I read writing blogs. I can’t imagine a writer who doesn’t read writing blogs from time to time. I get linked to a lot of blogs about time management. It makes sense, I don’t have much in the way of time and I am always interested in how other people handle lack of time.
But here is the thing: the blogs always start off ‘I have a supportive partner who works, so I can stay at home and make up these worlds.
That’s awesome and all, but how does that help the rest of us with time management?
I have a supportive partner that works outside of the house. I work outside of the house, as does my retired mother. Between the three of us we have six paying jobs. My mother and I also write and have farm work. My longest week in 2015 was 28 days straight through, with those work days being between 8 and 16 hours long.
I’m not saying that to make you feel bad for me, I’m just trying to point out that for me it isn’t about balancing time promotion and writing. I have finite time to do both. Super finite time.
These are the things I do to keep finite time from turning into no time.
1)Keep yourself healthy: Those of you who know me know I had a lie altering injury in 1985. I’ve been in and out of Physical therapy since then. A half an hour a day of stretching, strengthening, ti chi and meditation keep me upright and walking. They also give you a half an hour of plotting.
2) Use the time you have: if it is five minutes use that five minutes. I keep a notebook with me to write down ideas. I tried a mini recorder, but I found myself not listening to what I recorded. I’ve never liked my recorded voice.
3) meditate: yeah, I mentioned it in point one, but let me explain. When most people I know hear me say ‘meditate’ then think I mean ‘sit still and empty your head’ when I mean exactly the opposite. Most of my meditation is done moving and all of my meditation is done thinking. I may start off by thinking “how many zombie novels end up in sporting arenas” (by the way I have no idea the answer to that question) or even “Where does my character go from here” then let your mind go.
4) schedule time: if you schedule 15 min spend that time at your computer (or paper or whatever) if you write five words in that time that is a win.
5) don’t forget to recreate: Really. We all need people in our lives. We all need to do fun things. Once a month I spend an evening out with friends. We eat Chinese, go to a comic shop and watch a movie.
6) don’t beat yourself up: we are all human and life likes to laugh at us. If you can’t get to your computer (or you sit there and you don’t get your five words down) let it go. You can’t control the past, you can only control the future.
This last thing has nothing to do with time management, but always try to have fun!