What happens when Life™ creeps up on you from behind and waggles a list of responsibilities in front of your face?
Either you smile, and go “oh yes I’ll get right on that!”.
For those who are more stressed, you may go “agh shit right, yeah, in a second”.
Or, if you’re a writer with a deadline, you’ll likely go….
Social and personal responsibility wouldn’t usually strike me with such fear, but the moment I settle down to write and then look at my diary with “DOCTOR 3.20pm” I instantly remember everything else I was meant to do, such as send letters, emails, pay bills, respond to friends and actually keep my house in some semblance of order.
I’ve tried to start managing with To-Do lists. At first, this only served to make my anxiety worse because it demonstrated just how much I actually hadn’t done in between doing everything else.
My solution? Have-Done lists. Not an exhaustive list of things I feel obligated to do, or the routine things that can sometimes be left til last minute – no. This is a general list of things I HAVE done, which make me feel proud and accomplished, and it’s a good way of feeling like you’ve been productive in some way.
It could be simple self-care, like “took a shower” or “took meds”. Because self-care is important. Notes can be “wrote 250 words” – whether they sucked or not.
But I find the more positive I’m being about what I’ve achieved in the day rather than what I’ve forgotten, the more it boosts my mood and puts a much better spin on it than an imaginary Principal Strickland shouting “Slacker!” at me.
When I tackled some readings, videos, Critiques and other general bits and pieces, writing them down as completed almost felt like a weight off my shoulders. Much more so than staring at a list with lines through it.
The little I do still matters. And it builds strength enough to tackle the bigger things that might slip by due to tiredness, forgetfulness, or simple avoidance of doing the thing. Almost like a productive-positive diary.
I’m going to (try) and start doing this every week on this blog. Even if it’s “read 100 pages” or something similar, I think it’ll be fun to keep track.
Do people already do this? Does it help others?