How I’m removing #ROW80 stress at this #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee….

Hi. I’m glad you could come over today. My husband’s out of town for a few days. He left way early this morning, and it’s quiet and a bit lonely here. I’ve still got some of our Starbucks subscription Reserve coffee if you want. They’ve been good coffees so far, smooth and not too citrusy or tart. My husband–who was not a coffee drinker when we met, mind you–decided during a coffee tasting that we should have coffee delivered monthly. Yeah, so there we were, up at the Livonia Starbucks, doing their last Saturday of the month coffee tasting, and he leans over to me and says, “Okay, we’re in.”

“In what?” I whispered back.

He showed me his phone with the confirmation screen pulled up. “I signed us up.”

I rolled my eyes.

Still, it is nice coffee. We have it ground at Starbucks, drink our first cup there. They let you do that, at least this one will brew a Clover cup before they hand us our coffee. It’s subscription exclusive, so if you want a cup, now’s the time to have it.

I’ve spent a lot of this week contemplating my ROW80 goals. The one thing that keeps stopping me is my blog. It’s my Number One goal for Round 3, and I expected to be all caught up by the end of July, today. Well, I’m not. Alex from the Emerging Writers group made an interesting comment on Thursday when I mentioned this. She said, “How can you catch up on a blog? It’s an ongoing thing.”


My current blog series scheduling template

I have too many things undone, hanging out there, and I feel as incomplete as those blog posts. Everything in my life–scrapbooking, email, blogging–is past due, incomplete, whatever you want to call it. I made a commitment to myself that night to make use of this round to focus exclusively on my blog: completing old posts and writing or scheduling future, ongoing posts.

I’ve searched the Internet for organizational ideas and inspirations, and I found a bunch of bloggers and YouTubers who struggle with the same thing. I combined a lot of those ideas into some Word and Excel files. I created lists or forms or whatever to help me map out my future blogposts, social media stats, blog series, categories, ideas and all that.

Looking at it professionally, what can I do in the Third Quarter to set myself up for success in the Fourth Quarter? Finishing or deleting old posts and updating my Pages will remove a large chunk of that visual noise. That gives me a month and a half, a more achievable goal than the three weeks I thought it would take me. Yeah, right.

I’m struggling with keeping up with emails. I had this great checklist idea using planning stickers, repurposing “hydrate” stickers for “email” stickers, but I did nothing with that this week, wasting 14 good counting stickers. I ordered a different set to try out. Who says planning and to-doing can’t be cute as well as functional.

I’ve been uninspired to call friends and family, and my social media plans are evolving a bit as I see what I have and have not been doing. I’ll tell you about it next week or so; I should have a better grasp on that by then.

I let go of goals #3 and #6. Organizing my phone photos can wait. Before my latest iOS update, I saved all photos to my external hard drive. If I was desperate, I could delete them from my phone and have a copy at home. I’d rather do something productive and scrapbook-y with them, so let’s wait until October. Same with my writing and editing. Start October as a fresh start, making Round 4 and the Fourth Quarter as productive as possible.

So, what about you? How’s your week been? What have you been up to?

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18 Responses to How I’m removing #ROW80 stress at this #WeekendCoffeeShare

  1. The coffee sounds delicious. I’m a huge coffee fan (and tea fan too–I love a cup of Earl Grey in the evening or during a rainstorm). Good luck with your ROW80 goals. Blogging can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. I try to take it one day at a time. I blog twice a week, and if I miss a day I just move on. That said, I do have a number of mostly finished posts that I’ve never posted. I admire that you’re trying to finish up some posts and catch up on your blog.

    • Thanks. I’m stubborn like that. I have realized the need to “let go” but it’s not easy to do. I admire you for simply moving on. Someday I’ll be like that…when I’m caught up. πŸ™‚

  2. Monthly coffee delivery sounds great, I love it. I am unfamiliar with ROW80, and just googled it? I am intrigued. Good luck with your ROW80, and thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for the well wishes. I’ve been attempting (!) ROW80 for a year now. While I haven’t succeeded in the ways that I want to, it’s been a useful challenge that helped me focus, at least this Round. Without it, I may not have seen what’s stressing me out (blog) and what’s holding me back (blog catchup, not ketchup). I hope you give it a try; let me know if you do!

  3. I am not much of coffee drinker. I love the smell, but my body doesn’t like it. Good luck with your goals

  4. Corina says:

    I’m not familiar ROW80. What is it?

