I am on a mission during the next few weeks to complete work on my next book project. The manuscript is due to my publisher in early January, but I've set my own earlier deadline so that I can properly savor the holidays with my family. With the turn of the calendar to December today, I found myself feeling the tension of stress, anxiety and concern.
In my head, I know that I have the tools, the time and the motivation to meet my goal by focusing productively on the work that needs to be done. Were this any other month, I would likely not be so worried. But December comes with its own unique set of joys are distractions that make it a uniquely challenging time to get things done. That being said, here are the four ways in which I plan to make this month my most productive yet:
- Have a plan for each day. Because of all of the extra activities that are crammed into this month, I will need to plan more carefully than usual to fit in all of the work, but also the extra activities, that need to be done each day. This will involve have specific, attainable steps towards my end project and using "bonus" time that I find in my schedule more productively.
- Care well for my body. December is fraught with opportunities to fall off the wagon - to eat too much, drink too much, and exercise too infrequently. This December, I will pay attention to what I put into my body, how much I sleep, and aim to move as much as possible.
- Care even more for my soul. If you're a spiritual person, you know that there is a reason behind all of this frenetic activity. This month, I will take extra time each morning for silent, meditative prayer. I will luxuriate in the scriptures that tell the story of this special occasion. I will seek silence, and not aim to fill it with excess noise.
- Embrace the fun. When you have a big deadline looming, it's tempting to skip the fun and keep your eyes on the prize. But the beauty of this time of the year is the many opportunities we have to gather with loved ones, to sing, to play and to enjoy. I will look at ways to trim the fat from my schedule and waste less time so that I can fully enjoy the special parts of this season.
Are you ready to "write off" the month of December or do you find yourself still able to get things done even when everyone else is focused on parties and shopping? Do you have unfinished goals for 2010 that can still be accomplished? Tell me about it!