I have been experimenting with goal setting and reaching my writing quotas for some time now, and have found out a few things which at least hold true for me. One of the most important things I have learnt is that weekly goals are more important than daily ones. The main reason this is the case is that while I usually have a certain control over what I can accomplish in a week, I often don’t have the same control over single days. This is mainly because I am still working full time, and a huge part of my day is not my own, so I have to us what is left for my writing and writing-related activities.
Not all days are equally challenging of course, and I do eventually manage to carve out time to accomplish what I set out to do, but there are days when I manage to accomplish far less than I had planned. When this happens I am left with a list of things that are still not crossed off at the end of the day.
That makes me less that happy, and it results in me having to transfer undone tasks to the next day, and add words to next day’s word count. A couple of days like that close together and I begin to wonder if I will make it, and if it is really worth it. And I really don’t want to go there, and quite frankly, I don´t have the time to waste on this kind of thinking.
So for that reason I have started to make weekly lists of what I will accomplish, breaking the tasks down into different categories, how many words to write this week, how much social media activity, how many posts to write and were, what new skills to learn, knowledge to acquire or websites to check out. For me this works much better. I create next week’s list on Sunday evening and then I look at my list at the beginning of every day and pick what to work on that day. As I manage to get things done will cross them off my weekly list, and I note down my word count for each day, keeping tabs of how far along I am as I get closer to the end of the week.
My experience so far has been that by using this system I usually make it through the entire list and meet all my targets by the end of Sunday, if not sooner. And, it makes me feel that I am on track with my plan, since I can see that I am making progress as the week moves along. Until I find a better system I will definitely keep my weekly goals.