Monday, December 30, 2019

One Checkbox at a Time

Geralt via Pixabay
My self-discipline seems to have gone out the door with the wrapping paper we tore off presents last week. Usually really good at sitting down and digging into writing, I am finding myself more distracted by well, everything, and more adept at excuses than usual. Procrastination has definitely not taken a vacation but, instead, has taken up residence.

This is somewhat understandable and forgivable as Christmas was last week, a new year begins in two days and a lot of what I was/am doing instead of writing consisted/consists of necessary preparations and celebrations that are a reasonable substitute for works in progress. Over the weekend, I began to make some headway, but I'm still finding myself loath to dig into things for more than a token amount of time, let alone start the day at a reasonable hour.

Part of my struggle is that the house is still full. My daughter is home until mid-January and my husband doesn't go back to work until next week, so the vibe here is definitely not conducive to productivity. Part of me says to just chill and enjoy the break while the rest of me is screaming about deadlines and characters and compromises that allow me to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Yeah, right. The thing is, no matter what I'm doing, I feel as though I should be doing something else. This is incredibly frustrating because I thought that "break" would give me, well, a break from that feeling.

But it persists.

TeroVesalainen via Pixabay
I have a calendar pad from Knock Knock that has great advice at the bottom: "Take it one checkbox
at a time." Bird by bird, as Anne Lamott says.

So, I'm trying. I'm pressing several tools into service in an effort to make progress. Timers keep me on track with my writing projects, and the notepad at my right hand gives me a place to jot down all the distracting thoughts so I can sort them out later instead of letting them interrupt my work time. It occurred to me this morning that it might also be time to break out my backwards to-do list as well because, although it doesn't look like it, I'm pretty sure I'm making more progress than I think I am.

As I sought out the link to connect to the backwards to-do list concept, I was reminded that this is not a new problem. I struggled with the same thing last spring in a much quieter house without the added variable of holidays. Perhaps it's possible that I expect too much of myself.

And perhaps all I can do is take things one checkbox at a time.

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