    • ROW80 = A Round of Words in 80 Days. (Get it?!?) It’s a blog site/challenge for writer–and anyone else you needs a kick in the tushie–to set achievable goals for 80 days at a time, or once a quarter. Posting updates keeps you accountable. Those goals can be writing-related, but lots of people include personal, family, work, etc. goals, too. It’s changed my perspective through the year an what “achievable” means to me. πŸ™‚

  5. Rowena says:

    As much as buying more stationery should count as a proactive step towards getting on with the job, I’m pretty sure it’s yet another form of procrastination. I am surrounded by fancy folder, different coloured folders and some even have matching, themed notebooks. Then there’s the pens! I love Kiki K. Indeed, I bought a book there called “The Planner” and I have opned it twice and done the first exercise but that’s taken 3 months.
    I’m starting to think I’m a hopeless case but I am making good progress with my writing but not on what I was intending to write. I am a panser not a planner and I do think I need to plan more and be stricter with myself. More focused. The trouble is that my creativity doesn’t necessary work like a checklist. Humph!
    I couldn’t upload my post to the linky, so here’s the link:
    xx Rowena

    • I am and am not a checklist person, depending on the activity. I don’t find word count useful (“write 1000 words/day”) because that doesn’t take into account is it useful writing or just hammering away to meet a word count. Spending “one hour/day writing” is better suited to me, and that can be a checkmark in the daily to-do box. πŸ™‚

      Hey, I have “The Artist’s Way” book, and I haven’t touched that in forever. But it’s there, a resource. Perhaps that can be how you look at the “Life Planner” book.

      Don’t feel helpless. Progress is progress, and too often we look at “failure” as “give up,” which it is not. Find your focus–it is in you!

  6. shanjeniah says:

    Blogging is always the thing that falls away when the writing is either busy or flowing. This week, I had an epiphany – I can use JuNoWriMo’s 50K to rough out as many posts as I can, and then finish them up for when I need or want something, but am too something else to write it. ROW80 sponsor posts come immediately to mind, but there are other things, too.

    Happy to hear that ROW80 is helping, It’s not even a little bit of an exaggeration to say it’s changed my life in ways that go well beyond writing. It’s not always fast, but it does happen.

    • Yes, it does happen. Since I began with Round 4 in 2015, I’ve learned what “achievable” is to me, and how to focus on what is stopping me right/write now.

      I don’t know the purpose of JuNoWriMo–as in, do you write a story like NaNoWriMo?–but text already written is a boon to anyone and anything. I’ve made peace with myself and given myself permission to work on the blog this Round.It’s all a matter of choice and perspective, which is what ROW80 has and is giving you. πŸ™‚

  7. Eden says:

    Sounds to be like you’ve touched on a bit of (dare I call it what it is, but isn’t a nice term…) depression lately. The “endless tasks” experience can certainly cause some of that (a lot of that in some cases). And while it won’t be a permanent cure for things, my own experience suggests that finishing something (it can be almost anything) fixes the mood enough to usually cause a much-needed emotional kick.

    If it doesn’t, please take care of yourself by getting the right exercise, some “you-FUN-time” and … if those don’t help things, some professional help.

    And… if you have some tea, I’ll hang out for your coffee tasting. Love the smell, can’t stand the flavor though. πŸ˜‰

    • I never thought of it as “depression,” but stress takes on many forms. Seeing that through another’s eyes…I can see that. Trying not to do it all at once is something I am breaking down into chunks; ignoring one task is not giving up on it. Learning to recognize it, yes, that’s the challenge.

      Thank you.

      And I have a lovely supply of tea to share. Black, green, mostly flavored with a subtle hint of whatever. And some honey stir-sticks that I always forget to use. You’re welcome anytime!

  8. Pingback: Tossing #ROW80 Round 3 onto the backseat: it has ended! | D.W. Hirsch

  9. Pamela Morse says:

    My week included learning to live stream on Facebook, which I find to be very entertaining. I am not sure you can catch up on a blog, but you can just keep writing. I have been in #ROW80 a couple of times. I think it is stimulating, but it also shows us how we as writers all fail, or find impediments, in the same ways and the same places. It is reassuring in that way.

    • You learned FB live stream? I bow at your social media feet…and feat.

      It does seem that #ROW80 is a forum for commiserating and receiving that much-needed ego boost to keep going with our dreams and goals. That’s a good thing. We all need a sounding board from time to time and a virtual hug often.

  10. **Virtually hugging everyone!**

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