What follows is not exciting. It's not engaging. It's not dramatic. It's the mental note-taking I've been doing as I figure out how to add a writing habit to my life. Don't expect to be entertained and don't complain when you're not. Thank you.
So, now that I have committed to writing more so that I can satisfy my creative nature, how do I actually go about doing this? I don't want to just work at it a few times and drop it. That would be easy but regrettable. I've got to figure out how to adjust my life to accommodate this new creative activity and make it a permanent addition to my existence.
Thinking... Thinking... Thinking...
Where to start? Planning usually answers the questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. I already know who will do it (me), why it'll be done (to satisfy my creative bent), and what will be done (write in my blogs). So, that leaves me When and How... For example:
- When will it be done?
- How long will it take?
- Does it (need to) recur? If so, how often?
- What resources are needed?
- Are there dependencies? If so, what are they?
Ok. I have a fairly normal, busy life for a professional, family-oriented man with one child in college and one child in high school. That is to say, I'm busy (like everyone else). The question I'm tackling is:
"How do I create, manage, and ultimately sustain a new activity in my daily life without significantly disturbing my already large, time-consuming, important daily activities too dramatically."
To answer that question, I will work through the following process (this is the engineer, programmer, manager, and military man coming out of me now):
- Step 1: Daily Activity Inventory
- Determine exactly what takes up my time on a daily basis.
- For each activity, estimate how much time the activity takes (including the new daily writing activity).
- Determine if there is room to add the new activity without altering my daily schedule.
- Step 2: Prioritize Daily Activity Inventory
- Determine / list my personal priorities / principles
- Evaluate each activity against the list of priorities / principles
- Step 3: Negotiate Daily Activity Change(s)
- Determine which activities can either be scaled back or removed altogether (including the new daily writing activity).
- Make schedule changes until new daily schedule "feels" workable.
- Validate my new daily schedule with family and co-workers (as appropriate).
- Step 4: Implement NEW Daily Writing Activity
- Decide on the topic(s) to write about daily for the next 2 weeks.
- Mark off time on my daily calendar to ear-mark the time spot for writing only.
- Write and publish daily.
- Step 5: Follow up
- Review results(s) of the NEW daily writing activity.
- Identify successes and reinforce the behavior.
- Identify areas of improvement and plan & implement appropriate change(s) (Steps 3 & 4 above)
What am I missing from my plan / process?
I like the old adage: "Failing to plan is planning to fail." But I also acknowledge and believe plans are meant to change. I believe that God did not intend mankind to see the future - our foresight is radically impaired. We are future-blind. So, I also believe that besides having the discipline to plan, we must also learn to be flexible with our plans, reviewing them in some form of ongoing fashion, and adjust as necessary / warranted, using the guidance and discernment God provides.
My next blog will be an attempt to document my use of the above plan and what happens along the way.
Thanks for reading and post any comments you would like.