Let’s get something straight: I might not be the best choice to talk about time management.
As I sat preparing the remarks about time management I was supposed to deliver — less than 12 hours before I was set to deliver them — I certainly felt like a fraud.
Then I remembered there’s a lot on my plate. I work 40-plus hours a week at the day job, spend quality time with the Boyfriend, run a growing weight-loss blog and have just started working out regularly again, thanks to my entry in an online bootcamp class.
Despite all that, I still manage to write for one to two hours most days of the week. In the past year, I’ve not only done some pretty heavy revising on two manuscripts, but also written first drafts of two more. I also attended my first RWA Nationals, took on the vice presidency of my local RWA chapter and edited/laid out six issues of the chapter newsletter.
What’s the secret, you ask?
Not so fast. First, a look at the things that keep me (and others) from writing:
- Commitments to work/family/friends. I admit, I have it easier than writers with children/spouses who expect dinner on the table at a certain time. If I decide not to stop writing to cook a meal, the only one I’m hurting is myself.
- Procrastination. Self explanatory, right?
- Social media time-sucks. Twitter and Facebook, I’m looking at you. Pinterest too. It’s all too easy to fritter away an hour — or more — pinning, tweeting or reading all my friends’ status updates.
Let’s tackle the last one first. Author Jody Hedlund recently wrote a blog post on three ways to keep social media from taking over your writing time.
The other two can be managed by making writing a priority.
Yes, it’s hard to juggle writing with all the other responsibilities of day-to-day life. But if you’re going to be a writer, you have to make time to write. It’s non-negotiable.
I’ve gotten pretty good at making time to write. In fact, I’m so good at it that other things — like my talk on time management — fall by the wayside. 😉
What are your tips for effective time management?