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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6 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 ❤

  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.

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