. I didn't find out about it until yesterday, but it's still a possibility so I need to figure out how to make it work!

Angela Felsted said...

I'm not a multi-tasker, but I also have trouble switching gears, which is why I often burn dinner and forget to laundry while thinking writing stuff.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

My goal 2 weeks ago was to remember my goal! And I remembered! WOOHOOO!!! Progress!

ali said...

WTG for giving yourself props where you earned them! Woot! I totally fell off the healthy bandwagon last week. So I'm back to the basics this week, focusing on drinking my water (like, tons) and exercising. So far, so good, lol.

I was going to say; multi-tasking is overrated. There have been so many studies done that prove that when we think we're being all uber productive by multi-tasking, we're really robbing each thing of all it deserves, never really doing anything WELL.

So I say, good for you! Down with multi-tasking!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm not a good multi-tasker, either.

Love Tracy's comment about the knife. Just don't let your kids see you lick the knife. ;)

And if there's a way to switch off thinking about writing while not writing, please let me know. But then again, thinking about writing when I'm not writing is when I come up with my ideas. ;)

Paul Greci said...

I do my best work when I focus on one thing at a time. And, I feel more engaged and invested in what I'm doing.

Carolyn V. said...

Hey, I think I'm not a multi-tasker either. But it would be nice. You and I may have to try this together and see how it goes. =)

I just get way too stressed when I think about EVERYthing I have to do.

Melissa Marsh said...

Licking the knife DOES NOT count!!! :-)

I'm wearing tight jeans today, too, to try and not each so much, but actually, I think I've been doing pretty good on that front. It's just the weather that is interfering with my work-out plans - my gym is closed on snowy days!

Holly Ruggiero said...

I like the goal updates you've been writing. I agree with Melissa. Licking the knife does not count.

Monica B.W. said...

Of course! Licking the knife doesn't count!! :D
And, um, no. I'm not a multitasker :( But I would really LOVE to be one!!