Who has a collection of half-used planners going back as far as 2005?
Yup, this girl. I've struggled with this part of my life for a long time. Trying to "organize" my day ahead of time (planning) like the productivity gurus told me I needed to in order to further my career. Speaking of which, I was a professional administrative coordinator. I planned all day, every day in order to keep the people and processes I supported running smoothly.
And then I went and flipped the script, deciding I wanted to do my own thing. I left a traditional, strongly structured career to go full-time into a traditionally less structured creative pursuit - entrepreneurship as a self-published author and writer's coach.
I tried to make my "ideal" day as the Chief Everything Officer of a hatchling creative business fit into a nine-to-five structure. The very structure I'd struggled to fit into for the majority of my working life (all 30+ years of it!!). And I wondered why things still didn't feel right or why I wasn't getting things done.
There's a Better Way
One of my tag lines is, "I help writers tell and sell their stories in ways that are authentic to them." I also advocate that these same folks plan (and complete - we'll get to that next week) tasks the same - in ways that are authentic to them.
I'm a pantser. I don't plan or pre-plot my stories. I hear the voice, I write what it's telling me. Regardless of the time of day or night, or where I happen to be at the time. When the voice speaks, I write. Period. So why was I ignoring the voice of my Divinity (aka my intuition / Goddes within), in order to plan my day's tasks in such a structured manner?
Call it procrastination or Resistance (as defined by Steven Pressfield in The War of Art), but for me, what it boils down to is when I go against my Divinity, my spirit rebels and shit just doesn't get done.
So what's a pantser, such as myself, to do now that they're trying to build a business? You know you need to effectively manage your time, and that there are certain things as a business owner you need to do. The plotters among us will grab their planners, their collection of stickers, and colorful pens, and set about planning these key tasks into their yearly/monthly/weekly/daily calendars. They will then carry out these schedules with a precision that appears to flow effortlessly.
Plotters procrastinate and run into Resistance as well. They just look
more put together doing it, lol.
This pantser urges my fellow pantsers to instead, let your intuition guide your day. I wake up in the morning when I wake up, usually by 8 am on the weekdays, and anywhere between 6 and 9 am on the weekends. I have a loose morning routine that includes freshening, pulling and documenting my Tarot reading, writing my day's to-do list, affirmations, and gratitude in my bullet journal. That's it. Then in the evening, I exercise, refresh, and review my day in my bullet journal. I fill in my habit trackers, cross off what I didn't do, put an arrow on items that are in progress and will be carried over to the next day, and check off what I finished. That's it, again.
I keep a master list of tasks and goals but I don't go so hard in the paint as to schedule out my entire year. I learned the hard way that for me, scheduling in advance sets me up to fail. You've heard the adage, "failing to plan is planning to fail"? Yeah, well, as with all things, that might be true for most, but as someone who has never done things the way I was supposed to, I am proud to be the exception to this rule. If I plan, I fail. If I just do, I succeed.
Keep It Simple, Sweetie
Much like my Simply Self-Published process, I like to keep my day-to-day as simple as possible I keep my to-do list the same way. I make sure there's at least one marketing task on the list and one writing task, but beyond that, it's whatever needs to be done that day.
By doing it this way, I touch base with my Divinity first thing in the morning. I have room throughout the day to capitalize on any additional directives She sends me, and I'm getting things done on a daily to keep my business afloat.
Going to wrap it up here for today. Come on back next week when I put The End on this month's series and share some exciting news about Simply Self-Published...The Course!!
As always sending light and inspiration,