Disorderly Conduct

scrabble letters arranged on a plain white surface to spell the words "life will not wait"

I told WordPress to notify me twice a week that it was time to post something.  I began immediately to resent this, and have ignored several notifications.  This is me all over. It doesn’t matter if an event is in a calendar, on a chart, in my phone, in an email.  As soon as I’m told to do something I’m not already happily doing, my RSD and defiance disorder go on high alert and I start deliberately, some might say belligerently, ignoring the notifications.

Which is why I have yet to discover an author business planning system that sticks.  No matter how carefully I craft my quarterly plan, my weekly schedule, I just don’t do the dang work.  I’m so good at ignoring important things that I started asking myself if I have Asperger’s.  I so often refuse to do what’s best, even when it’s obviously what’s needed and would be really easy to do, though I genuinely do like myself, in a compassionate, c’mere you dumb-ass kinda way.

I think and think and think and in truth I probably just spend too much time alone.  I can overthink anything, which can be good when you’re doing big vision work, and much less helpful when you’re trying to pick a task and stick with it until you can call it done. 

Because I have so many things to do, it’s a struggle to prioritize.  Everything feels like a priority, and I don’t want to spend all my time planning, but I’m not achieving much with the time I have so maybe what I really need is to get the heck over myself, sit down and do the work *I know* needs to get done, and let the rest fall into place.

The place where I get all of it right is just over the horizon. I have a flat tire and I’m fucking hungry, but if I can get this wheel back on, I can start rolling again and get to where I want to be.

Do you use a planner? Google calendar or similar? What works for you?

Planning Systems: a non-systems approach

It’s taken me until this many years old to understand my brain enough to keep it focused on things it needs to do.  In this time I’ve gone through countless planner systems, from hand-held Filofax style books in the 90s to Google Calendar to several writer-specific planner systems I’ve trialed in the last few years.

Setting up any such system (let’s not dance around it) fucking sucks.  I’ve abandoned enough of them to have some perspective.

What falls apart for me is the transition from Planned to Achieved. Which is a fancy way to say that just because I put an event in my planner doesn’t mean I am going to follow through.  I have shunted certain tasks down the line for months.  Years, even.  There’s no accountability if I don’t do a thing, other than I screw up my own plans.  I can pass a buck indefinitely.  This is a very dysfunctional situation, and I hope I’ve figured out how to amend it.

I have two planners now.  Both of them paper.  Emails?  Notifications? I can ignore those for  months.  So it’s got to be paper.  One book is for planning.  The other book is for WRITING DOWN WHAT I ACTUALLY DID.  Caps for my own need, because I am the kind of smart that needs this level of reinforcement.

The thing with having only one planner is that every time I don’t complete a vital task, I need to shove it down the line.  For those who don’t have my particular form of high-twitch ADHD and are therefore good at //doing what they set out to do// lemme just say that this is not a sustainable system.  I spend more time rearranging my schedule than I would spend just doing the dang work. 

But like I said, I’m the dumb kind of smart.  It’s taken me until now to figure this out. 

Now I have two planners.  One that records what I intend to do, and the other that records what I actually achieve.  To-do lists aren’t enough for me.  I need to keep track of my Didn’t Do’s, so I can make sure they become Done.