Since I’m actually counting the midyear as of today, I figured I’d post my numbers.
Managed 41K for the month of June, which is fabulous! My goal was 40K. That I got 41K is really awesome.
I’ve written 248,759 countable words for the year. (I count blog posts, essays, and fiction. Not emails.) I’m about 1200 words shy of my 250,000 word goal. I’ll take it. I’m pleased with that.
I did figure out, though, that in order to reach 500K for the year, I need to be writing 42K per month, not 40K per month. So that is my new goal and I’m only a little chagrined that I didn’t figure that out sooner.
In other news, I finally, FINALLY, appear to have stumbled onto the magic combination I need to slay the email beast! It’s a whole bunch of things that have come together for me.
A huge thanks to Susan Kroupa for the recommendation of the B.J. Fogg book, “Tiny Habits.” I was instinctively doing much of the behavior already, but having it all spelled out for me has really helped.
Things that I’m doing now for email:
Daily reminder. I have a white board where I list the tasks for the week, the big things, not broken down into steps. (I have a second To Do list on my computer for that.) In addition, I’ve now started listing two things that I want accountability for on a daily basis. At this time, that’s Email and Tai Chi. Every day that I do email, I get a check mark, ditto Tai Chi. But I get a big ol’ X, which means FAIL, if I miss a day.
I still miss some days due to health, lack of sleep, etc. But for the most part, this helps me stay on top of it, so I do email every day. (And Tai Chi.)
Time Acceptance. It is going to take me between 30-60 minutes PER DAY to go through my email. Period. I may resent that, I may not wanna, but I can’t allot 10 minutes to do email and then bitch about it not getting done. I need to allocate that time and then spend it.
Break It Up. I have three email accounts. If I’m having a really bad day, or an incredibly busy day, I do not have to sit down and do all three accounts at the same time. I can take a shorter amount of time and just do justice to one account. I still have to find the time for the other accounts. Not having to do them all at once helps me get over the hurdle of just doing it, particularly if my brain’s sluggish.
Daily Cleanup. My biggest problem is that I let my emails stack up and I don’t do anything about them, so I end up with thousands of them sitting in my inbox.
This is where the Tiny Habits has really helped. Instead of spending an hour just cleaning a single email inbox, only to not get all the way through it and still be frustrated, I am just deleting a single email every time I open my email on my computer.
Period. That’s it. That’s all I have to do. And I smile and tell myself, “Good job!” every time I do.
I’ve been able to delete more than one most of the time. Then there are times like last night, when I was exhausted, had just hit the wall, and needed to delete just one. I managed two. One was something I didn’t need. The other was in my inbox because I needed to put a note in my calendar to do something in December. I put in the note and filed the email in the appropriate folder, getting it out of my inbox.
I’m hoping that by the end of the year, my inboxes will be manageable again, that is, take up a single computer screen, the rest all either deleted or filed.
So that’s my midyear report. Now, I need to heavily caffeinate so I can get on with the rest of my day.
I hope that you have a wonderful holiday weekend for those who celebrate!