Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Getting Organized

In order to be productive in this business, I have to be organized. I make "to-do" lists every afternoon with the work I have to do the next day. And then as I accomplish these tasks, I cross the item off the list. Doing this gives me a great sense of accomplishment...the goal being to cross off every item  by the end of the day. Some people might say this is crazy, but it works for me. I write for a lot of people and I've set up a system to send them gags on a regular basis. I'm not saying I don't veer off from this routine when I need to. Doctor's appointments, illness, loss of Internet access, having to tend to a sick family member, a really bad toothache, a car that won't start...all these things can get in the way of keeping a regular schedule. But, like I said, writing and sending out gags on a regular basis works for me. (I also write lots of things on a calendar before they make their way onto my "to-do" list).

I also give myself incentives to work. I could easily spend hours on the Internet checking out long lost friends from high school and college (where are they now?), reading endless posts from friends on Facebook or going out to lunch. Because this work is very important to me, I have to focus on it, sit in the chair, read newspapers and magazines, write, write and do more writing.

One of the other things I have to do each week is exercise. I used to go to a gym and work out on the treadmill. At some point I dropped my gym membership and now exercise at home, which for me consists of dancing 45 minutes to a disco tape. No more driving to the gym in snowstorms or the dark of night. (I reward myself after exercising by checking my email).

One other trick is to stop working (for example, for lunch or dinner, or at the end of the day) in the middle of something. It's a lot easier to pick up where you left off on a project than to start a new project. (Try really works!) Again, everyone works differently. I'm a morning person and am at my desk and ready to work at 8am every morning (unless something comes up, like a bad toothache) and I'm usually ready to quit for the day at about 5pm. I'm just more alert in the morning so that's when I work on the things I really have to concentrate on. Again, it works for me.

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