Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How to Get a Lot Done This October

I love the first day of October! I really don't know why. It just makes me happy. :)

I have big plans for October. One thing I've learned over the years? I have to be deliberate with my time. It's way too easy to slip into bad habits. My days get away from me, and at the end of the month I'm scratching my head and wondering why I didn't get anything done. Not this month!

Here's how I'm making the most of October:

1. Write down my business commitments.

Several things are already on my calendar. One of my critique partners sent her novel (yay!) and my other partner will be sending a novella (yay!) mid-month. I also have a guest blog post to put together, and I need to finish and submit a contracted short story. Additionally, the first of the month is when I update my website, so I'll be tackling that today.

2. Identify my main goal--the project that's most important for me to work on.

My main goal isn't listed on the business commitments above. I plotted a new novel this summer, and I want to write a large chunk of the rough draft. I add this to the list.

3. Review the family calendar. 

I'm blessed to be able to work from home, but most days I feel as if I have a second job on the night shift due to my children's activities. Weeknights mean cross country and football practice, cooking dinner and homework assistance. On weekends, my daughter has cross country meets, my son has baseball scrimmages and he's taking catechism classes.

Why is it important to keep these activities in mind? It's very, very hard for me to squeeze writing or other business tasks in at night or on weekends. If I don't work on them during the day, they don't get done.

4. Create a plan based on the above.

Critiquing will be a nice change of pace for me, so I'm heading into critique partner #1's work first. I'll also set a few hours aside to finish writing the short story, and I'll put the guest post together. Sometime next week, I'm starting my new novel. I'll also schedule time to revise the short story. When critique partner #2's novella arrives in my in-box, I'll probably start critiquing it and lower my word count for that week. Then, it's writing, writing, writing until the end of the month.

5. Set personal goals.

My personal goals this month are to continue my exercise routine and eat at least one serving of raw vegetables a day.


Organizing my month this way allows me to be flexible and gives more weight to my motivation.

You might want to add extra goals such as heading to the pumpkin patch, decorating the house for fall, or trying that new recipe. I hung a fall wreath on the door, so I'm good on decorating, and I'll be purchasing pumpkins from the ginormous cardboard box at Kroger. In the past, we've had lazy Octobers where I can make homemade cinnamon buns and spend a day at an apple orchard, but this is not that October!

I don't mind. I've accepted that each year brings its own challenges. If I can squeeze in an afternoon at a local park to take pictures of the fall colors, I'll be happy!

What do you want to accomplish this month?

Have a fabulous day!!


  1. You are one busy lady! And awesomely organized, too. Yep, this October will be a busy one for me, too - I'll be doing Fast Draft in less than two weeks, and book #3 is ready to be released...lots of stuff going on. But I want to make sure I appreciate the beauty of fall along the way. :) Good luck with your goals, Jill!

    1. Ooh, fast draft! That sounds fun! Have you done it before? Nervous? Congrats on getting ready to release book #3! Woo-hoo!!

  2. I love how organized you are, Jill. It makes me believe I can be too:)

    1. You made me giggle! Organizing my month is easier now that I'm more flexible about what gets done when!

  3. Jill, I love this! You've got me pumped up to organize, set my goals and jump into meeting them. This month I jump into rewrites on my story. I've got kids with activities and a weekend away with hubby. So, I'm following your lead and taking some time out of this day to plot out this month. I love doing that. I just got happy chills up my spine. :)

    1. Ooh, I love happy chills up the spine! Going into the month with a plan makes ALL the difference! BTW, your weekend away with your husband sounds delightful!

  4. Jill: I am going to watch a simulcast of a retreat tonight, and tomorrow morning and afternoon. I have to go to a memorial service tomorrow night. Saturday, I have a meeting of the drama group. Yesteday, my visitation partner and I visited some in retirement centers, and nursing homes. We do this every other week. I end up October attending a writing conference(Oct 31-Nov 1.) Plus meeting each Tuesday with a group of ladies for prayer. And Wednesday mid week worship.

    About writing activities: I still have to blog post 3 times a week and have an online column ready to go live ecch Friday.

    1. Wow, Cecelia! You're busy! I'm sorry about the memorial service, though.
      Enjoy the conference and everything else this month!!


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