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My cluttered mind - How do you all manage it ?

edited January 2011 in - Writing Tales
The "Useful Websites" thread has been most ... useful. I've found lots of sites and contacts for various stuff that I wouldn't otherwise have seen.
I've joined another writer's forum - but have to resist so much chatting on there as I do on TB. I follow a number of blogs of TB'ers and try to comment as much as I can.
I fancy entering some competitions but my mind is so full of reading the rules and regs of them, registering and getting their weekly newsletter, reading their weekly news letter and so on and so on ...
"Achievable goals" and all that, I understand.Just can't sort the goals that are important to me, it seems. I've been doing the "tidy house tidy mind" thing the past few days, but all the while I am doing it I want to be writing. I read on here how TB'ers are doing so much and I just wonder how you do it ! I used to multi task to the point of exhaustion, but now don't have the energy to do that :)
Guess there's just no pleasing me.


  • Lexia you need to stop worrying about trying to do too much- it's exhausting as both you and I know.

    So decide on one competition a month for example, if you have time to enter another one great but if you don't it isn't the end of the world.
    Not all comps require you to register and those that do you can read the weekly e-mail as and when you have time or want to.

    Or decide on one short story for a specific market and do that.

  • I have the same problem Lexia. I think part of my problem is the effect of spending so much time on the computer. My concentration is terrible! I don't know how much of my problem is due to this and how much due to brain problems from low blood sugars, but I am USELESS.

    I start jobs and forget I've started them, and forget I haven't done them. I have piles of paper which I can see and I know they are there, but I never go through them because I actually don't SEE them.

    Even things which HAVE to be done today and which I REALLY want to do today - I forget. Even things like washing, it's there, I put itin the machine, and forget to take it out. I forget to wash the clothes I've deliberately put on the floor in front of the machine to do... they are there. right in front of me, but I just take no notice of them! And here I am knowing and remembering that I have to do them, but I can guarantee when I get into the kitchen I'll start putting the stuff in the dishwasher instead of doing the washing and then forget, or go upstairs and get washed instead. (Bit behind this morning due to having been unconscious)
  • ((((Liz))))
    Have to admit that I intend to do things and forget so I think that is probably my age...:)
  • [quote=lexia]"tidy house tidy mind" [/quote]

    That's your problem right there. Success brings clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink and a pile of washing yet to be done.

    Use a GTD system. GTD= Getting Things Done. There are programs out there, email software and apps to help. Or you could do what I do and use paper and pens and make it simple, that's the point after all.

    Buy a Moleskine notebook or a cheap version of one and follow this GTD system,


    Something else I use for writing and life is the The Pomodoro Technique. All you need is a cheap kitchen timer. I do have an iPod app of this but have used a 59p oven timer too.


    There are life hacking programs out there that could help. Take a look at Dave Pollards 'How to Save the World' Site. All about organising and prioritising your time and tasks.

  • Taking time out of your life to do them...:)
  • my ex agent used to follow the Shirley Conran rules for organising life, one was, the cleaning lady visits twice a week. As in, she cleans twice a week and leaves it the rest of the time. I don't set goals any more, I let spirit do the organising, so we have been having great fun writing horror stories. This will stop now I am better (than I was, nowhere near 100% but 50% better than yesterday is a start!) and can get back to work on the current book. Take time out to do little or nothing, that's when the best ideas breed in the brain. I get titles and inspiration from lyrics, I get thoughts from reading. No pressures, pressuring yourself makes it worse.
  • I have a whiteboard, which I put all the stuff on that I have to do and want to do and try to stick to that. Eveyone is out of the house by half eight and whatever isn't done in the house by ten gets left until the kids are back or the next morning, it works about 70% of the time as there are things you cannot factor into your day.

