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One of the places where I bust goals.

As you may already know, I’ve been playing around with various goal structures as of late. Daily goals and rewards, monthly goals, etc. Some have worked well, others have flopped. As it turns out, I am an impatient creature. Instant gratification good. Long-term holding out for gratification bad.

I’ve also had a couple of people turn to me the past week with a sudden, odd look on their face and ask, “What is it that you actually do, anyway?” So I thought I’d share what my work day typically looks like. (Yes, I know it’s Saturday. Yes, I know it’s not a workday. Welcome to your first lesson in the life of a freelancer).

My daily goals as posted on G+ typically look like this:

  • 5-6H MoneyWork
  • 2-3H CreativeWork
  • 1H BodyWork
  • Stick to Health Plan
  • Finish 15 of 20 ToDo Items

Achievement to be Unlocked: Something so fun that I’ll do all of above said work.

But, what do those actually mean? Here’s the breakdown.

  • 5-6H MoneyWork: This is anything that I do for money, that will eventually make money or that keeps my business running. This could include:
  • Writing, editing and building client websites
  • Doing social media for clients
  • Editing and critting various novels, stories, etc. for clients
  • Ghostwriting or writing articles, essays, books, press releases, or brochures
  • Editing, planning articles and wrangling writers for magazines
  • Writing, sending or signing contracts and various other business forms
  • Answering emails
  • Submitting stories, finding markets, keeping track of submissions/acceptances, rejections
  • Setting up and completing interviews
  • Putting together ebook covers, insides, etc.
  • Ordering business cards, revamping my website, making flyers, etc.
  • My own social media, web presence, etc.
  • 2-3H CreativeWork
  • In my mind, this is just writing and editing fiction, poetry or my own essays.
  • 1H BodyWork
  • This is moving my body. Biking, walking, walking the dog, going to the gym, playing the Wii. Whatever keeps me moving after sitting all day is fair game. The ultimate goal is that at least 30m of that is actual hard exercise, something that stretches me. I don’t always hit that part.
  • Stick to Health Plan
  • I have food allergies. Nothing severe, but enough to make me miserable if I’m not careful. I have a family history of binge eating and being overweight. My body is, in some ways, still carrying the after-effects of Lyme disease. So my goals are to be aware of what and why I’m eating, to drink water, to take my vitamins, all without it taking over a huge part of my life.
  • Finish 15 of 20 ToDo Items
  • This is the bitch, because I’ve discovered that my system of breaking down ToDos isn’t very good. Some take forever (like emptying my inbox). I do use Toodledo to keep track of my ToDos, and I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a goal-tracker. Today’s ToDos include:
  • Write Client E’s product pamphlet
  • Finish Client GG’s website layout and design
  • Complete Social Media for all clients
  • Finalize and send contracts to Bound authors
  • Connect with the team for my Super Sekret Kickstarter project
  • Empty my inbox
  • Read a book for review
  • Test a sex toy for review
  • Call two people to set up interviews for Client POP
  • Plan Issue 6 for Client TC
  • Edit 2 articles for Issue 5 for Client TC
  • Go to post office to send contracts, I9s, thank you cards, etc.
  • Finish revising my novella for Client X
  • Respond to all emails for Client D
  • Put out any fires that come up for any client
  • If time: Finish my own website redesign; order new business cards; work on new spec fic story

It’s a lot of things to juggle. And in some ways, that makes my job awesome, because I can do a lot of different things that use various parts of my brain. And I love my clients (I don’t stick with clients that I don’t love — they’re not worth my time and energy). Of course, the bad part is that the creative writing is the little mouse in the corner going, “Pick me, pick me!” and it often gets overlooked in the rush of accomplishing other things.

So, that’s what I mean when I say goals. And now that I’ve written this post, it’s time to start accomplishing some of said goals so that I don’t feel like I’m tied to my computer for twelve hours today.

Writers, artists, freelancers, creative peeps: Do you set goals? How does it work best for you? What do you wish worked better?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.