I’m a list-maker from way back. Actually, I’m one of those crazy people who will add something I’ve already done to the list, just for the pleasure of checking it off. I know, there’s probably a support group somewhere.

While lists can be great to keep me focused and on track, they can also give me tunnel vision. As things crop up, I keep willy-nilly adding them to my list until one day, I look at it and think, “Yikes. That will take a team of 4 about 8 days to get done.”

But even that isn’t the scariest realization. What really slaps me in the forehead is when I realize nothing on my list will help me reach my goals. Some of it, sure, in a peripheral, I-need-a-working-computer-to-function kind of way.

No, it’s the things that are NOT on the list that frighten me. Where’s the writing time? The journaling? Where’s the giving back that nurtures my soul? The time with friends and family?

Hubby and me at Ocali Country Days

Hubby and me at Ocali Country Days

Have you been there? For me, that means it’s time for a list comparison.

Here’s my method: get out the priority list (you have one, right?), or update the current one. Lay it down next to the current to-do list. Compare. Wince. Sigh. And then get out your red pen and start crossing off things that should never have been on the list to begin with.

Now granted, there is stuff in life that just plain has to get done. No question. So dedicate a block of time to those mean ugly tasks and knock them out as fast as possible. (Office clean-up, anyone?)

Then reorganize the remaining list with the most important tasks first; the big rocks, if you will.

Take a deep breath, relax, and start at the top, knowing you are back on track…

How do you make sure you’re working off the right list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Fun stuff:

–I’m a guest over at Emilie Hendryx’s Thinking Thoughts blog, talking about all kinds of writerly things. Would you pop over and say “hi”? If you leave a comment, you’ll have a chance to win a copy of Angel Falls, too. Feel free to send a couple of friends over, too, would you?

–I am trying to build up the numbers on my Facebook Author Page. If you haven’t “liked” it yet, could I ask you to? Thanks so much.

–Throughout November, Abingdon Fiction is doing a Twitter/FB campaign called #WhatIAmThankfulFor. Follow that # (hashtag)  for fun quotes from authors; maybe a prize or two. Can you find what I’m thankful for?