Blogger: Mary Keeley
This week my daughter emailed a photo of our dear grandchildren forming the dough for our family’s most cherished Christmas cookies. My first thought when I saw it was, Really . . . you’re that on top of things? As if I hadn’t begun to feel the seasonal stress rise up the back of my neck already. I suspect it’s creeping up on you too. Time for a checklist—a plan—and then let the juggling begin between now and the end of the year.
Juggling is a perfect word picture, suggested by a client. When you’re juggling successfully, all three balls (or for our purposes, to-dos) stay in the air, continually in motion. I’ll identify them as our career ball, our ministry ball, and our family ball. A checklist for each one will help us to personalize and manage our individual to-do items to keep that ball from dropping.
- Polish proposal to send to agent before Thanksgiving.
- Finish and/or organize research for next book; begin to map out chapters.
- Continue personal interaction with social media and followers; post a heartfelt thank-you on Thanksgiving or greeting close to Christmas.
- Send a Thanksgiving and/or Christmas eCard to everyone on email list.
- Finish filling in marketing form for publisher; ask about scheduling marketing conference call with marketing team; find out when agent is available to participate.
- Stay connected with industry by visiting industry, agency, and author blogs as much as time permits.
- Visit agency and publisher websites and do a spreadsheet listing each one’s submission guidelines.
- Organize desk and files, hard copy and electronic; archive old material.
- Update industry contact information.
- Purchase a craft book, novel or nonfiction book, and a classic to read in quiet moments over the holidays.
- Visit a soup kitchen or homeless shelter; serve, bring cheer and interact with others. Learn about others’ lives in the process. Go home and record observations and insights for possible use in a future book.
- Make list of commitments made to bring treats to church, adult and children’s Sunday school classes, book groups, etc.
- Stay connected to writer friends, offering encouragement, challenge, and supporting them; help another writer promote his or her new book release; offer to critique a new writer’s proposal…free, as a friend.
Family and Friends
- Identify the most meaningful way you can show your love and personal connection with each of your family members and start implementing them.
- Organize and route shopping trips and place online orders early to get gift buying out of the way early.
- Load in baking supplies to be ready to bake a batch of cookies whenever a break from work is needed. Purchase freezer containers, if necessary.
- Plan social activities with family and friends; post list of every family member’s church, school, and sports schedule on refrigerator; review daily.
- Establish an attitude of flexibility starting now, to be available when family and friends need you—for whatever.
- Decorate to create a warm, festive, memory-making, family tradition.
- Get extra sleep in order to accomplish all the above.
And we who are doing the juggling need to keep our hands and arms fit and agile by feeding and refreshing our souls. In all the busyness, let’s not neglect time in God’s Word. He’s what we’re all about. Stay connected.
Which to-do ball needs your extra attention right now? Which items do you need to modify to personalize them for yourself? What have I missed?
Do you have suggestions for any of the items or and additional one that have been special time-savers for you?
Manage seasonal stress juggling writing, ministry, and family commitments with these checklists. Click to Tweet.