I treat myself to a fresh poppy seed bagel with cream cheese and boysenberry jam spread so thick, I can no longer see the bagel. Two eggs are boiling in the saucepan while my Sumatra coffee has finished perking. I find the only tray I own, wipe off the dust, and carry my breakfast outside, pretending to be on vacation.
This morning is going to be me-time: enjoying my garden, the hummingbirds, the owl that hoots from time to time, and the early morning sunshine.
As I bite into my bagel, jam oozes out onto my fingers landing in a blob on my Oprah magazine. I wipe it off and swallow a sip of smooth strong coffee.
Looking at the powder blue sky, I force myself to relax, trying so hard to recapture the serenity I felt in Belize. I can’t. Why?
I’m focusing on my “to-do” list.
Did I remember to sign up for my read and critique session with an agent at the writers’ conference? I jump up, take another bite of bagel and head to my computer. Searching for the website, I get distracted. Feelings of guilt take over as I remember dad had surgery and forgot to e-mail him. How can I be checking out my blog before e-mailing dad? There must be something seriously wrong with me.
I check personal e-mails, then realize, I forgot to show my gratitude to Lady Glamis for the Humane Award she gave me.” I must remember to add it to my blog. I return to my other Google personal account and add a note in my post as a reminder. I notice a new e-mail from my critique group and read it, then decide it’s not urgent, so I click on the yellow star next to it, hoping to respond to it later. The problem is I have too many yellow stars. Which one do I give priority to?
Meanwhile, I find an interesting Twitter comment on how to get your blog or website on the Google index. Better read that one before I loose it in the mass of Twitter comments. Oh, I need to Facebook that one to my writer friends, perhaps they haven’t heard of this.
The sad part is I don’t have to report to work, I can make my own time, yet I feel stressed, especially when I flitter around like the hummingbirds in my garden–the ones that I’ve already forgotten about, and now remember my breakfast is waiting for me outside.
How do you stay organized?
Do you plan your time in segments? Do you allocate so many minutes, hours/day for your blog, Twitter and Facebook?
How do you organize your comments on other blogs? Do you use Google Reader, Bloglines, BackType? or do you flitter from blog to blog, like the hummingbirds I forgot to spend time with in my garden?
I hate lists! I bookmark the blogs I read and try to visit them a couple of times a week. I always visit those who have commented on my own blog first.
I'm on FB every day as it only takes five mins or so – I don't do the quizzes or anything. I check Twitter less often and tweet about once a week if I have something worthwhile to say.
Now, get out there and enjoy your breakfast! 😉
Hit 40 says
I try to catch my favorites from the blogspot reader. I also have my good blogger friends bookmarked to make sure that I do not miss them. A couple would be very sad if I missed their posts.
Jungle Mom says
I have lived in South America for 23 years. I no longer feel stressed about much of anything!!!
This causes other problems. I would think nothing of spending 2-3 hours over a lunch with a friend or my husband, but that might mean I'll be up late working on some other project.
I notice how effective you are at responding to everyone. You are probably an organized person. Am I right?
I wonder if I'm trying to mix too many different systems. Google Reader, BackType and then the updates that come on my blog list.
That's exactly how I felt in Belize. No pressure to rush because if it doesn't get done today, there's always next week.
Actually LadyFi said what I wanted to say. I try to stay up to date with my blogs, but don´t twitter that often. I think if I update my status in fb once in a while it´s enough. I don´t want to make myself so stressed I can´t enjoy breakfast! 🙂
Lazy Writer says
I'm a flitterer. Definitley a flitterer!
Whew! Your list of things to do kind of made me tired, but I bet you are a lot more organized than you are giving yourself credit for.
I am very organized at work where I have lots to do…not so much at home where my time is more my own at this point in my life. As for blogs and blogging, I'm such a neophyte I didn't even understand some of the terms in your questions. I just enjoy writing (former journalist) and reading other peoples thoughts.
Lady Glamis says
Hah, this is a GREAT post! I sometimes feel so "twittery" – flying all over the place and doing everything but nothing at the same time.
No worries about the blog award. 😉
I use Google Reader. I use yellow stars in there to read things later. I try to get them all taken care of by the end of the day, but sometimes that doesn't happen.
Jennifer Fink says
I can relate. There's so many things drawing our attention all the time, and it's next to impossible to stay on top of them all.
