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Friday, March 29, 2013

Keep it Simple—Get Things done with the Rule of One


 
 
What made me think that once PEACE BY PIECE was published, my unending to-do list would shrink and I would feel less swamped?
Wrong.
I know I’m not alone in having lots to do.  Developing author pages, sharing guest blogs, scheduling book talks, distributing books to local stores, creating consignment agreements, invoices, and receipts, the looming rewrite deadline for my second novel, CAPE MAYBE—my everyday to-do list still goes on and on.
I’m betting you have loads to juggle on your to do list, too.  
But there’s hope. Keep it simple and tackle your to-do list with the Rule of One.
I learned the Rule of One while cleaning my refrigerator.  No joke. Unlike my mother—who would empty the ENTIRE fridge weekly, and scrub down every shelf—I clean my fridge one shelf at a time. If I take something out and a shelf looks pretty empty, I grab the sponge and clean that shelf. I rarely find the time to attack the whole fridge at once, but it’s usually doable to wipe up just one shelf. Sure, it means the entire fridge is never spic and span all at the same time, but one shelf at a time, the fridge stays pretty clean.
I figure, if it’s good enough for the fridge, it can work for everyday life.
Instead of focusing on my entire to-do list and feeling overwhelmed, I try to pick one thing to focus on, and make progress on that one thing done. It helps if in picking that one thing I consider first things first, asking myself what’s really most important. But even if the best you can do is tackle what you like the most or what looks easiest, give yourself credit. It might be cheating a little on time management, but it’s still following the Rule of One and getting something done.  
So what about you? Will you try to keep it simple and use the Rule of One?
 

13 comments:

  1. you are invited to follow my blog

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  2. I find that when I am able to check something off of my list, even if it is the easiest or most enjoyable, it gives me the energy to keep going and get something else on the list done.

    Julie V.

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  3. It was nice to wake up to this post this morning. I'm feeling overwhelmed by my ever growing list of things to do! And speaking of lists that's how I tend to cope. Write a list of everything and tick them off as I go. I feel boggled when I forget to make a list and try and juggle all my 'to do's' in my head. Big mistake - BIG mistake! Thanks Carol.

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    1. Fran, i agree, it's good to get it out of my head and down on paper

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  4. One thing at a time...one list, one raggedy piece of paper.... check it off. I've a friend who is getting overwhelmed by the sheer volume of post-it notes in her life. My advice to her? Put everything on one piece of paper. Hahaha! But for me, this isn't a new older me thing...I've had a list going on since I was in my 20's. Yeah...that one has gotten really ragged! Hang in there!

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    1. Hi Jaacqui, my list has been around for about as long as yours.
      don't know if it has something to do with being a writer, but there is something calming to me about getting it down on paper. Oh, and the joy when I can cross something off :)



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  5. Carol, I like that fridge cleaning tip a lot. I cringe when I open my fridge and usually end up emptying the whole Magilla like your Mom. I'm going to adopt your approach. See if I feel better about opening the door.

    I don't keep to do lists. I prefer to just do things in measures -- flitting from one thing to another. Not always successful in finishing things but I keep busy.

    Spring cleaning time... let's get one thing done at a time.

    Chris

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    1. Chris, spring cleaning brings back childhood images of every curtain coming down, scrubing every inch of walls, woodwork, windows , rugs hung out in the yard and beaten with a broom.
      I much prefer your idea of one thing at a time.
      My current version of spring cleaning lasts until fall

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  6. Hi Carol,
    I agree that the rule of one is very helpful in getting things done. When I know I need to clean, I pick one room/ area to focus on and then can get over my inertia and overwhelmed sense that it is all too much. :-)
    Good luck with any future cleaning!
    Ramona

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    1. thanks Ramona. Lately, I have to remember to apply the rule of one to my writing. I'm rewriting my second novel, Cape Maybe which is due to the proofreader in May. When I think about all the chapters left to rewrite, it overwhelms me. When I take it a chapter at a time, it's doable.

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  7. Kim MuellerJuly 07, 2013

    Life has been so busy and I am just getting to this email months after receiving it. I like to make lists and then knocking one off at a time with a check mark. I agree one shelf at a time is the way to go- that's what I do too. I hope you were able to finish Cape Maybe by May... sorry I am so behind but I am sure now I will keep up :)

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    1. Thanks Kim. I know you've had plenty going on. I met my deadline, and one step at a time, I'm moving into the publishing phase.

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