How does it make you feel?
I know, I know: it sounds like something you’d hear at a therapist’s office. At least that’s what they ask in the movies. Movies aside thought, try keeping a feelings journal.
The best way to examine what you’ve done (especially if it’s been a while since you’ve done it) and where that’s taken you is by writing it down. All the pros and cons for all the tasks/activities: your updates schedule, talking to your readers, writing, editing, working out, cooking… Everything. Just grab a notebook, draw a line from top to bottom in the middle of the page, write in one column the task/activity and in the other how it made you feel.
(in Task/Activity) Creating graphics for my books | (in How It Made Me Feel) Fun for a while, but makes me irritated if I work on it too long
By doing this you’ll see which tasks make you happy and which put a strain on you. Once you’ve discovered that, ask yourself “Are the tasks that stress me out necessary?”
If they aren’t, stop doing them. If they are: one (when possible), reduce the times you take those tasks on; two, combine them with tasks you enjoy so the positive activities would balance out the negativity from the unpleasant tasks.
Let’s say that you enjoy dancing and that you have to create a lot of promotional graphics for your books, but you get irritated after working on images for a long time. First, don’t do it all in one day; do half of the work one day and the other half – on the next. Second, make time for dancing (pleasant activity) on the days you work on the graphics (unpleasant activity).
Maybe something like forty minutes of working on images, followed by twenty minutes of dancing to your favorite songs, then another forty minutes of image manipulation and then thirty minutes of dancing on Day 1. If it worked, repeat it on Day 2; if it didn’t, either dance more or exchange dancing with another stress-reducing activity.
Write down in the journal how it all went and when in time you have to create new promotional materials, look at your journal and remind yourself of what helped you reduce the irritation of graphics creation and what didn’t.
PS: Another version of this journal is with three columns – task/activity, how it made me feel, notes/conclusion.
(Task/Activity) Updating my blog on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays | (How It Made Me Feel) A set schedule keeps things tidy and I stress less | (Notes/Conclusion) This helps me out so I should stick to it.