important and urgent

One of my biggest challenges is prioritizing my tasks. This has been an ongoing challenge for many years. I’ve tried to apply the philosophy taught by Stephen R. Covey of putting everything in your life into one of four quadrants, important/urgent, important/not urgent, not important/urgent and not urgent/not important. But without much success. But a few months ago I was trying again to put some method to my prioritizing and by adding a tiny two letter word it started to work for me. Now the four quadrants in my life are important/urgent, important/not AS urgent, not AS important/urgent and not AS urgent/not AS important. It is amazing to me what “as” has done for me.

Now to the reason for my post and my lack of posts. I had a family thing come up and was both urgent and important so getting post written for my blog though both important and urgent are not as important or as urgent as a family member in need of help. After all, the reason behind telling our family tells to each other is because family is important. Though it wasn’t how I planned to spent the last couple of days, I’m so glad that there was no question in my mind where in the four quadrants that requested landed. For me that brings peace and a lot less anxiety.

How do you prioritize your tasks and your days? I’m always interested to learn from others what things work for them.


Step 4: BUILD revamping my blog – new theme

So how do you like my new theme? I think it is going to work just fine. Someday I plan to customize my layout but it isn’t time for that yet. There were several other themes I liked but the text color just didn’t work for me and I couldn’t change it. I am excited about this revamp and I can’t wait to get everything all set up. Too bad I have other things that need doing or I’d spend the next several days focused on it and get it done for next week. But I have a plan and I will get it done. Here are my goals for next week:

  • left side bar: Monday, 29 April
  • reevaluate right bar: Tuesday, 30 April
  • getting started with the DOABLE approach post: Wednesday, 1 May
  • DECIDE basics post: Thursday, 2 May

I hope to get a pupdate post done tomorrow and a Joy Jar post on Saturday. I’ve got a quickly approaching deadline for a chapter of my dad’s Navy history. He is going to an Underwater Swimmer School reunion next month and would love to take as much as I can get together about the history of the school. He was one of the original instructors in 1954.

If you could drop all your other responsibilities, what would you work on this weekend?

Step 3: ANALYZE: revamping my blog

The biggest thing that my revamped blog will need is a side bar on the left side. I want to put several widgets there, one on getting started and then a widget for each step of the DOABLE approach. This means I will need a new theme for my blog. My current theme doesn’t support a left side bar.I also want to look at my right side bar and consider changing what is over there too.

The other big area of this project is to look at my content plan and make sure that the posts I’m writing are helping to fill out all the steps of DOABLE family story project. First I’ll do one post for each step and then decide if it would be better to focus one each step for a week or a month or rotate around. I’m leaning toward focusing on each step in turn for about a month so I can really fill out the content for that step. I’ll plan on that for now and reevaluate if needed.

After I’ve picked a new theme and put the structure in place I’ll need to work on moving my old posts into the new structure. I think this should be worked on after I get the basics in place for the six steps in the DOABLE approach.

It is important at this stage to keep the LINK step in mind. I think it is time to venture out into social media and that would be a good way to share my revamped blog. I will probably start with Google+ and Pintrest.

Now for some deadlines:

  • pick new theme: Thursday, 25
  • left side bar: Monday, 29 April
  • reevaluate right bar: Tuesday, 30 April
  • getting started with the DOABLE approach post: Wednesday, 1 May
  • DECIDE basics post: Thursday, 2 May
  • ORGANIZE basics post: Monday, 6 May
  • ANALYZE basics post: Tuesday, 7 May
  • BUILD basics post: Wednesday, 8 May
  • LINK basics post: Thursday 9 May
  • EVALUATE basics post: Monday 13 May
  • move old content to new structure: Thursday, 16 May
  • start sharing with Google+: Monday, 3 June
  • start sharing with Pintrest: Monday, 1 July
  • check revamp so far and adjust content plan if needed: Tuesday 14 May
  • move forward with new content plan: Monday, 20 May

I’m not sure that my deadlines are realistic but it gives me something to shoot for and I can adjust them if I need to. I really like the idea of having the new look if not the content in place by May 1st. It sound like a great way to start a new month.

