It’s about one-third of the way through November, and I’ve already had a busy month thus far. Every year I know once Halloween has passed, my winter holiday preparations will begin and there will never be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I wish to do. This is why I am disappointed in myself today. Instead of working on any of my many projects, I spent a lazy day in front of the TV and laptop and did quite a bit of pleasure reading too.
I often find it difficult to stick to my goals when things get busy for me. Even if I don’t feel overwhelmed to the point of stress, it is difficult for me to focus on any one thing when I have multiple projects with similar levels of priority. They all need to be done within a certain time period, but none of them outranks the others. This leaves plenty of room for indecision and figuring out how to justify working on one project over the others. Attempting to balance my personal projects against group projects makes the situation worse as I tend to feel guilty for working on my own things when there is work to be done on group projects.
Having wasted today, I know I’ll be more motivated to make progress during the rest of the week. However, I also know this will be difficult as I won’t have another free evening until Friday. But I plan on spending part of the next few days multi-tasking. Whether things work out the way I hope is yet to be seen because much of my work this week is dependent on other people. This is why I like to have backup plans when it comes to achieving progress during the winter holidays. If other people fail to come through when I’m ready to work with them, then I can move on to other parts of other projects.
My goals for the month include finishing the editing on my first completed novel manuscript, determining the percussion parts I’ll play for the Christmas concerts and services I’ll be participating in this year, and helping to coordinate a local charity project or two. There are also dinners, outings, and other gatherings to plan, and the typical holiday shopping to do. While many of these projects will include work that bleeds into next month, none of them should be left until the last minute.
There is also a great deal of work I can do on my own. Editing is an obvious solo venture, but music practice includes hours of going over sheet music and listening to demo CDs outside of group practices. Eventually I’ll rewrite percussion parts to better compliment the limited equipment I have and the instruments I know others in my group will be playing. The charity work I intend to help with will include developing informative handouts and displays explaining how others can help us achieve our goals. I also have plans for post-holiday charity projects to put together.
None of these projects seem like much on their own, but when they’re dogpiled on top of each other during a time of year busy with family gatherings and celebrations, time quickly gets eaten up by even the smallest of responsibilities and activities. The main goal I need to keep in mind during the coming weeks is to focus on making progress on something each day, even if it’s not what I hoped to achieve when I woke up that morning. I can’t tie myself to strict timelines when it comes to projects with other people, but I can find ways to keep moving forward.