View From The Glen

Friday, March 30, 2012


Just start.

Good advice.

I am not usually a procrastinator (although when I speak to students about essays that they start the night before they are due and start to feel so frustrated about their work ethic, I have to take a step back and remember the many, many essays I wrote in university late at night to get them in on time and remind myself that perhaps - just perhaps - I shouldn't be too critical. Having said that, I would have never EVER gone to one of my profs to admit this and beg for extra time, so at least I took some ownership for my lack of seriousness and responsibility).

I juggle editing, teaching, home and kids, book club and housework, blogging and research pretty well most of the time.

But I do get overwhelmed when I get behind and things start to pile up. It happens with housework - which I absolutely detest and abhor. (I really can't emphasize that strongly enough and as soon as Andrew goes back to full time hours I am so getting someone in to clean the house again. A professional. Someone who is actually good at it. Unlike me. I'd rather read... Garden... Hike with the kids... Cook... Get my fingernails pulled out one by one...) And when it happens and I'm looking at a pile of laundry to fold, muddy footprints from the dog, a counter full of school papers and the dishes that someone took out of the dishwasher but never actually put away, along with all the cleaning, sweeping, washing, vacuuming, window shining....well, I freeze. It usually takes Andrew to calmly remind me that the key is to just start. Do one thing, and the rest will follow.

So in a week like this one has been, where there has been too much to do and not enough time (making me wish I could stop time for 12 hours a week and everyone but me can fall asleep a la Sleeping Beauty and not be constantly undoing the things I am doing so that I have an outside chance of catching up again), that advice rings particularly true.

I made a list of things I need to accomplish. Because it helps. Because I am a list maker. Because I like to cross things off. I won't lie...the length of the list kinda scared me. But it's a start.

  • Create a graphic biography for a presentation (an experiment, and not required, but if I don't do it while I am thinking about it, I will forget how and why)
  • Organize my one note documents so that I can actually find all the stuff I have filed (which right now is not always in the most logical place)
  • Finish final edits on two manuscripts
  • Finish developmental edits on a new manuscript
  • Read three manuscripts I might want to acquire and write reports on them (like an in-depth book report)
  • Text book research for a new course
  • Course development for a new course, and course updating for current courses (again, easier to do now while the ideas are fresh)
  • Start to prepare for the social media panel I am on for a college PD event in May
  • Finalize poetry for a competition and potential publication (very exciting)
  • Guest blog posts as scheduled
  • Draft outlines for new fiction ideas 
  • Organize office (rather sad shape as it always is towards the end of a semester)
  • Read Boris Pasternek. Yes this is an imperative this week.
  • Work on new articulations agreements
  • Mark 26 reports. (I just finished marking 64 essays - part of the reason I was behind this week in the first place!)
  • Create video/storify on "Without books..."
  • Plan marketing strategy with a new author...not my strength, but I like to be involved.
  • Leave comments on blogs I love that I've been reading recently but not having real time to connect with (yes that means you, Bibliomania!)
That's this week. Yes, that's why it scared me. And yet here I am blogging about it instead of starting it. That's because 
  • Update blog
is also supposed to be on that list, along with 
  • find out why the About Me and Editing pages of my blog have vanished, and debate whether it is time to switch my venue.

Today is Friday. Which is a day for editing and that is where I am focusing. I might even give each of the individual projects their own bullet point so it looks like I have more crossed off at the end of the day. That's right. I am attempting to manipulate myself.

Pathetic, isn't it?

How's your day?

*Astute readers may notice housework did not make the list. That's because I absolutely detest and abhor it. Really, I have better things to do with my time.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Add in 'Take a Walk in the Great Outdoors and Clear my Head' goes along with take a deep breath and while it may not accomplish much it helps to put a smile on your face when you get to it.
I frequently make lists for each weekend, week days are too busy(work lists, not me and my home lists) - it is an accomplishment if half of me list gets done and I try not to make the list unreasonably long. Feels great to tick it down :)