Regrouping the Troops

I am constantly guilty of taking on too many projects. My wife hears about my latest project addition and shakes her head (in sorrow and disbelief, I think).

Occassionally, my rational mind kicks in and points out the volume of work I have placed onto my plate. When that happens, there is often a reckoning within my own head. What have I done? Am I crazy or merely stupid? What was I thinking?

These thoughts are often accompanied by worries that I will let someone else down. I won’t meet my deadlines. My work won’t be up to snuff.

In my head, those are all legitimate concerns. Perhaps I focus too much on them, but they are important. For me, without goals, deadlines and others relying on my work completion, I spin around and accomplish nothing.

So I stress for a few days until I have a chance to really think through what I have to do.

For example, I have the following list of projects (writing/podcasting only – real life has its own list):

  • Complete Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty edits (due September 30);
  • Write next Champ McKay episode for Wattpad;
  • Write next Mik Murdoch novel;
  • Revise/polish Boyscouts of the Apocalypse;
  • Edit Portal Under the Sink anthology;
  • Plot and begin writing GalaxyBillies 2;
  • Get Boyscouts of the Apocalypse ready for self-publishing;
  • Relaunch Get Published and put out bi-weekly episodes.
I think there might be more, but I’m avoiding anything else for a little while. Regardless, the list is long and all of the items on it need to be finished in the next several months.
That is the source of the stress.
Then, I gave the list some serious thought. Each of those items takes a finite amount of time. Considerable in some cases, but the work has a definite end.
So I broke it all up and put it into the order when it must be complete. Oddly enough (and perhaps lucky for me), I’m able to put them into an order of completion. And, while the target is huge, it is not impossible. In fact, all I need to do is my normal daily writing and editing routine to accomplish ALL of the above. That means no dawdling, but it is doable.
It doesn’t always work out this way. Sometimes I simply have to shelve something for another time. Sometimes I have to shift the delivery date of an item. In either case, the re-prioritization exercise helps me understand what I’ve got to do and when I have to do it.
Adjusting the perspective is an amazing thing sometimes. And necessary because, as I said earlier, it doesn’t even address the day-to-day life things I have to do.

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