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I realize it’s a bit late to start talking about New Year’s resolutions. But I am nothing if not a procrastinator at heart, and also, I like to change my mind as new ideas and information present themselves to me. Honestly, this is why I don’t like the idea of New Year’s resolutions much. Resolutions to better yourself and your life are great, obviously, when made in good faith. It just seems to silly to start renewing your life and changing how you’re doing things because it’s the next calendar year. Why aren’t you reviewing and adapting as needed whenever the thought occurs to you? Why make some goals tied to a dropped ball and a changed date?

But it has been brought to my attention by, well, me (since I’m my own boss) that I could be more productive and attack my to-do list in better form. I’m mainly talking about my writing to-do list here because I’m great at getting through projects for clients in an organized, timely fashion; otherwise, I would have no clients. Anyway, I was talking with a friend today who said that at her job, they set goals and develop strategies for getting work done in two-week increments. Employees are supposed to track their output and their goals closely so that they have a list of things accomplished and things ongoing at the end of each two-week period, and then they move forward with planning the next two weeks with all of that info in mind. It sounds like a constant checks-and-balances type system where, ideally, anything that isn’t working or isn’t going smoothly will be quickly discovered and put back on track.

I might hate this system if I worked in an office like I used to because I would feel like my boss was hovering, vulture-like, at my shoulder and critiquing my every move. But since I know I would never do that to me – even though maybe I sometimes should – I think I can adopt this strategy and give it a try. Since my work time can be very chopped up, it’s sometimes hard to feel productive. And as one of those creative types with a perennially messy desk, although I’m organized and I have lists all over the place of projects to tackle and bills to pay and all sorts of other really incredibly boring shit, I am often working on things that take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to complete. When the payoff is slow in coming, I start to feel like I’m on a meandering path into a brick wall, and then I get antsy and irritable and start doing things like spending too much time on This Is Why I’m Broke, looking at boats shaped like dolphins and books on literary cocktails and my junior prom dress (what?). Like I said before, procrastination!

So I’m going to make a resolution now to institute my own two-week goal-setting agendas. I’m saying it publicly so that I feel at least a little bit guilty if I don’t follow through on it. Hopefully it will result in a successful year of writing, submitting, and reading!