We’re going way back on the basics for this post.
Are you thriving during these whole quarantine months? Or are you stumbling along, trying to get a good foothold amidst all of the changes?
It may be time to re-tool your expectations.
Expectation vs. Reality
Some writers are thriving and using this time at home to ramp up on all the writing they want to get done. Others are finding it difficult to maintain their writing schedules.
I write from home. I have a small part-time merchandising job that gets me out of the house for about four or five days each month. With the ‘Stay at Home’ orders, I’m not out for my merchandising job. It is not a necessity.
I thought I’d be doubling up my writing time, however, that’s not the case. My husband’s schedule is in a constant state of flux and my twins are now back home doing college courses online. And because I clearly can’t comprehend life without some form of chaos, I have a new puppy.
Since we are all home, things do require some forethought.
For example, we don’t have a large home so I have to share my office with my boys. They both have Zoom classes and need a space free of interference and distractions. The boys share a room, the downstairs (living, kitchen, den) are open concept and high traffic areas. So, that means I give up my office space a few times a day to accommodate my children’s classes. (As I typed this, Twin B, popped in and asked if he could use the office in twenty minutes. We clearly need to work on more advanced notice.)
When life gets chaotic and you feel overwhelmed, it’s always best to take a few steps back and Re-Tool.
So I started doing the same thing I always do to get back on track.
I pay a visit to the basics. The bare basics are to re-tool my plans to get where I need to be. Which is to get up and write. I need to write at any available point during the day or evening. The goal is to see what time-frame is the best for me at this moment in life. Currently, it’s all over the place.
Usually, I strip down to just freewriting. However, my blog is my number one priority this year so instead of focusing on writing whatever, I do have a goal to keep at the forefront. Which is creating content for my blog. So that’s what I focus on when I write.
I have other plans, but the number one plan is the blog content, so back to the basics dictates that I focus on putting one post out a week; get it written, revised, SEO, images, etc… and then start on another one.
Re-Tool First, then Add On
The first step to re-tool your plan is go back to the most basic task. Whatever your goal is, find the most essential starting point and revisit it.
Try different hours, try time-blocking, try anything that you can to find what is working for you NOW. Not what used to work. In chaos, you have to adjust.
Then as you get that basic step under your belt, add on tasks, slowly. Be reasonable with your time and commitments. Only add one task at a time. Once you’ve successfully transitioned that task into the retooled plan, add another. Keep repeating until you are back at your pre-chaos pace.
Adjust your expectations, adapt to the current reality, continue forth. You’ve got this!
A few links to other sites that help you figure out the best way to adjust your plans:
Jessica Wishart: Making Plan Adjustments
Sofia Walker’s: Release the Stress
Charlie Gilkey’s: 5 Ways to Recover When Life Changes Your Plans
More Back-to-Basics posts: