Where did May go? I looked up behind my computer where I hang my monthly focus paper, and it still says April. Oops. It’s not that I haven’t been working in May. I’ve actually had one of the busiest writing months ever, but it was so busy, I never did May focus sheet. I guess since I had some pretty clearly defined deadlines, I didn’t have trouble focusing. I had to focus on the thing that I needed to do to finish the job.
New Planning Template
My planning mind often resembles that of planning for instruction in my classroom. I look at the blocks of time and adjust my instruction, mapping out what needs to be covered in the time that I have. I had a brainstorm to try something similar during the last busy month that I have and going into a very busy summer of writing.
I found a weekly meal planning template on Microsoft’s website. Then I customized it and saved it as a template in Excel, so it comes up as a template choice every time I open up Excel. I blocked off my time. I don’t write full-time. I have a day job as a teacher, so I only have certain times available to me. I write every single morning before school because it’s a time that I can grab every single day. Evenings or “extra times” I may or may not be able to fit in. On weekends, I try to write before everyone gets up. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes (like this weekend) I get up extra early and get in several hours.
On Sundays, I look at my upcoming week and block off the times and the things I need to get done. I try to save the mornings for writing only (as much as is possible). Any other writing-related activities like critiquing, blogging, freelance editing, I try to save for evenings. I love my old to-do list, and I may go back to that eventually, but I’d find some days I’d sit and negotiate what I needed to do first. This new template helped me prioritize.
This summer, if I have days with bigger chunks of time, I might break this down even further.
Try it out, if you think it would help you. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Some of you are night writers, so change your chunk of time to evenings, instead of mornings.
If you haven’t had a chance to add your opinion to my next writer and teacher resources, please do so. I’d love to know what you think. I have lots of ideas and a limited amount of time, so vote on what you think I should work on first.