It’s the end of January and I’m working hard to complete the task I set for myself this month. With a few more days of working diligently, I believe I’ll be able to cross it off my To Do list. Of course with any major task there are always stragglers to handle, but I can allocate a bit of time each day or week to handle those on an as needed basis.
There is no way I would have been able to handle the task if it weren’t for my checklist. I remember watching Captain Sullenberger on a news show giving credit to checklists for the calm and injury free landing of US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River. He also gives much credit to having a crew that also responded in accordance to their training and checklists.
In addition, I’ve read several productivity books that tout the benefits of using checklists. I’m not talking about making a checklist and never referring to it. I’m talking about keeping the list by your side and actually using it to the point of almost memorizing what needs to be done.
My original task seemed HUGE. I was overwhelmed at what needed to be done and really thought it would take me at least two months to get it done. However, once I was able to capture the steps required to accomplish the task on a checklist, it was smooth sailing. As I got knee deep into the project, I realized I had to add several more steps, but doing so made it easier for me to repeat the task faster the second time around. My checklist proved to be invaluable in helping me get the job done as efficiently as possible.
I’ve got quite a lot on my plate going forward and as has always been the case with me, I’m not quite sure how to schedule it all. One of my biggest challenges in earning a living as a writer is getting it all done.
By taking a page from my January checklist exercise I believe I’ll be able to accomplish twice as much if I create a running list. The list will be huge, but it will be the go-to sheet when I’m stuck or procrastinating.
After taking such a major financial hit in my online writing income, I’ve got to get back to work and work smarter if I want things to change. Having spent a whole month behind the scenes without writing new or fresh content, I’ve got to come out of the box swinging in February.
My goal is to finish up my January project and to begin creating the checklist that will carry me throughout the rest of the year. I can’t help but think about something I read in one of Brian Tracy’s books (don’t remember which book).
He tells the story of a person being offered a large sum of money. All the person had to do was go to the blue house and get the cash. The cash was there and ready for the taking. Unfortunately, he did not provide directions to the blue house. You can imagine how much time a person could waste trying to find the right blue house with the cash.
So many of us do the exact same thing with online writing. There’s cash to be had, but we don’t make a plan on how to get it. We write and bounce from place to place never really making a plan or following a road map to take us to our destination.
I’m not saying that my initial checklist is the road map to immediate success, but having one in place will help me to see which actions are working and which ones aren’t. It will help me to make the necessary detours to reach the right destination.
Now…back to finishing my project.