My mind is on time management today, thanks to Debbie’s awesome post about how she manages to juggle her many projects. I have lots to juggle too, but it’s mostly my busy life -- two kids and their many activities, a part-time job, a dog , a husband and cable T.V. Possibly that’s why my writing progress often seems so slow [see my blog post here].
For me, writing gets about two hours a day, between getting ready for work and driving my kids places. Sometimes I get some “bonus time” on weekends or when everyone is watching a show I don’t like (but by the evening, I’m pretty tired so slumping down in front of the T.V. often wins out). I feel lucky to have my two hours, because I know that if I worked full-time, that would disappear. Even so, two hours can speed by pretty fast. Here’s how I make the most of it:
1. I actually use the two hours for writing. I do blog and read writing-related blogs, but I do it at another time (usually in the morning before the kids are up – I’m up at 6 a.m.; 5 a.m. if my husband is rowing). Same with critiques. I try to fit them in at other times, or maybe once a week. I try not to answer the phone. Otherwise, my whole writing time would disappear.
2. I try to write every day. This helps me stay connected to my story. Otherwise, I’d spend most of my writing time getting back into it.
3. I work on only one of my own writing projects at a time. I’d love to be developing some of the great ideas I have for my next novel, but I find that I’m mentally spread too thin if I think about more than one project at a time. I’d never finish anything. I also do a few educational writing projects, and sometimes I have to put my own writing aside to work on them.
4. I write everything down. I use a notebook to record thoughts about my writing. If I didn’t, they’d disappear. I’m also a list maker. I keep a list of what I need to do for my job, a list of what I need to do at home, a list of ideas for blog posts….Can’t you just picture my desk?
5. I read in every spare moment. There aren’t many of those, but if I’m eating lunch at home by myself, I read. If I have to wait for the kids to finish an activity, I bring a book. Before I go to sleep, more reading.