How about you? Do you have a plan in place for your next family story project?



a DOABLE approach to sharing your family stories

As I’ve contemplated ways to improve my blog it occurred to me that if you are coming here for the first time there isn’t really any help in getting started. Since my goal is to help everyone (including me) to tell their own family stories that situation isn’t a good one. Over the past year or so I’ve written posts about my story projects and other things I’ve come across. While all of that is good I think I’ve missed the mark. Since my rather chaotic brain craves order I decided I’d come up with some sort of system anyone can follow to help them share their family stories. It is still a work in progress but I think it is a good start.

D – decide

O – organize

A – analyze

B – build

L – link

E – evaluate

Decide: the very first step is to decide you want to do a story project and the decide who you want to do it about or what story you want to develop and share. What do you want to do with this project?

Organize: the next step is to organize. This step will focus on the what you already know and what you already have in the way of documents and images etc. that might help you will the story project you are working on.

Analyze: in this step you want to really look hard at your goal. What do you need to do? Do you have all the information you need? What else do you need and where might you find it? What do you need to learn to complete this project? Plan your project out in as much detail as you can and give yourself deadlines along the way.

Build: do the work, follow the plan, keep on moving forward. Keep your purpose in mind and work past any obstacles that get in your way.

Link: share your story project with as many people as you can in as many ways as you can.

Evaluate: the good, the bad and the ugly. What would you do the same if you had to do it all again, what would you do different. Then armed with your new knowledge start the process over with a new story project.


So what does this all mean? I’ll need to restructure my blog to show the DOABLE approach with the goal in mind that anyone can come here and find what they need to get started or keep moving forward with their own family story projects. Hey, I think this whole DOABLE approach might work for this too. I’ve decided on a new vision for my blog. Next step is to organize what I already have on here with the DOABLE approach in mind. Then I will  analyze what is missing and make a plan for how to fill it in. While I’m working through the DOABLE steps I can learn more about how to improve it too! I’m really excited about my new goal.

How about join me on this journey? Start with step one, decide on a family story project (or even something else) that you want to do and we can test out my DOABLE approach together.

My Current Projects: Goals and Progress

I have decided that I need to reconsider they way I’m doing my Monday posts. First off there is just too much clutter. I think I’ll create a post of each project that I’ll link to for the basic information about my current projects. Then I think I’ll rate my progress with + for good, 0 for neutral, and – no progress. Finally I’ve got to be more focused on the goals I make. I’m going to try printing out my post and refer to it every morning. These goals and getting lost in the midst of my daily to do list.

Evaluate Goals for last week:

  1. Finish Mother’s Day Project: (0) my mom loved her “infographic”, Annette will gather info for me and then I will pick this project back up again. I already have her frame. This project on hold until I hear from Annette.
  2. Continue transcribing Key West audio tape: (-) no progress, procrastination troubles.
  3. Improvements to my Blog site: thoughts on this but no work. (0) I’m happy with the posts I’ve got done and I spent 2 hours helping my friend with getting her blog started.

Progress on projects not on my goal list:

  1. First illustration from Kim. (she is now working on the fog off Newfoundland image.
  2. Today finished the last edits for Martin’s Cove Journal

The harsh reality is that I’m not spending enough time working on my projects. I’m letting too many things distract me from what I really want to do. Even with a new puppy I’ve got to find a way to make this happen. Realistically the next two weeks are crazy. We are doing Wood Badge training all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week and next. So that takes half my week right there. The training is supposed to be really good and hopefully I’ll learn some thing that I can apply to being more effective with my time.

Goals for this week:

  1. Write blog posts ahead for Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  2. Put Key West slides on to DVD for my dad
  3. Post to link to about each of my projects
  4. Work on Mary text (take to Wood Badge)
  5. Evaluate new approach at the end of the week

Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.