Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Organizing your Life is Like Learning to Juggle Eggs and Chainsaws

Organizing Your Creative Life in 13 Weeks: Week 6

Sarah Hoyt


August 10, 2013 - 1:00 pm
Page 1 of 5  Next ->   View as Single Page
Don't try this at home.  Not unless you have some spare arms and legs.

Don’t try this at home. Not unless you have some spare arms and legs.

Prolific science fiction novelist Sarah Hoyt follows up her “Your Novel in 13 Weeks” PJ Lifestyle series with a new weekly experiment each Saturday to figure out the best way for all creative types working from home to better organize their efforts.

Week Zero, Introduction: Organizing Your Creative Life In 13 Weeks

Week 1/2, Preparation: The Case For Making Lots of Lists

Week One: How to Make Your Mind Like Water

Week Two: What Are the Best Apps For Artists and Writers Desperate To Get Work Done? 

Week Three: The Lone Writer Against The Time Masters

Week Four: How to Tame Your Subconscious

Week Five: How Separating When and Where You Do Tasks Improves Both Productivity and Quality of Work!


How do you juggle chainsaws?  Very carefully, of course.

No, I haven’t gone completely off my rocker and taken up another and completely different hobby/career.  In fact, part of my intent right now is figuring out how to reduce my needed tasks to the essential ones.

However, on the way there, I’ve come across the equivalent situation to when you’re just learning to juggle eggs and someone throws a chainsaw at you.  At best, it’s going to break your rhythm and concentration.  And at worst, it’s going to end up with a bunch of eggs broken, at the very worst, there will also be couple of fingers and a lot of blood on the floor.

Metaphorically, this week, while managing my creative life with Getting Things Done and The Pomodoro Technique, going along fine, working pretty well, ticking penguin by ticking penguin, I got a chainsaw thrown at me.  Worse, you could say I threw a chainsaw at myself, completely forgetting that I’m only a beginner in this time and task juggling thing.

I think I’ve broken a couple of eggs, in the sense that the first three days of the week were lost to a mire of emotional confusion, but I still have all my fingers and I’m getting ready to integrate the chainsaw in the flow – that is, I’m figuring out the difficult things that have to be done, and which will for a while disrupt my life, but which will lead to – hopefully – a much better way of working and perhaps of living.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (3)
All Comments   (3)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
How bout "Thirteen Minutes" to freedom from writers who increasingly use "Thirteen Weeks" templates. As I write this the first three stories in Lifestyle are...yep you guessed this the PJMedia version of "Three Cups of Tea"? Only time [and no I will NOT say the interval..way too easy] will tell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The photo of the closet is nice - my closet has never looked like that either, except maybe the first day I moved in. My wife and I have looked at several houses for sale over the years that were still being lived in and the closets always look like that - everything neat, orderly, hung up or on a shelf in its place - and it wasn't until later I realized they most likely don't live like that everyday either; they simply get their house cleaned up for showing to prospective buyers.

We have friends who are 'house people' - frequently selling their current house to upgrade (and before the housing bubble popped, make money) and whenever they showed their house, she would pile dirty clothes in her vehicle, hide things under the sofa & bed, and he would, similarly, put lots of things in his pickup so the garage would appear neat & orderly. But on an everyday basis, their house was just like everyone else's - lived in, messes about (particularly in the kids' rooms), although in fairness, they always keep their yard neat as a pin - landscaped, mown & manicured, flower beds weed-free & with fresh mulch, and colorful flowers blooming.

Staying organized is a constant battle - but some people are simply hard-wired to be better at it, i.e. they're not pack rats or think they 'might need that someday' and either give/throw things away or manage to keep them in their proper place. Add kids & pets to the mix and the struggle becomes exponentially tougher, depending on how many of each there are. Other people (me included) have trouble keeping the bed made every day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ahh, the time management. I keep working at it. I'm getting solid progress in with my equivalent of the penguin. Or tomato. It seems to be working, and yes, every time I leave the sanctity of my office, it seems a dozen things require my immediate attention. Fortunately, I haven't had the chainsaw moment, or at least, it hasn't been running. Though I've noticed that every time I have a significant event - usually one that involves travel, often to a convention - my writing takes a dive. I'm working on preventing that (San Antonio over Labor Day weekend for WorldCon) with the pomodori habit I've developed. (Got a beefsteak, man? How about a pint of cherries? I just need a few, c'mon.) Get back to me in a few weeks, and we'll see how it turns out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All