What I hear

Creative Writing on a Tablet PC

Twitter: What I'm doing now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Too Much on My Plate

I have this habit of setting unreasonable goals for myself. Goals that ensure failure.


Today I'm jumping between doing some work for work, packing up a friends belongings to mail to him (long overdue), working on programming and working on the novel. And that's just today.

I'm thinking about it because of what happened in my last post -- I actually got done what I'd planned for the day. What I didn't mention is that one of the project -- revising a short story -- didn't take nearly as long as I'd anticipated. In fact, it took about 10% of the time I'd estimated. If my estimate had been closer, I wouldn't have made it.


So today I was looking at my 2007 goals (it's getting close -- really) and realize I still need to learn to program, I need to finish my rewrite of book 1 (due by next Thursday) then rewrite books 2 and 3 in the saga. Oh yeah, and then there's a beta of a game I need to complete, but I can't begin on that until I get another 100 hours or so done on the programming lessons.

So I'm gonna do like my friend SFLORE does and begin a weekly goal list...but a realistic one. No year-end goals for me this year. Not until I get better at this.

So here goes. First list:

  1. See "Talk to Me" before it leaves town (3.5 hours)
  2. Complete 1 Chapter in my C# programming book (1 hour)
  3. Complete edit of SW1 novel (15 hours)
  4. Box and mail friend's stuff to him (6 hours)
  5. Visit mom (5 hours)
  6. Attend writer's meeting (3.5 hours)
  7. Coffee or Dinner with SB (4 hours)

Okay, that's it. I'm still pushing it a bit, but I've got a full week to get these things done. I added the film to my list because, well, you have to remember to do some stress-free stuff too. And then there's the writer's meeting, because it is a major accomplishment and it happens to take up pretty much a full evening/day. And coffee/dinner -- well, I need to catch up with this friend. Really. So there it is. If I make it, I'll be on the road to a recovery of sorts. I figure if I can get one of those items done per day (well, some will take more), then I should be on my way. (Oh yeah, the time estimates include travel/prep time and are there to keep me on track).

No more self-sabotage for me...


Charles Gramlich said...

Good luck. Good to have a plan. I always put a few items on my "to do list" that can be easily done so I can scratch through them and feel I've accomplished something. I don't include time estimates, though. I'm just not good at that.

Kate S said...

Good luck, Clifford. I gave up writing goals and lists as "to do" items. Now I merely consider them as "helpful suggestions." :)

Carlos Ferrão said...

It's good to have goals but I think you are too eager with your list. I don't think you should mix personal and work stuff together, really. For instance, if I told my wife I had 8 hours to spend with her during the weekend, she'd freak out! Not that I will spend more than that, but it's just the rigidity of a number that bugs me.

I do draw weekly goals but am a bit more relaxed on how to get there (this invariably means sleeping very little though!).

Clifford said...


I hear you loud and clear...but the reason for putting the fun stuff on the list is to weight it as equally important...otherwise, you can go through the week without having any as you focus on the other things you have to get done. Also, when busy, I tend to feel guilty while having fun. This way, I'm telling myself that it's not only all right, but it's an accomplishmnent (:

As for the times, they're esitmates. I won't be watching the clock. In fact, I've already spent about 3 hours on programming this weekend...

Giving your wife 8 hours might be crazy as you say, but setting aside a 6 hour block to take her out to dinner and a movie on Friday night, not so much (:

About Me

My photo
This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.