GSD and Finding the Balance

Quit slackin

For the classiest among us, GSD might be a delightful trigger acronym that reminds us to be productive or check things off the list.

For the less classy – and I don’t think I have to say which camp I’m in – it’s a bit more direct. G.S.D. Get. Shit. Done.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to be as productive as I need to be, in the ways that I want to be. Trying to balance my real job with my writing job (which is no less real, except that it doesn’t yet pay the bills!) and also keep our house clean, laundry done, and find time to cook and blog, thereby taking care of my creative passions and also feeding le fiancé and myself, can be a tricky balance at best. At worst I sometimes feel like a gymnast on the olympic high beam, but drunk and with an anxiety problem.

See? Bad real bad, Michael Jackson. And did I mention I’m also planning a wedding?

In an effort to be more productive, I’ve been implementing a few new tools since the start of the new year and I’m excited to say they work! Why since last week I have written five blog posts, cooked five dishes, worked out every day, made serious headway on novel planning and crossed a big work project off the list.

Below, some resources that worked well for me. If you are also looking for balance in the new year, I hope this works for you, too!

1. Get dressed or work out immediately when you get up. None of this schlumping around in pajamas until 2pm. Nobody feels empowered to start the laundry or make  business calls without a bra on. Nobody. Brush your teeth and put some damn pants on! Preferably these sexy numbers.

2. Waffle up that work. In other words, compartmentalize. If I have a chunk of writing to do and a work project to do, I now separate them into different days. And then I draw hard deadlines for myself. Yesterday was a work day, so all writing was shoved to the side. Today is a writing day, and I’m not checking that work email so help me! Thinking I had to do a bit of each every day was not only stress-inducing but impossible in the end anyway.

3. Pomodoro Technique! If I’m having trouble focusing and staying away from the Internet, I set my little kitchen timer and hard focus for 25 minutes. Then, I get to take a five minute break. The ultimate goal is to increase your hard-focus time, but I’m finding that 25 minutes quickly turns into an hour or more once you get past the first few 25-minute sets.

4. Music, maestro! And instead of relying on playlists that I know and love, I’ve been listening to instrumental, classical, film scores – anything to keep my mind engaged but not distracted. I’ve made a Spotify playlist of my favorites. If you’re interested, you can find it here, via my tumblr.

Image attributed to Keano Ross, via Pinterest.

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