You probably remember that Stephanie, a Flash Fiction Fridays contributor, has recently released her second novel, Love Unlisted. Here is your chance to win a copy. Just comment at the end of this post, and you will automatically be entered in the contest. It’s that easy. The winner will be announced on 12/14.
And now, I proudly present...Stephanie Haddad.
As the work-from-home mother of a toddler, poor organization can make my life implode. Staying “on top of my game” means good note-taking, a strong work ethic, and lots of discipline. I explored some of the finer points of organization through my heroine, Grace Shields, in my romance novel, Love Unlisted. In it, readers get to see inside the mind of a woman truly compelled by organization, as she makes lists for everything—including the pros and cons of her intended hero.
Grace is a bit compulsive. And while I admit that part of her neuroses is based on my own truth, I’m not that bad with my Type A tendencies. But staying organized is an important piece of my everyday life, especially with the holidays on the horizon. Between family parties, friendly get-togethers, and all that shopping, I can’t afford to lose time anywhere. There are just too many deadlines and not enough toddler naps in my life.
If you need to keep your life in order as much as I do, here are some of the tips to help you survive until the new year.
Make lists. Grace makes lots of lists, for seemingly inane things, but she does have the right idea. When I make a list, it helps me to keep my thoughts focused. Without all that junk rattling around in my brain, I can take one task at a time. Prioritize your to-do list for the day then move through it, line by line.
Set goals. In Love Unlisted, Grace turns a bad breakup around for herself with a list called “New Vows of Singlehood.” On it, she sets goals for her personal life, health, career, and love life… some of which are impossible to keep. For yourself, make realistic goals that you can stick to: “I will write 1000 words every day!” or “I will run three miles on the treadmill, three times a week!” Set a goal for whatever you want to reach for and decide the best way to complete it.
Be flexible. The holidays can throw your daily schedules and to-do lists for a loop. Instead of getting frazzled, learn to adapt and be flexible. Sometimes my daughter only naps for 45 minutes, instead of her usual 2 ½ hours. When this happens, I get flustered at first, but then I make a plan to find extra time later. I ask my husband for help or call a friend to come and play with her for an hour somewhere during the week. Staying organized has to include preparing (or dealing with) disorganization in your life, so don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it!
As you struggle to balance everything during the holidays, remember also to take some time for yourself. If you have to, write in on your calendar or to-do list, do it. No matter how much you’re juggling, taking time for you is the best way to refresh, recharge, and prepare to tackle that giant pile of work.
Love Unlisted is available on amazon.com and Smashwords.