Make a Plan

06 Nov

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how to get more done each day. Reader’s Digest suggests that I sit down for five to ten minutes before the start of my day to plan what needs to be done and when. Stay focused and turn off the phone and the Internet, RD emphasizes. Once you’ve made your plan set a timer for 10, 15, or 30 minutes and get as much done on your task as you can. Chunk the job into bite-sized pieces, to feel like you’ve accomplished more. This sounds very logical to me, a way to make my day more productive so I can pursue fiction writing in my spare time.

Ladies Home Journal says that spending every morning in front of your closet, waiting for a sign from the Outfit Gods to tell me what to wear is a time suck. Especially when you put something on, look in the mirror, hate it, toss the clothes on the floor and start over from three to seven times. One working Mom said that she writes down successful outfits-from shoes to earrings-in a notebook. At night she turns the page and voila, she’s set for the next day. Spending a little time upfront to save time, they say.

Further, LHJ says the most consistent time suck of your day can be figuring out what to make for dinner. You spend 10 minutes every night gazing into the refrigerator waiting for something to materialize for dinner. When that doesn’t happen, you have to figure out what to put together so your family can eat. Well, instead of deciding what to make for dinner at that moment, how about thumb through a folder of recipes and write out menus for the next seven days on a note card, then clip it to the hood of the stove?

David A. Fryxell, author of Write Faster, Write Better, states that fiction writing is hard. Like any other work, fiction writing requires preparation, planning, discipline, and drive. Fryxell’s belief is that your work needs to be divided into more workable chunks. “…Simply diving in at the keyboard, thinking you’ll know what you’re doing won’t work. Trying to keep all of the connections in a piece of writing straight in your head is asking for interruption disaster.”

It’s all the same, isn’t it? You have to have a plan for every important thing you want to do; otherwise, you will be gazing into your closet, refrigerator, or at your computer screen wasting precious time not quite knowing what to do.


Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Idaho


8 responses to “Make a Plan

  1. Janis

    November 6, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    Great tips, Mary. I try to decide night before work what I’m wearing so the next morning isn’t taken with indecision, but I like writing down the accessories etc. That does sometimes take longer. To incorporate time-saving tips in writing makes sense.

    • Mary Vine

      November 6, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      Thanks, Janis. I can and have wasted time in the mornings before work trying to figure out what to wear. I guess I should be grateful I have choices.

  2. Meredith Conner

    November 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    For me it’s my jewelry box. I have way too many earrings – that I refuse to get rid of – and I spend entirely too much time deciding on the one pair I want to wear and then trying to hunt down its mate.
    On the flip side, I outlined my last WIP and had no problems getting the story down on paper or rather the computer screen.

    • Mary Vine

      November 6, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      Congrats Meredith on outlining your last WIP, so it could flow for you. That is my New Year’s resolution.

  3. Carley Ash

    November 7, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    I’m a great planner. Need to be a better “doer”.

    • Mary Vine

      November 8, 2011 at 4:54 PM

      At least you know what to do when you get there!

  4. Lynn Mapp

    November 7, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Mary, make a plan. It sounds simple. Ha! My plans tend to fall apart.

    • Mary Vine

      November 8, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      I bet you’re quite the planner at school, though!


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