I stay away from Twitter, except on dedicated work days. But that problem with that is that even intermittent tweeting distracts me from my work, leading to a scattershot approach. I haven't exactly found a solution for this problem yet. 😉
Gramma Ann says
I like LadyFi always try to visit those who comment on my blogs. I have a blog list and check it once or twice a day. When they update I get to them as soon as I can and read them. I don't always leave comments.
I finally got to your blog tonight. There are some blogs I just visit and read them and enjoy the photos of far away places. I don't think they really expect a comment because they have so many followers, they would have no time to post their pictures if they tried to answer every commenter.
Now Abe Lincoln is trying to get 10,000 comments on his blog "Pick a Peck of Pixels" in a short period of time, so I try to leave him a comment each day.
I have a list of blogs I keep up with on my sidebar, and look at the new entries and comment if I have something to say. I check my email and facebook once in the morning and once in the evening, at least. I'm also on Bookcrossing, LiveJournal, and Flickr.
If you don't mind me asking, how did you happen to run across my blog?
Phivos Nicolaides says
Interesting post, very good blog! Regards, Philip
Oh, I know so well this kind of feeling! I've been much more stressed staying at home with my daughter then while working and having clear tasks assigned and prioritized mostly by someone else. I am more stressed when I have to organize my own time and decide for myself what's more important. It's like I don't feel I deserve any relaxation, because there is always something to do. I feel like I'm either over-indulging or over-working myself.
I can tell LadyFi is VERY ORGANIZED. She needs to tell me her secret.
I'm glad to hear there are other flitterers out there.
Yes, I got tired just rereading my post. Need to take a sip of coffee now.
I can tell you're organize like LadyFi, as you manage to stay ontop of things, and comment on other blogs. Thanks.
When you find the solution to Twitter, let me know. My friend said to sign up for Tweetdeck. Another thing to check out.
Pretend I'm Abe. I'd love 10,000 comments too. Catherine Sanderson got a book deal via her blog and all the hits. Apparently she got 3,000/day!
Oooh dear! I'm all over the place! On a good day, I get to read my blogroll and visit back the ones that have visited me, AND manage to answer my comments. On a bad day however …
Which reminds me, I still have to answer … **wizzes off**
I keep a list of the blogs I follow on my sidebar, and there aren't that many so it doesn't take me too long to check them all. I go on facebook a lot, but don't Twitter.
I don't stay organized. I just revel in the chaos.
Oh guys… I've really misled you! LOL! I'm not at all organized! I don't have lists, and try to keep everything in my head. My desk is always awash with books and papers and interesting articles.
I do have a system in my chaos though – one that only I understand…
I do prioritize, however: that is my secret. First – always reply to those who have commented. Then, visit those other blogs that I enjoy.
I'm not one of those people who have hundreds of blogs to read – just a handful!
Lists are my life. I rarely go to bed without a prioritized list of things to do the next day from water plants to write a blog post. Without the list, I cannot sleep and without the list I can't enjoy my morning cup of coffee either. Then through the day I leave the list on my counter and as things pop into my mind I jot it down where it belongs in the priorities. Just re-reading this I sound crazy. Yikes! But it gets me through the day with the kids and my writing so I'll stick to it!
Phivos Nicolaides says
You are welcome. See here
This is a great subject, one close to my own heart. I have a job that takes about 50 hours of my time/week plus travel 1-3 times/month, so I have to prioritize! Fortunately, I am an empty nester now, so that allows me evening and weekend time I didn't used to have.
I love the honesty, humor, and the dominant image of the hummingbird you compare yourself to. Jesus said to look at the lilies of the field, and you know you need to drink your coffee and look at the hummingbirds. So do it!
As for my own habits, they are more haphazard than I would like. I use Google Reader, Tweetdeck, and check FB numerous times throughout the day. An iPhone helps too!!
I can keep up with my social media–just barely–but what I am not doing is new writing. I have to go on writers retreat to do intensive writing. I'm trying to schedule one now.
If you can afford it, you might want to try a coach–either a writing coach, a social media coach, or a life coach, depending on which of the issues you mention is most pressing.
You are on your way, however, to fulfilling your dream of publishing your book. You are definitely building a platform right here.
I'm impressed that you can work so many hours and keep up your writing schedule and social media. You made me curious about whether you've hired a social media coach? I know you are organized, as it shows through your timely responses. Thanks.