Welcome to my Saturday Blog!
My name is Mark, and this is another Time Management blog.
Today’s lesson is about creating routines.
In life, goals are just wishful thinking. And routines can create ruts. Trust me – I understood that. In the past three weeks, I did not have time to write a blog or work on Tales from Trinity City or Webtastic Tales because my mom was in hospital until she passed on Saturday.
Goals and routines are tied together, goals are the map, and routines are the wind in our sails, taking you to your desired destination, even with life-changing detours.
I am not going to get too in-depth into goal setting. There are probably 100s of blogs/videos/infographics about SMART goal setting – i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-related.
Every goal starts with these in mind. You should not expect to write a new novel-length story every two to three months. It is better to do it in one to two years, especially if the weekends are your only free time.
I learned this lesson when I started my goals for Tales from Trinity City out in a year, campaign and all. At almost three years, I am working on another supplement before I even start the 2nd draft of the campaign. If you did not realize a dream is like a river, ever-changing as it flows, welcome to my perspective.
Webtastic Stories was not the six months to complete because I am on month 18.
The best way to define your goals is to do it as quickly as possible and change timelines as you evaluate your progress.
Enough about goals. Let us talk about routines.
Once you have your goals in mind, you start working on them. Break them down. For instance, writing requires writing and reading, editing, marketing, etc. That is not as simple as you thought.
The first thing you need to do is look at your week. Block out everything you need to do, from going to and from work, working, eating, and the times you go to sleep and wake up. Yes, you read that right – even your bedtime. Why? So you can see the gaps in your schedule. You can see all the time you think you do not have.
Maybe you read books and blogs during the week, getting ideas – like reading about world-building or how to craft different stories. Great news, I have a series on those topics.
Or maybe you can do character interviews for an hour every day. Perhaps you read for an hour or two before bed. You could spend time writing or editing in Grammarly. Sometimes you could plan out a storyline.
Block these out every week.
On your days off, block off some time to put some real work into your WIP. And do not go on social media. It is a time and productivity trap if you do not do it in a focused way.
On one day, take some time out to do some self-evaluation. Did you get your word count done? Did you get that page done for your comic? How is the model for your character going?
The more you get into this routine, the easier it is to get back if there are detours. Trust me, I am writing this blog two days after my mom passed, and yes, it still hurts – but I know my life can not happen if I do not sit down to get to work. My mom would be so proud of me, smiling straight from heaven.
Establishing weekly routines will help you take steps toward your goals, but most importantly, they allow you to create times where you start relaxing and take time off before you get exhausted and burnt out.
Once you focus on routines that help you achieve your goals, achieving your goals by routinely working towards them, you will start living with meaning and purpose. You will find the strength to endure a difficult life.
Once you are on that journey, there will be unexpected detours. Major life events and distractions can steal your focus, so my next blog will be on how to minimize them to stay on course.
Slowly but surely, you will be able to steer your ship – your goals become the sail and map, while routines become the wind that powers your life.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.
Tell me about your goals and the routines to achieve them.
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Have a great day, guys!