    I've stopped worrying about stuff I can't do and that has helped an awful lot.
  • RAFT your paperwork. Handle papers only once. Read it: Action it: File it or Throw it. The last is most effective. I do lists, then lists of lists so I don't forget which list is which. Only kidding.
    Try taking one thing at a time and concentrate on that until it's finished, then deal with it as appropriate, i.e. send it out. Then forget about it and move on to the next thing.
  • I hit low points when I can't decide what to do and the thought of writing a list of all I have to do is overwhelming. I'm in one at the moment, so what i have done is something I did when I was really ill a while back and have written all the chores and must dos on raffle ticket sized pieces of paper, balanced with all the things I'd like to do. (you obviously need an equal number of good and bad, even if it means repeating some) then everyday I pull out two things that i must spend at least 30 minutes on. Today I have 'walk' (a must do, as i need the exercise) and write short story (a want/like). Obviously sod's law dictates that some days I'll get two must dos, others I'll get two likes/wants, but as I only HAVE to spend 30 mins on anything (i can choose to do longer, but not less) it is never too bad. I can only cope with two choices at present. You may find you can do four or more. (an equal number is best, as you stand a chance of balancing good and bad)
  • I have a theory that the internet actually frazzles your brain. I am so much more focussed and productive when I manage to stay off it for a while. And casey's right about the declutter effect. You could try meditation, it's a good way to get your focus back.
  • [quote=flyingtart]I have a theory that the internet actually frazzles your brain.[/quote]

    Agreed. I'm sure you'd still have got through life okay, not reading all that extra information that you've just ploughed through. And on line writing sites are fine, if that's what you use them for.

    Would it help if I suggest you try to remember lexia, you're making a choice when you spend time doing something. At the end of each day, can you honestly say you've used your time wisely and that you are happy with how you have spent that time? Or do you sigh and feel regret that another day has passed with nothing to show for it?

    I switch my computer off completely more and more these days and am happier doing other things, so it suits me.
  • Dora's right. Some nights I collapse into bed totally frazzled with info buzzing around my tiny brain.

    Once a week I treat myself to a long soak in the bath and watch a DVD (after the bath, obviously). Before I run the bath I check my emails and then the computer's off for the night.

    I sleep much better that night - which indicates how good a relaxing evening can be. However time limits mean I'm often checking info most nights. Sometimes I even write!
  • The answer is, I don't. Trying to balance writing with college life is not an easy task and not one I enjoy. But I've got to educate myself to get myself writing everyday, so I just go with the flow and write when I can.

    Obviously, school work takes priority (Most of the time) but it doesn't work out well for my writing.
  • I use a similar method to Lolli when I have a lot on the to-do list. Having listed the most essential items I aim to complete one of these tasks and then allow myself some me time to read a chapter, have a coffee or indeed do some writing or research. I often find that at the end of a day worked in this way I have actually achieved more as I don't waste time thinking what to do next and having rewarded myself with me time I don't feel so resentful of time spent on boring tasks.
  • I find time for my writing (and related stuff such as blogging) by hardly ever watching TV and never doing any housework. I do work full time, but don't have any other regular commitments that take up much time.
  • today I haven't managed the walk as I forgot a few things I should have been doing today, but I may play on the (new) Wii Sports resort tonight after babysitting, so that will replace the walk. I have done job research I have an application to email by tomorrow and a couple of job centre ads to follow up tomorrow. I also watched my Granddaughter's first violin performance this afternoon, and went to the dentist to have a tooth out this morning. I have done far more today than I have been doing lately, so even though I haven't yet reached my targets, I am pleased with what I have done, and hope tomorrow will go as well. I also have to write a short story, and I still have time, if I don't mess around here too long. I just need a little push to get me going! Hence the pick and mix of tasks!
  • Thank you all so much for your responses on here. If yesterday was today I perhaps would not have posted the thread, but it wasn't so I did :)

    All the suggestions that have been made are all the things that I know I should (or should NOT) be doing and all of them are things that have been said to me and I have tried before. It's only me that can make me "uncluttered" - it's just difficult and I wear myslef out all the time by being this way.

    Today is another day, I feel a bit better than I did yesterday and I have physiotherapy to "look forward to " (contradiction in terms!) tomorrow. That's enough to make me focus on one thing
    even if it is pain ;)

    Wishing everyone a stress free, happy and contented day x
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