Moving forward

So after a minor meltdown last weekend, I realised it was because there was more than one stress factor. I spent some time early last week figuring out what the stress factors were.

After that, I began setting up systems & changes for the things in my control, and trying to recognise that some things are out of my control and that’s okay (still getting there on that front).

I thought I’d share some of the things I’m changing with you today, partly to help me process them and partly because they might help you as well. I’m sure my problems are not unique to myself πŸ™‚

Deadlines

I’d set a launch date with plenty of time for things to go wrong – or so I thought! – but after a few delays early on in the process, I’m cutting it fine to get the stock for my books by the 21st. Part of this is outside my control, but what I can do is set up Plan B, C & D.

If Plan A doesn’t work (the plan where the books arrive before the 21st), Plan B is to pay for expedited shipping from Blurb, which is only 1 day earlier but might make a difference. Plan C is to pay for expedited shipping from Createspace (4 business days) and Plan D is to order them in NZ, hiking the price up but meaning I could get them pretty fast.

Also, I’ve learned for next time the things I need to do to make sure I give other people plenty of time to get jobs done.

Energy Levels

Some just goes back to basics. I wasn’t eating enough fruit, and I’d begun exercising but found it hard after doing nothing for most of summer. This morning, I bought nuts, fruit, veges and a women’s multi-vitamin.

I’m aiming to get in at least 3 walks a week – 5 isn’t necessary at this point – and will be using wrist weights to get a bit more toning in. From next week, I’m aiming to do yoga just once a week.Β Baby steps are all good!

Legal Stuff

While my records are pretty good, they could be better. I had way too many spreadsheets and knew there had to be a simpler way of doing things! I ended up buying a printer / scanner / copier and signing up for Xero, and NZ-based accounting software.

By having a printer, it means I canΒ have physical records of everything (my job this week) mostly just for peace of mind, and by investing in Xero I have a system that works and accountants are familiar with. This means that when I’m earning enough to have an accountant, it’ll be easy to transfer stuff over to them, if that’s what I choose to do.

Lack of Creative Work

I was spending so much time stressing about the books coming in on time, that I just couldn’t get into the mindset of being imaginative. Painting and writing felt hard because my mind just wasn’t in it.

By putting plans in place, it meant I could give myself the headspace I needed to be creative, without stressing about what else I ‘should’ be doing.

But enough about me. What strategies do you have to manage the (sometimes overwhelming) tasksΒ in your life?

18 thoughts on “Moving forward

  1. I’m with you Zee with the going back to basics. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget. I’m making more of an effort to eat more healthier and exercise more too nowadays and try to see this as part of the writing process.

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    1. It really is, and I’m back in that place again now (in a different way). It takes a conscious effort but it is such an important part of our lives. I mean, without our health what do we have, right?

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  2. Hello Zee! This reminds me of when my first book was about to be released. I tried to do everything on my end in a timely manner but it didn’t matter because the publisher kept screwing up on their end. It was maddening! It’s the worst when things are out of your control. But you know what? It made me a lot wiser and I believe the next time things will go a lot smoother. I hope everything will go smoothly for you from now on. All the best! πŸ˜€

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  3. I feel your pain, Zee. I think we all go through this. I’m finding that organization is so important and I’ve been trying to do a better job of this. When things are organized, things seem to go more smoothly. Look for my next post. I’m posting a list of the things mentally strong people DO NOT do. It’s from a well-known radio host in the States.

    My thoughts are with you, and a prayer is flying your way!

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  4. I’m glad you posted this and I can relate. I WAY overbooked myself in February/March, and I’m definitely feeling the effects now. I’m trying to stay calm and focused and not lose my mind, but it’s difficult. I even took time to plan out all the things I have to do right now, but so much stuff ended up falling into place AT THE SAME TIME. It’s been quite stressful. I keep telling myself to STOP trying to do everything at once. Then I go right back to doing everything at once! I was sick ALL WEEK last week too, so that didn’t help. I fell really behind in all aspects of life. I have an online workshop I’m trying to keep up with (lasts till the end of this week, three weeks total), a short story I had to write while sick because of its deadline, a novel pitch contest I REALLY want to participate in (but that requires me to write a pitch for my novel by March 6th), three sets of interview questions to send out ASAP in prep for some website articles I’m writing, plus two articles to get written up by tomorrow for posting on Wednesday. And that’s not counting the regular full time job duties, or the housework, or family time, or blogging for myself.

    I need to get a handle on this stuff! Yikes!

    Thanks for sharing your obstacles and your methods for handling them. It helps to see what works for other people and to know we aren’t alone in this crazy rat race! πŸ˜€

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    1. Yup so many balls in the air right? I’m re-reading 7 habits of highly effective people which is helping me review things and where I want to be – I need to make sure the things I’m doing are actually contributing to what I want.

      The amazing part of all of this is that we’re doing what we love. How many people can say that? It’s still a crazy rat race but it’s one we believe in.

      Take care xx

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  5. I am thinking organization is the theme going around as of late. I have been doing a lot of organizing myself. It helps keep some of the stressors down for me. I have been making lists of goals and such. I am hoping to get back on track this week. Good luck to you and let me know if I can do anything to help.

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    1. Thanks Amanda. I appreciate your thoughts. I’m re-reading 7 habits of highly effective people, and re-listening to the goal setting part of Tony Robbins’ audio course.

      I realised it was less of a slump and more of a sign that I needed to re-evaluate where I’m at and where I’m going and where I actually want to go. What do I want out of life? What does success look like for me? Are the things I’m doing moving me towards or away from that vision?

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  6. Sorry to hear you had such a crap time of late! Honestly, the main thing I do, right now anyway, is to just keep my planing really un-ambitious. And flexible enough that it can stand changes. I’m also trying to keep my writing deadlines vague right now. That’s why I keep saying “late may/early june” for the next book, feels better to push it back a few days than to run around like crazy the last few days. Same with the PoD, I’ve avoided setting a date for that because it’s sort of “outside” my normal activity so I don’t want it to become a stress element.

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    1. Yeah and I might do that for the next book, but I really wanted a launch and needed a date to set with the bookshop. It’ll happen, I’m sure, and I’ll look back on stressing over nothing. Fortunate to have lots of people to talk to about stuff. I did do that with the print books for What Stars Are Made Of though.

      Thanks for your comment. I am feeling considerably better this week xx

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  7. For peace of mind, I use dropbox. It automatically backs everything up for me (so no need for hard copies). Plus, you can access all your docs from any computer (or even your phone)

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