I have a lot of book projects of varies types started and not finished. It’s my goal to finish some of them this year. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, especially since I’m learning some new things–like how to format books for Smashwords.com and how to navigate my way through become a self-publisher.
So, if you are like me, when you feel overwhelmed you might find yourself getting depressed and frustrated and shutting down. Literally. You may be at your desk, but you aren’t getting anything done, right? Using a project-specific to-do list and daily deadlines can motivate you to keep moving forward. Here’s how this solution works:
At the top of a piece of paper list of one or two of your projects. Underneath the project list three or four things you know you can get done pretty easily or quickly. You can also add one or two larger items to this to-do list.
Then set aside some time to knock at least two or three things of the list. Start with the small ones. Then work up to the bigger ones. Don’t leave your desk until you’ve checked a few things off.
I did this yesterday. I was feeling particularly frustrated and stuck because it was my birthday and I hadn’t accomplished more over the last year; I hadn’t reached the goals I set for myself on my last birthday. So, I did this exercise. In the last two hours of my day I accomplished the following:
- I printed out a timetable of thing to do before you self-publish and marked off what I have done and need to do.
- I reviewed five different e-book artists’ work and contacted one about a cover design.
- I purchased 10 ISBNs.
- I finished the formatting of one of my pdf-type ebooks into the correct MS-Word format for Smashwords.com.
Just doing that little bit made me feel less overwhelmed–more motivated and positive. It gave me energy to keep moving forward.
Taking this approach every day can help you chunk away at any project, even writing your whole book. For instance, put your desired daily word count on that to-do list–500-1,000 words or 2 pages, for example. Then don’t leave your desk until you check it off the list! (That item is going on my list for sure!)