© Gaye Wilson 2007
Well, I didn’t post yesterday, as I had intended. I had to do the grocery shopping yesterday, amid hordes of post-Christmas shoppers, and didn’t get home until half the afternoon was gone. I did manage to get some editing on the project done, and I made sure I had reached the original target for the day before I knocked off. This means that I am where I should be according to my original time estimate, but am behind on the revised estimate of doing extra pages each day.

Therefore, the strategy mentioned in my previous post about doing more than the daily target whenever possible has paid off. I’m on schedule, even though I had to do some extra-curricular activity yesterday and could not put in all the hours.

This leads to another point. When I was planning the daily targets, I didn’t take into account the possibility of doing anything else. I didn’t factor in the shopping trip, nor did I factor in the possibility of a computer crash.

Which is what happened today.

I logged onto the computer and the internet this morning to update this blog, and the computer froze. I rebooted, and it wouldn’t. Boot, I mean. The local computer shop was singularly unhelpful over the phone, insisting that I bring the computer in. No, they couldn’t possibly take me through the BIOS setup over the phone to see if the problem could be fixed that way. Grrrr. The computer shop is a one hour round trip away. If a phone call could fix the problem, that would save me two hours of travelling, two days of no internet connection (because I’m sure they will insist on a 48 hour turnaround for what is probably a simple problem), and some aggravation.

So, the blog isn’t being updated today. It’s being written today, but won’t be uploaded today. I discovered this morning, looking at WordPress for Dummies (more about this fantastic book later), that I can change the date of a post, either to a future date or a past date. I’m sure I’m going to be using that facility to post this entry, when I get the computer working again.

Oh, how can I be writing this on a dead computer? I’m not. I’m doing it on an AlphaSmart 3000. More about this nifty device later, too.

Lucky I have another, non-internet connected computer to do my editing work today, and that I backed up last night. Well, not lucky, exactly. Yet another strategy to lead to victory.

© Gaye Wilson 2007
Christmas is over, and I’m back at work.

Yesterday I did five more pages than my goal number. Today I did two pages more than my goal.

Why?

Because of the tight timeframe for this project, I need to ensure that I finish it on time. The All Paths To Victory Strategy states that you do whatever it takes to complete your goal. In this case, the daily goals I set myself originally were best-case-scenario. If something happened to make me miss a daily goal, the whole project would be in jeopardy.

A case in point. We had a thunderstorm today. Thunderstorms are not good for computers, and I’m doing this job on the computer. I had to shut the computer down and unplug it while the storm was around. If we get another one tomorrow, the time available to work will again be shortened.

So this is the second strategy I am employing to get this job done: do more than the daily goal, if possible.

Tomorrow I will post the third strategy to completing a goal.

 

© Gaye Wilson 2007
Well, I did 30 pages yesterday instead of 25 before I had to stop and do Christmassy things, and am now up to page 75 of the manuscript.

I discovered that having a specific number of pages to complete for the day was a very powerful focus for me. Whenever I got tired or distracted, I remembered that I had to meet a (self-imposed) quota, and that if I didn’t meet the quota today I would be behind for the rest of the project, probably submit it late, and have a very unhappy client.

I don’t want unhappy clients. I want happy ones who rave about my service.

So, two days of meeting a quota feels good. The project is on schedule, and now I can have a day off to celebrate Christmas with my family.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

 

© Gaye Wilson 2007
Christmas is only a day away, but I’m working very hard on a rush editing job. I have to edit and format (including standardising the bibliography) 350 pages of academic research, and I have to get it done by 9th January. I only just got the job yesterday. And it’s Christmas time!

Editing takes a long time. Formatting bibliographies takes a long time.

So how am I going to do it?

The whole job looks overwhelming and the timeframe is a nightmare. It needs to be chunked down. I find numbers very soothing in circumstances like this.

So I’ve counted the pages and the days I have to do it in. I figure if I edit 25 pages per day, I might just make it. But that means I don’t do anything else in that time. I’ve allowed myself Christmas Day off.

We’ll see how it goes.

 

© Gaye Wilson 2007

I started this blog initially as a way for me to keep an online diary or journal of my various projects, noting how I do things, and ways I can make myself more productive. The name (and the quote under it) comes from a Lois McMaster Bujold science fiction novel (The Vor Game), where a character declares that the prudent person takes all paths to victory, in order to ensure that victory.

When I was discussing this with a colleague, she started to argue with me about the interpretation of that quote. She thought that taking all paths would be a waste of time, that changing direction would be a waste of time, or that this presupposes that you can’t change your mind and direction.

I disagree. I think, in this world of distractions and busyness, ensuring that all paths you take will lead to your goals is uberproductivity.

By this I mean that you should ensure that everything you do will lead you closer to your goal – your victory – whatever that is. I don’t mean that you should try something, then try something else, then something else, and expect to achieve anything other than scatteredness. By all means, try something, and if it doesn’t work after a jolly good go at it, try to achieve your goal in another way. Learn from your mistakes.

Another way to look at it is to use multiple approaches to accomplishing the one goal. For instance, learning a foreign language. Reading a grammar book will not teach you a new language in a hurry. If, on the other hand, you employ several different but complementary strategies, such as going to classes, using flash cards, taping vocabulary words all over the house, watching the news in the new language, speaking to native speakers in the new language, playing word games, reading children’s books in the new language, using foreign language software etc. etc., then you have a far better chance of learning to actually use the language than you will by reading a grammar book.

Do you see the difference?

What do you think?

I’m evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.   

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.

Hello world!

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© Gaye Wilson 2007
Isn’t that the standard opening when starting a new blog? Something like Dear Diary, only available for millions of pairs of eyes instead of only one.

Welcome to All Paths To Victory!

 This blog will be thoughts on how to set and achieve goals, no matter what. It will talk about the various projects in my life, and how I get them done. It will look at various methods of ensuring that I achieve the goals I set for myself. It will talk about productivity, tools, mindset, planning, project management, time management, health, life balance and anything that is relevant to achieving goals.

My name is Gaye Wilson, and I am a professional life coach and editor.

As a coach, I specialise in coaching research students (at master’s and doctorate level, mostly) to finish their degrees quicker and easier. Typically, researchers come to me with all sorts of issues surrounding their candidature, plus life balance issues.

As an editor, I work with words to make sure they really say what the author meant to say. The type of work I do here includes editing for sense, grammar, spelling, punctuation and flow; proofreading the manuscript before publishing; indexing; and desktop publishing. Desktop publishing is an interesting term. It includes graphic design, layout, photo manipulation, illustration, research, writing and a whole heap of other stuff that leads to a final (usually printed) product. It can include books, brochures, websites, flyers, posters, wrapping paper, greeting cards, logos … the list goes on.

Anyway, this list was intended to show that I not only coach people on issues related to productivity, but that I am also involved in the production end of project management.

This is my very first blog, and my very first entry. I’m usually not very good at keeping a diary, so keeping an online one will be quite a challenge! I hope my blog will be useful to someone, and, if it is, that I get encouragement to keep writing.

More soon.