How can a list be so powerful? I mean, it's not a law, or anything, that you have to do everything on your list, but--at least on a day-to-day level--there is nothing more glorious than a list fully checked.People often ask me how I manage to do so much. Well, I'm not Superwoman or one of those people who don't require much sleep. (I need eight hours minimum.) What I do have, though, is The List. The key is to make your list manageable. Don't write Paint The House on your list. Write: Decide on Color. (next line) Buy the Paint (next line) Mask the Windows in the Living Room (next line) Remove the Switch Covers in the Living Room.... You need a separate line for each semi-major step in each room or you're not getting enough ch-check! therapy. (It is therapy, too, excellent for your soul and your productivity, so don't deny yourself.) Writing a novel is like painting the house. You need to break it down into manageable steps and give yourself ample ch-check! therapy along the way. And since most of us spend our days juggling more than we can really manage, it's easy to have Write Three Pages (or whatever a reasonable goal for your circumstances might be) never make it onto the list. So put it there. Somewhere between Water Plants and Soccer Practice put Write Three Pages. Somewhere between Take Out Trash and Call Landlord put Write Three Pages. If it's something you want to do, add it to the list of things you have to do.
If you're anything like me, it's the only way you'll get it done.