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The discipline of drops in the bucket

Slow and steady wins the race. But jogging slowly when you want to sprint is the hard part.

Doing things step-by-step isn’t usually how we think of getting through our “bucket list.” The proverbial list is filled with activities like world travel or skydiving. My bucket holds travel (been around a few times), education (I’ve completed degrees), and a novel and/or writing career (not there yet). 2016 is the year I’d like to finish the novel I’ve been working on. On a not-totally-unrelated note, I’d also like to clean up the flotsam in my house. All of this clutter cuts into my concentration.
picture with an Alexander Graham Bell quote: "The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion."
These types of tasks can be done, I suppose, in a feverish binge over the course of a month. I’ve tried that approach, but it usually swears me away from the activity for a long time. A daily practice of writing and organizing gives me the best chance of crossing these things off the list.

Plainly put, my 2016 resolutions are to write more and get more organized. Writing more means more blogging on this and a hyperlocal blog I maintain, along with daily work on the novel. To get both of these tasks done means daily exercise, even if it is just a 30 minute walk (you’d be surprised how much physical fitness is tied into creativity).

I’m also taking on 2 365-Day projects (officially 366 for the LEAP Year!): The first daily project is a-craft-a-day, which keeps my creativity going and also is organizing-via-depletion of my craft supplies (which are legion). The second daily project is 15-minute Home Organization projects. I found a calendar online that gives daily tasks that can be performed in one-quarter hour.

Part of the discipline of daily tasks, especially organizing, is to prevent “project creep.” 15 minutes means 15 minutes. For example, the project today was to organize the kitchen utensil drawer. One drawer. Not the junk drawer, not the pantry. Those are for another day. Small wins are key, but they also are addictive. Although we may want to tackle the other kitchen spaces, discipline has to push us toward the day’s next task.

Of course full immersion can be fun occasionally. National Novel Writing Month is 30-day craziness everyone should try once. Writers’ retreats are quite helpful, too. Removing distractions when you’re on deadline is great. But I’m not away; I’m home, trying to balance work and family life. The best way to achieve that balance is to allot each goal some time each day. Slow and steady writes the book, clears the cabinets, and fills buckets.


Some Other 365-Day Projects

I’ve tried the 365 thing once before, of course, and it didn’t stick

2016 15-Minute Daily Declutter Calendar

My Pinterest Board of Finished Crafts

My Pinterest Board of Finished Org Projects (I’ve done 3 so far but just now had the idea to post pics somewhere. I’ll fill it in).

Also posting them on Instagram. Follow me there as @purplecar_cc


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amanda Rush 3 January 2016, 11:18 pm

    I think breaking all your goals into fifteen-minute daily chunks is a great idea, and I may even try it myself. Good luck on everything!

    • Christine Cavalier 4 January 2016, 12:29 pm

      Amanda – Hey WP-er! Don’t look too closely at my design. LOL.

      Yes small steps are worth a try, don’t you think? Remember to set a timer or something though. I tend to resent the task after a few days if I spend TOO much time on it one day, putting the rest of my schedule out of whack. It’s silly, of course, because I’m the one screwing up the routine, but the temptation to “get it all done at once” or the draw of more small wins (especially in organizing. I *lurrrve* organizing) is too strong to fight off. An alarm helps me. Good luck and let me know how it goes! -PC