Tumble-driers, novel middles and a kanban board.

Lots of things going on this week:

We went out to a French restaurant to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. I am a fan of cream-based cuisine (and my husband).

I had a haircut. I went into the hairdresssers without cheekbones. I came out with them. I really should go more often.

Our tumble drier is out of action. This feels like a high-class problem. Many people cope without one. But our airer broke under the strain, it’s winter and there are six of us to be adequately covered. Finding space and moving things around radiators has taken hours. Whinge over.

I’m doing a lot of editing at the moment, learning to say what I think, even if it sounds harsh or nitpikky. Like most people, I hate hurting people’s feelings. Now I find it’s part of my job.

Progress on my own novel definitely slowed this week. It would have done, even if things weren’t so busy. The middle of a book is difficult to get right. But for all the struggle, I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved.

I was really overwhelmed last weekend, wondering if I should put my own writing aside so I could focus on everything else that needed to get done. But I might have discovered a way through.

Several times, I’ve come back to Sara Cannon’s videos about planning with post-its on a kanban board, sceptically, but wistfully. I do like the idea of being organised in pretty colours.

My master to-do list on A4 was getting very complicated and messy and I was desperate for a visual system that would give me more sense of control. So, I set up my own version for a three week period. A week in, I already feel better.

The basic idea:

  1. You break down what you want to achieve in the time period you’ve chosen (most people do it for a quarter) into tasks you can achieve on a good day.
  2. Use different colours of post-it notes for different categories.
  3. Each week, you move a manageable number of tasks into a “doing section” and focus on just those.
  4. When you’ve done them you move them into a satisfying “done” area.
  5. I still plan my individual days in a cheap Amazon day planner.

The post-its create great flexibility, one of my first requirements.

Life has definitely happened this week, and I’ve achieved far less than I was originally hoping. But I feel fine about it, because I can see what did get done and what I have to do next.

So, it’s early days, but I might have hit on something that works for me. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s