I was asked if I have a ‘formulae’ to my writing days. Having thought about it for some time, here is my list of routines. I don’t do them all in one day (in theory, it may be possible). ‘Writing Days’ are the days when I am not actively training on a course or consulting. Such days include…
- … something challenging (e.g. producing a new piece of writing, an activity, etc.)
- … something focused (e.g. editing a piece of writing)
- … something familiar where it is clear what needs to be done (e.g. responding to online course forum discussions, marking written assignments, etc.)
- … something new/creative (e.g. outlining a new course or session outline)
- … something administrative (business e-mails, file organizing, paperwork, etc.)
- … something promo/marketing-related (e.g. getting in touch with a client, updating a profile, searching for new projects, etc.)
- … something receptive (e.g. reading/research/listening/watching to gain new ideas)
- … something for professional development (e.g. a webinar, blogging, social media)
- … something social (e.g. a Skype meeting with a colleague, a message to friends, lunch with a (potential) client, etc.)
- … something physical (e.g. running, working out, walking)
- … coffee (should have been number 1)
I added and then deleted ‘something for myself’ and ‘something for my family’ (and did not include any chores into the list above), trying to focus on the professional side of things. You may wonder why ‘working out’ got to the list above… Well, the whole categorizing idea is very subjective. Also, I now see that some categories overlap, e.g. ‘receptive’ often become the ‘PD’ time I have, etc.
Another ingredient is preparing for, or actually doing something ‘active‘: piloting that creative session I was working on, presenting (online or face-to-face), facilitating a reflective group meeting, etc.
When it is more of one and less of the other I get tired and feel a huge productivity decrease. Having the idea of ‘activity switch’ in mind is helpful and works for me. Sometimes the same project transforms itself into another category: starting as something challenging turns into a creative and exciting activity. Sometimes, however, it is the other way round, and that could a topic of a new post about choosing my projects wisely 🙂
Sometimes I am on an intensive course and none of the above is relevant. Sometimes, however, there are times off (or quiet times between projects)so that I can find the time for writing posts like this one!
Thank you for reading! 🙂