Saturday, June 11, 2011

The one-hour rule, pared down to fit a crazy summer schedule

WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - When things get too complicated (too many things to do, seemingly not enough time), I revert to what I call the one-hour rule.

For one hour, I focus entirely on whatever task/issue/job I choose. And during that time, no checking emails, (or Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin). No going outside to check on the status of the slowly growing tomato plants. No endless trips to the teapot for just a little more beverage.

It is amazing what can be accomplished in a focused hour.

But that rule does take, well, an hour to implement and so today, an experiment is underway: do the same thing, but in half-hour chunks.

That leaves me approximately 22 minutes to finish this blog. That's an endless vista, almost.

On the writing front, here in upstate New York, I have been successful in publishing a dozen pieces in two local newspapers, the Elmira Star Gazette and the Watkins Glen Review and Express. Neither would be confused with the New York Times, but then, the vast majority of people in this town do not read the NY Times.

But they do read these local papers. And they read them closely.

Other good writing news: a national magazine - Dog Fancy - has taken a piece from me about our Mexican foster dog Mia, currently living with our amiga Laura outside Guadalajara, Mexico.

Even my half-written novel (The Talking Mime) is on the to-do list, with an August finish date, a half-hour at a time.

And one new book (long in planning) has crept into a priority position: 18 Hours to Madrid.

But that's a topic for another column.

I only have 15 minutes left, and I need to throw a few graphics in this piece.

The half-hour rule, rules.