13:30 How not to Waste Time – Article & discussion
Wasting time – we all do it… we all know we shouldn’t do it… some of us can come up with strategies for time management others need some support with this discipline.
It is a subject I have blogged about before and something that I am always trying to improve on.
These posts may be of interest to you.
This article helps us focus on writing time and it is definitely not a waste of your time to read it.
The secret is finding your rhythm. Wishing we had time to finish our novel, write more, begging for more hours in a day are all common laments of the writer. We chase time as an entity rather than attempting to bond, we need to build up a relationship with time. Firstly consider how it can move your writing activity forward or how it is holding you back. If you think you’ll never have enough time, you never will. We cannot play with time, but we can give it less power over us by managing it.
- I use a writing schedule, which starts as a TO DO list (based on chronological deadlines).
- I estimate how long each task is likely to take.
- I avoid social media throughout this time, the entire internet in fact, unless I am in need of research.
- I am someone who cannot write with distraction, there is no TV, music, people around my writing space and if I am seriously working towards a deadline, I even switch my phone off. I wouldn’t be available on it if I was at work and if it is urgent, people leave voicemails.
- I build in breaks every hour or so, mini ones. To check the phone, stretch, manage those household tasks that need doing. It is amazing what you accomplish when only given 5 or 6 minutes.
Forgiveness is another tool you need. It gets to the end of the working day and you have writing that still needs to exist.
- Push it onto the next TO DO list and praise yourself, celebrate what you have managed to accomplish, rather than worry about what isn’t yet real.
- Unless you miss a deadline (which happens from time to time in the world of open submissions, but should never happen when working with editors with conversing about the schedule), give yourself a good talking to and learn from it.
- How can you schedule your writing with gaps to manage the task in time?
- I even use a polar cup so I avoid the kitchen and kettle for several hours.
There are lots of books out there about time management, here is a link to an article by Rachel Scheller in which she uses an excerpt from The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen to explore Managing Time further.
TIME IS A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
We all get the same twenty-four hours in a day. What you do with yours is up to you. You may believe that you have “no time,” but the fact is, you have just as much time as anyone else. What varies for every writer is our unique mix of work and family responsibilities, financial commitments, sleep requirements, physical and emotional space for writing, and perhaps most importantly, our ability and willingness to prioritize writing in this mix.
I love this because it is true. I got back to the practise of writing after an email conversation with the leader of a writer’s group I had joined last year. She asked if I would be back and I apologetically wrote that I would not — due to my schedule, I hadn’t been writing. I sent the message and it smacked me in the face. I have made time to write nearly each day since. It’s about prioritising.
That’s great to hear. We have to give it time, spend our time wisely. Good to hear!