nascentnovelist

September 30, 2012

What to Do When You Have Too Much to Do?

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

My freelance writing career has taken off, and I’m enjoying it immensely. I get paid to write. How cool is that? And to use a trite saying: once it rains, it pours. So in the next couple of days I need to pitch two books and write what amounts to a complete magazine. It might not sound impossible, but I also have to pack up my apartment, clean it and move out.

So I pose the question to you: What to do when you have too much to do?

How do you manage your time when work is pouring in?

19 Comments »

  1. I handle this badly, but I know lwhat I should do: tell people. If you accept an assignment and know you have little time, let them know. If things pile up and you know there will be trouble, let people know as early as possible. Make a list. Break assignments down into parts. Do one thing at a time. Organize things so you’ll actually get to finish something instead of having five half-finished jobs lying about.

    Comment by Even T — September 30, 2012 @ 10:04 am | Reply

    • Good advice!

      They must know I have little time because they gave me the assignment today and expect it done by Monday evening. But yes, communication might still be a good idea.

      I will probably reread this comment two or three times as deadlines approach. And focus on breathing.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — September 30, 2012 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  2. I freak out, have a panic attack, and then usually fall ill, disabling me from doing anything at all, until I make a final, tremendous effort at the very last minute.

    I’ll probably die of a stress induced heart attack before I’m 40.

    Comment by Vero — September 30, 2012 @ 10:35 am | Reply

    • Hehe. I usually keep myself going through pure will, then get sick right after I’ve delivered, thus making sure I never get to enjoy vacation.šŸ˜‰

      Comment by nascentnovelist — September 30, 2012 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  3. I make a list of very small, achievable things I need to do in the near future… especially when my head often blares WARNING WARNING ALERT SOMETHING YOU FORGOT… if I write it on the list, that alarm shuts down and lets me focus on what I’m doing. Otherwise, it just goes off again every few minutes (and it’s always a different alarm). You don’t have to do the list in order, but you should write everything down and not let yourself get distracted and inefficient through unnecessary panic-multitasking. Plus the reminder of steady progress as you cross things off is encouraging, too.

    Comment by Tanya — September 30, 2012 @ 10:44 am | Reply

    • Good idea! I’ve been scared to make a list as I’m afraid I would see that the amount of hours in the day does not add up to the amount of work I have. But getting rid of the stress-snooze-button might make it worth it.

      Thanks!

      Comment by nascentnovelist — September 30, 2012 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  4. I tend to break tasks up (sometimes into tiny bits, such as writing 100-200 words at at time), and make lists, where I can cross things off and feel that I’ve accomplished something.
    And sometimes, I take Vero’s approach, do all-nighters at the last minute, and deliver stuff that I’m not very proud of, but is acceptable enough. (The latter approach also tends to lead to lots of tea and sporadic junk food.)

    Comment by dreamingwriter — September 30, 2012 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

    • I might have to do both. Working hard all the way through, then still do an all-nighter at the end.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — October 1, 2012 @ 9:03 am | Reply

  5. “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

    Comment by scrivnomancer — September 30, 2012 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

    • I no longer have the mindset to understand that. But I find it oddly comforting.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — October 1, 2012 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  6. Allow myself a moment to think, “I’ll never get all of the done on time.” And then I break it into manageable bits and remember to breath, eat, and drink while I do those bits. If something truly can’t get done on schedule, let the relevant person know as soon as possible.

    Comment by jmmcdowell — September 30, 2012 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  7. My approach hasn’t been optimal lately. I used to budget time for key tasks, something to which I’m sure I’ll return. Lately? I’ve taken to just not doing most of it and pretending that’s a sound long term strategy. I have the feeling I’m going to be feeling some repercussions pretty soon here . . .

    Comment by Deborah the Closet Monster — September 30, 2012 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

    • Oh, I recognize that strategy.

      My approach has been to say yes to everything and skimp on sleeping and eating. It’s working for now, but I can feel myself deteriorating.:/

      Comment by nascentnovelist — September 30, 2012 @ 11:37 pm | Reply

  8. Og lykke til med alle greiene!!

    Comment by dreamingwriter — October 1, 2012 @ 3:44 am | Reply

  9. I make a list and prioritize what needs to be done that day. Laundry, showering–sometimes those slip to the bottom of the list.šŸ™‚ Then I take it one task at a time and bang them out.šŸ™‚

    Comment by Kourtney Heintz — October 4, 2012 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

    • That’s what I ended up doing too. Except, I made the list, then hid it from myself so I wouldn’t have to look at how much was left. It sorted itself out.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — October 4, 2012 @ 6:41 pm | Reply


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