I woke up this morning fully intending to get my photographer’s site launched.

It’s 6:40 pm and it’s still not live. So what happened?

Got up late. Had breakfast, discussed some logos I’m working on with my husband (one of my best critics) and turned on the computer. Turned on Tweetdeck, checked the mail. Not a lot of mail (a good thing) and not a lot happening on Twitter.

Looked again at the Twitter background I’d made last night. I didn’t like it anymore. So of course… I started working on a new one.

At 11:30 am I realized I was supposed to be at my client’s at 1:00 for our prelaunch meeting.

Set up the production folder for him – dumped in the contract and web design worksheet, added in some beginning blogging tips, created the access & logins page (I do this for every client) and made a dump of his WordPress database.

Opened up Illustrator and made the prints for my Jewelbox cases. Printed, perfed, one misprint – did that one over.

Burned two CD’s (one for me, one for the client) containing all the production docs and website files. Then I discovered it was set to ISO rather than Joliet and all the files had been capitalized and renamed.

Burned two more CD’s. Filed one, snugged the other with its label into the Jewelbox. Got all my stuff together.

I was late – I warned him I would be, and he was fine with that. Sat there for almost two hours going over the docs and files, WordPress training, and getting some professional and much appreciated waterfowl photography tips (one of the benefits of doing photography websites). Left.

Had a phone call with a colleage that lasted about 25 minutes, discussing a project we are going to be collaborating on.

Went to get lunch – by then it was 3:45. Fish tacos at Rubio’s.

Got home at 4:45. Fed the dogs. Sat down and finished my Twitter background, loaded it up. Sent out two invoices to other clients, answered emails, got my list of stuff to do tomorrow all organized in PlanPlus. Now I’m writing in my blog and it’s 6:50.

My plan tomorrow – first thing I get that photography site up. Really.

I keep my to do list in Franklin Covey Plan Plus, which I really like. But I’ve noticed that my to do list has never actually gotten any smaller. Whenever I seem to get it cleaned out and down to just a couple of items (things that, typically, I’m waiting on an outside party to complete), five more things spring up. Or ten. Or…

I read an article this week about to do lists that made me think about mine. The point of a to do list, the author wrote, is not to finish, but to prioritize.

This is rather profound, especially if you’re the kind of person that keeps an unordered list of the things you think of while driving around, talking on the phone, having breakfast, reading the paper, etc. That unordered list – is it really valuable, without any focus?

My planning software has a neat function built in, in that you can code items in the to do list. The default is A, B, C and 1, 2, 3. That is, an item coded A1 would be higher in priority than A2. And you can enter as many numbers or letters as you like.

I’ve mentally categorized my system like so:

  • A = work stuff that is client-related – tasks to complete or start or work on
  • B = business stuff that isn’t client-related, like office matters and insurance appointments
  • C = personal stuff (why is this one last? hmm?)

This seems to work well. But lately I’ve noticed that I’ve started throwing things into my list as just A’s, B’s or C’s, without numbers (or, with no priority).

This is a bad idea. I used to diligently number them, but it’s been so crazy busy the last few weeks I haven’t taken the time. One day this week I wound up with 11 A’s with no hint of the order I should try to work on them.

So… today I deemed my business cleanup day. I actually went through and got all my accounting in order (that is a major accomplishment for me) and started moving all my client data over into a new database. Both of those tasks have been on my list for months.

And I took a look at Plan Plus and put numbers on the A’s – all ten of them. Plan Plus is cool because it shows you the items in order, once you number them. Now I see what I need to do next, not just overwhelmingly what I have failed to finish all in a pile of A’s.

Does this mean that I’ll diligently follow through 1, 2, 3 in order? Nope. I just looked at the first item on the list and thought ‘this is Sunday, I’m not doing that for that client on a Sunday…’

I moved a piano downstairs this morning all by myself.

Well, not really a piano. It’s a Yamaha keyboard I received as a gift last Christmas.

My parents had a small piano, a real one, when I was a kid. I played around with it from time to time, and made a few concerted efforts to learn from the pile of old instruction books stored in the seat, but that eventually faded in lieu of the guitar. I took a few years of guitar lessons but never got better than adequate – although I still have two guitars…Continue reading