One of the panels I went to at the Nebula conference was on productivity tools, but the big takeaway for me wasn’t any specific tool, but rather something that should become my new mantra: Don’t get precious about your process.
I’m really bad about coming up with what feels like a magical formula and then feeling like all is lost if I can’t do it exactly. I’ve determined that I have my most productive days when I get up fairly early, go for a walk either before or after breakfast, then start writing immediately before I break to write my blog post and then finally check e-mail, social media, etc. But if circumstances result in me breaking that pattern, the rest of the day seems to fall apart for no good reason. It’s as though I figure the day’s a loss. And that’s silly because I can reboot at any time of the day and just make the rest of the day go okay.
I’m the same way when I make a schedule for the day. If something unplanned throws me off, instead of just getting back on track, I tend to give up entirely.
The truth is, there is no magical formula. There are ways that tend to work better for me, but if I don’t do the absolute best thing, there’s nothing stopping me from doing a pretty good thing.
I haven’t been able to stick to my process lately because I was having to deal with all the pre-convention stuff, and now the post-convention stuff. I’m going to try to do better today and just pick up where I can in spite of being off schedule because I desperately needed groceries in order to eat lunch today.
It’s not a magical spell, a recipe, or a scientific formula. If something happens out of order or if a step is skipped, the whole thing isn’t ruined.