What My Top 5 Focus Tasks Are

Last year, I wrote a post that discussed the merits of picking your Top 5 Tasks/Projects to focus on.

Many of us are easily distracted by Shiny Object Syndrome that has us flitting from one thing to another.  Developing enough focus to truly commit to a project or task can be hard.

The premise of the 5 Focus Tasks is that these are the ones you truly commit to and you DO NOT take on any other tasks until these are completed.

In that blog post, I asked you about your tasks, what 5 would make your list.  However, I never shared mine.  I decided to make a separate post for mine, as a way of giving it accountability.

Also, because I had been toying with the idea of Planning my Whole Year, I wanted to get my thoughts in order on whether it was do-able and thus plan my 5 tasks into that.

So here are my 5 Focus Tasks.

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Writing

Blog Image - Fountain pen resting on an open notepad. Writing.

It should come as no shock that Writing is on top of my list.  However, “writing” is a pretty vague term.

So to be extra clear, this task includes the following:

  • Dark Hart
  • The Blessed
  • A Coming Storm

Now you may be thinking, “wait, that’s three tasks”, but to me, it’s not.  The reason for this is that Dark Hart draft 1 is already written, so it’s in an editing phase.  The Blessed is being written and A Coming Storm is in planning.

It helps me to have my writing at different stages, as it forces me to let one sit for a while as I mess with another… otherwise I would probably just edit my MS to death.  It’s a forced step-back.

Also, I only work on each of the manuscripts at one time.  Currently, The Blessed is taking all my time while I complete draft 1.  Once that is complete I’ll put it aside and finish the edits of Dark Hart.

Originally, I would write and edit all three at the same time – that is NOT effective so I’ve stopped doing that.  (See, I learn!)

Focusing on just these three novels means the dozen+* novel ideas are all on my Someday/Maybe list.  And wow, doing that was tough!

*I’m counting things like series’/trilogies as one, otherwise I’d be in high-double-figures.

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Shop

Blog Image - Laptop with "online Shopping" written across the screen. Small shopping cart full of presents. Ecommerce

This may seem like a strange one because technically running a shop doesn’t have a finish point unless I close up shop.

However, I have a specific plan for my shop that means it will hopefully get to a point where it’s running more efficiently and generating more money on a reduced workweek and ticking over nicely.

Once that happens, I will be able to move it off my Focus Task list and bring in another.

I have other business ideas but these have been relegated to my Someday/Maybe list until I am satisfied with how my shop is running.

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Videos

Blog Image - Vector image of a monitor with video platform

One project I really enjoy is making videos.  Whether it’s classes, tutorials, marketing/promo vids etc I’ve been having fun creating them.

So I have added this to my Focus Tasks.  Mostly it’s about getting to grips with the new software I’m using and figuring out the best method to create them so I don’t lose large swathes of time fixing issues I shouldn’t have had in the first place.

Similar to the one above, this doesn’t exactly have a finish date as I will continue to make videos, but it’s a Focus Task because I want to get to a point where I’m comfortable and confident with a system and with using all the equipment.

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Purge

Blog Image - stacks of cardboard boxes with the words Lots of Stuff in the middle.

Something that often gets pushed back while I fill my time with other things, is our house purge.  Even before we moved, we had been trying to cut back on our possessions.

In truth, I’ve struggled with a hoarding compulsion and while I’ve made massive strides to overcome my issues, and consider myself a “recovering hoarder” and not an ex-hoarder, I’m not there yet.

It takes a lot of effort to deal with the overwhelm and anxiety that comes up when paring possessions down.

However, since we bought our own house last year, I’ve made a promise to go through every item.  We are so close, but with everything that happened last year, it fell to the wayside.

We have a plan in place for purging through every room this year and this is one of my most important tasks.

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Secret Project

Blog Image - Top Secret folder with Top Secret stamped on it in red

If you get my newsletter or read my January Goals blog post, you will have heard me mention a secret project.

I am currently working on one with a friend and because it’s something we’ve both wanted to do for a while, this was given a place on my Focus Tasks.

Stay tuned, information about this will be coming up in the next few months.

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Someday/Maybe

Blog Image - a pile of white question marks with a single red question mark on top

So, what am I not working on?  Here are a few of the things I have relegated to my Someday/Maybe list and have stopped working on them:

  • Learning photography
  • Learning piano
  • Archery
  • Art
  • Pottery
  • Pyrography
  • Opening a second shop

Some of these I had wanted to get back into, some I wanted to start.  But I made the (difficult) decision that they will just have to wait.

~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~

Friday update: 16,321 words (tracking my word count for the 85K Writing Challenge).

Share your Thoughts image.

Happy writing

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15 comments

  1. Well done Ari!
    I see that you have relegated a number of fun things to the Someday/Maybe list. Don’t forget that having a fun hobby is very important for our well-being and we need to have hobbies that are not connected with our work. I hope you have a couple of these for when you aren’t focusing on your main tasks ❤

    1. Thanks Clare. Oh I definitely have some fun hobbies too 🙂 But they are just simple, easy to do ones where I don’t have to think too much for them… like going out on our walks with a camera to snap some pictures of nature. I am still doing that 🙂 Been lucky to catch the current starling murmuration 🙂

  2. I hope you get to complete these and more. Just remember to take some breaks. (I think you already scheduled that in.)

    I have a couple of things I am focusing on, but like yours, they don’t really have an end date. I hope I never stop writing. Yes, it’s one of my priorities this year and it makes me happy.

    1. How is the writing going, Sam? I was doing really well with the 85K challenge then during last week’s Unwind Week, it all unravelled and now I’m really behind lol

    1. Thanks Kate and so sorry for the delay in replying. I just can’t seem to keep up with comments at the moment. It has definitely been easier focusing 5 specific tasks and blocking my time for them. 🙂

    1. Thanks 🙂 I am the same, I love seeing people’s organising methods and then if I think they’ll work for me, I give them a try. 🙂

      Sorry for the delay in replying, I blinked and am suddenly very behind on my comments!

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