While To Do lists can be a useful productivity tool and help you focus in on and accomplish all the many activities that go along with a writing career, they can also--far too easily--become a source of stress and self-condemnation that dampens your creativity and sabotages your productivity.
This happens in several ways:
When you feel that you "have to" do something, even if you know it's important for your writing or even essential for promoting your book, it can bring up a feeling of resistance, which makes accomplishing what you want to do even harder. Just putting something on your To Do list can make it a "have to" in your mind.
Because your To Do list is filled with things you truly need to do, you can feel a sense of pressure (or the potential for negative consequences) whenever you think of your list. You may worry that if you don't complete what's on your list, it will cause you problems.
If your day is "getting away from you," and you haven't gotten to your list, yet, you can feel the pressure of it, or judge yourself because of it.
When you get to the end of your day and haven't done, or completed, something or everything on your list, you can feel like you failed. You set a goal for yourself, and didn't achieve it.
Your relationship with your To Do list is everything. If you see it, primarily, as an organizational tool that can help you be more focused and productive, moving your writing and promotional activities forward, you'll probably be alright. But if you see it as a taskmaster, as a list of things you "have to" do or "should" do, you're more likely to run into the above thoughts and feelings.
If you've turned your To Do list into a taskmaster, the quickest and easiest way to turn it back into a fun and useful productivity tool is to reframe it and rename it. Your To Do list is now your Treasure Map! The best part is that it's absolutely true. Your To Do list IS a treasure map, which, when followed, will take you to the writing success that you long for.
Do you want to write a book? Create a Treasure Map to put that book in your hands.
Do you want to build your author's platform or promote your book? Create a Treasure Map, and follow it to establish a large and loyal following.
Seeing what you used to call a To Do list as a Treasure Map does several powerful things:
- It makes productivity fun.
- It changes your focus from what you "have to" do, to what you "want to" do, which changes your energy and makes doing the work much easier.
- It keeps your focus on the Treasure! By keeping your goal in front of you at all times, you're constantly reminded WHY you're on this journey, and that keeps you motivated.
- Your constant focus on the Treasure, on the outcome, puts the Law of Attraction into action in a positive and powerful way for you.
- Because you're focused on the outcome that you want, it makes you more open, eager, and willing to do all that is needed to achieve your dream.
- And best of all, it turns the journey into a grand adventure.
If you're having trouble getting to, or completing, the items on your To Do list, throw your list away! Create a Treasure Map, instead, and name the treasure you desire.
- You can name it the title of your book: My "Unleash Your Writing Genius!" Treasure Map.
- You can name it what you're trying to achieve: My Full-Time Book Author Treasure Map.
- You can name it how much money you want to make: My $10,000 per month Treasure Map.
Whatever your goal is, name it and place it on your treasure map. As you keep your goal in front of you, surrounded by fun and forward moving energy, you'll get more done more easily than you ever thought possible.
Try it and see.
Productivity isn't the only aspect of your writing career that can be perceived and experienced in a new more joyful, open and creative way. You can transform your relationship with promotion, too. Read my post on Writing Success Secret #1: Book Promotion Can Be FUN!
What do you do to find the fun in, or make peace with, the aspects of your writing career that support your ultimate goals and are essential to your success, but may not be your favorite parts of the process?