We have talked, here on Just Effing, about many ways to stay motivated and to try to wrestle some writing discipline into your life. But there is one aspect we haven’t talked about in a very long while and it has nothing to do with writing – taking – no – MAKING the time to organize your computer.
When I have something particularly challenging to do of a Wednesday, I approach the task in a way that I call “setting the table” – meaning I make sure everything in order, in my favor, ready to go so that the task can be completed with a minimum of surprises or annoyances. I set the table to maximize my time and probable success. Nothing creates stress more than wanting or needing to complete a task and getting waylaid by stupid annoyances – like not being able to FIND your file, document, etc.
2013 is coming to a close (What?! I know. Weird.) and 2014 promises to be another chance to bring balance into your life and get your writing front and center. Scripts to write, competitions to enter, queries to send, classes and lectures to attend – the sky’s the limit.
So why not take a day – nay – an afternoon, really – to care for your computer and your computer files. You can do it, pour a big cup of coffee (or two) and let’s do some housekeeping:
-Make sure your computer is being backed up weekly.
-Clean off and organize your desktop.
-Empty your trash folder.
-Clean your cookie cache.
-Organize your files.
We’ll pause on that one. Do you have all of your scripts, short stories etc. organized in such a way that you can easily find them? Do you need to rename some files or create some new folders? Are there any files you’ve kept for far too long?
How about your email inbox? Shall we even go there? Delete your spam and emails you are done viewing or have responded to. If you use gmail or a similarly awesome email platform, create labels (aka folders) for your various email correspondence. That way you can easily track which queries you have sent, who replied and what they said. Clean that inbox UP and make it work FOR you not against you.
Honestly, put a lasagne in the oven, sit and spend maybe – MAYBE 3 or 4 hours on this fall cleaning task, and you will breathe a sigh of relief when you are done. Now your computer is organized, backed up and nicely sorted out for your ease. Sit down with your lasagne and raise a glass of wine to yourself. Tomorrow – you write.
Here is a link with more tips and even some software to help you get and stay organized!
If you think you need a little more help: I cannot recommend enough the mad, master genius, Gregory Madore, who has been my savior when problems arise with this website since its inception. His business is called TECH90 and he’s quite reasonable. I honestly wouldn’t trust anyone else with my computer needs. Greg works remotely, too, so you can live anywhere in the world and experience his magical solutions.
If you live in Los Angeles and environs: and want some help getting your entire ABODE organized, I must recommend a very wonderful friend, Tracy McCubbin of the renowned DClutterfly.
Happy Autumn and happy organizing!
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