Sunday, May 27, 2012

Jenny Haddon - One Thing I've Learnt

One thing I’ve learned . . . .

In Laurence Durrell’s blissful tales of diplomatic life, Sauve Qui Peut he tells of The Balkan Times, the English language daily newspaper run by the Misses Grope, two sisters whose father used to be the Embassy Chaplin. It always carries the date of the previous day because once, many years before, it didn’t come out. The sisters operate on the principle that one day they will print two and catch up.

Bessie and Enid Grope and I are sisters under the skin. Whether because of temperament, upbringing or sheer writer’s cussedness, I’ve always been bad at writing off missed targets, rolling up yesterday’s unfinished business into today’s To Do List.

And what I’ve learned is: DON’T.

One week of failing to achieve desired wordage left me with 22,500 words to write on a Saturday when I also had to foodshop, get car MOT’d and take godchild to The Little Vampire.  (Memorable vampire cows, by the way, I recommend it.)  Impossible, right? You know it. I know it.

Well, I know it now. On the day in question I got up at 3.00am and actually, bloody tried.

So now I Don’t Carry Over. Well, not except for stuff like gas bills. Basically things have to be pretty damned important to move from yesterday’s list to today’s.

And, guess what? Now I’m not beating myself up with impossible targets, I actually achieve more.


Liz Harris said...

Those are wise words, Jenny. 3am!! Respect. If I did that, I'd be finished for the day by 7am, with many things sl left unachieved.

Liz X

Alison Morton said...

Absolutely on target, Jenny. Time management is crucial to any busy and dedicated person. And, strangely, it's busy people who push on with their work who get many more things done and can take more on.

Rebecca Leith said...

So true, Jenny. But 3 am? I couldn't do that, it would finish me off for the week let alone the day!