Reading + Writing Goals – July + August

I cannot believe another two months have already passed, and that it is time to update you all on how I did with my goals for May and June! Let me just start by saying…May and June were not my most productive months, but you know what, sometimes that is how it goes. All you can do is work hard on your next handful of goals and try the best you can for those months. Let’s go over what I did and didn’t accomplish for my last set of bimonthly goals, and then let’s take a look at my goals for the months of July and August!

May + June Goals Overview:

  • Read 8 Books – Sadly I did not achieve this but I was so, so, so close! I ended up reading a total of 7 books, and was literally only 40 pages off from finishing my eighth book but ended up reading those pages the next day, which was July 1st. If I realized I was so close to achieving that goal, I would have pushed myself to finish it but what can you do?
  • Get Accepted into uStart – This is a program at my school that allows you to take a university class during your grade 12 year and I am happy to say I did achieve this goal! This was a “out of my hands” goal but I really wanted to put it on my goals list because I had high hopes I would get in, and I did so yay! I will be taking a first year writing class (Writing 100) and I am super excited.
  • Finish Draft 1 of My WIP – I also achieved this…kind of. I wrote what I could and am now currently working on draft 2 and ugh, it is so much fun. I wrote my first draft during Camp NaNoWriMo in April, and then wrote into May so if I keep up this pace, I am on my way to finishing draft 2 either in July or August.
  • Submit to 3 Writing Contests – Yeah, nope. I submitted to one but then got really busy but I am not too upset about that.
  • Submit to 1 Literary Magazine – …nope. Again, I just ran out of time!
  • Prep for Editing WIP Draft 2 – I did this! Mind you, it was during the last week of June but I did it, and feel more prepped and ready to dive into draft 2 then I did with draft 1.

Anyways, so I completed a solid 50% of my goals which is more than I originally thought. But without further ado, let’s take a look at my goals for the months of July and August!

July + August Goals

  • Finish Draft 2 of My WIP
  • Submit to 1 Writing Contest
  • Submit to 1 Literary Magazine
  • Write 3 NEW Short Stories (at least)
  • Read 12 Books

On top of these five goals, I have two personal goals which brings me to a total of seven goals. While it is a LOT less than what I usually have, I want to give myself a lighter load for the summer. Also because this summer I want to steer my focus on finishing draft 2 of my WIP and putting together my writing portfolios for writing scholarships so overall, it will still be a busy two months.

Anyways, that is all for this blog post, and I also wanted to say sorry for not having one up on Monday. I talked about it a bit on my Instagram (shameless self-promo-but check out my social media, all linked below!) but my mental health was really spiraling on Sunday and I just wasn’t in the mood to do anything creative. I feel a lot better now and am writing for Camp NaNoWriMo and ready to pump out some more blog posts as well 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

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Tips on Productivity

This blog post isn’t just directed towards being more productive writing or reading wise, but how to be more productive in every aspect of your life. These tips can be applied to your personal or work life, and will help you achieve more each day!

Step 1: Planning

  • Brainstorm All Your To-Dos – Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down everything you want to accomplish either today or this week. Don’t worry about the order of “most important to least important”, just get all your To-Dos on paper so you can see them.
  • Organize To-Dos Based on Feeling and Deadlines – Deadlines are important, but if you force yourself to complete tasks you really don’t want to do, your productivity levels will only go down. Of course, if it is something you have to get done, then do it, but if you can complete your to-dos based on what you feel like. You will be surprised how much you will accomplish.
  • Create Smaller Lists – Once you have organized your To-Dos based on feeling and deadline, separate these tasks into smaller lists for each day. If you look down and have a massive To-Do list for only one day, it will be daunting and might even make you anxious to begin. So, only tackle the things that are due that day or the next, meaning that each day will only consist of a few tasks.

Step 2: Tasking

  • Work Your Way Down Your List – Now it is a time to actually start being productive. Pick an item off the list that you feel like doing, or maybe really, really need to do, and do it. Don’t think about it because then you might end up talking yourself out of that task, or losing any trace of motivation you once had to do it.
  • Take Breaks – The last thing we need is to burnout after being super productive (or not), so it is important to take breaks. Maybe you work better in shorter sprints of work, and if so, think about taking a 5 minute break every 20 minutes. If you are like me and work better in the longer sessions, take a 10 minute break every 45 minutes to an hour. This will reduce the risk of burnout and you will be able to continue being productive!
  • Reward Yourself – If you had a lot of things on your To-Do list and you accomplished most of them, if not all, reward yourself! Some days it is hard to complete even one or two things on your list, so relish in the days that are a success. After a while this will train your mind to get excited, or at least motivated, to tackle your To-Do list with the idea that something will be waiting for you at the end. Some examples of rewards that I choose are:
    • 30-60 minutes of TV or reading time
    • A coffee or tea
    • A longer break of doing nothing

Those are my tips for being more productive, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog posts and also follow me on social media so I can follow you back 🙂

Last Blog Post: May 2018 TBR

Other Places You Can Find Me:

Twitter:@zoermathers

Instagram: @zoematherswrites

Tumblr: @zoematherswrites

Pinterest: @zoermathers