(I think this is a great advice that can be used in any area of life, not just for those who are managing a writing schedule)
People ask me all the time how I get so much done. There’s an easy answer, but it’s not very helpful. The easy answer is that I “put the big rocks in first.”
I’m sure everybody has heard the parable about the guy who puts a bunch of big rocks into a bucket. The bucket looks full, but it isn’t, because he then pours in a bunch of gravel around the big rocks. The bucket now looks full, but it still isn’t, because he then pours in a bunch of sand around the gravel. The bucket now looks really full, but it isn’t, because he then pours in some water that soaks into the sand. And now the bucket is finally, really full. The moral of the story is to put the big rocks in first.
Yeah, yeah, sure, nice parable.
But how do you do that, in practical terms?
Here’s what I do:
1) Every morning, my first task is open up my Business Journal and make a list of the Big Rocks for the day. These are the main categories of tasks I’ll be working on. Typically, these are things like the following:
* Web site
* Day Job
2) If any of the Big Rocks have some obvious smaller subtasks, then I list those subtasks. In rare cases, I may need to break down the subtasks into even smaller tasks, but generally there’s no reason to go that deep.