I can waste hours talking about time management but at that point it is more about procrastination than truly using my time wisely. So I thought I’d back up the theoretical with some practical, how I personally manage my time.
I’m not nearly as time starved as others out there. I have the luxury of working from home. But rather than having a block of time to work, I have to find the time in between house keeping, running after a three year old, chauffeuring a five year old to school and supplementing his education at home. Add in time with my husband after an exhausting day for the both of us and unless I am being intentional with my time I go to bed each night too late to wake up to early to have done anything work related.
My time during the day is certainly not wasted. I enjoy the time with my children and I know it is important to keep a healthy and clean house, however if I’m not intentional I find myself wasting the moments of quiet (relative quiet, it is never truly quiet with a 3 year old) on facebook and reddit.
The first time I open my lap top, I no longer fire up firefox and check my email. I immediately open scrivener and get to work. There will be interruptions, there always are but I’d rather tell my child, one more minute while I finish this sentence than one more minute while mommy finishes this meme. Its all about priority. If something is important to you, whether it’s work or pleasure, make it the first thing you do when time allows. So how does a day for me look?
Any time there is a lull, when I know I have at least five minutes to check my email or play a facebook game, I work on most important project at the time. I continue to work on this project, in between inevitable interruptions until I meet my word or page goal (depending on if it’s new work or editing). I work down my list until I have it finished for the day. The priority of the list is dependent on deadlines on whether I’m editing or drafting first. Once that is done, any other free time is spent on social media building brand. This is where I get to check my email, play on facebook and chat with friends. I get to call this work even though it’s far more fun and rewarding.
I spend the relative quiet of driving my son to school twice a day to work on plot problems and think. Driving is a great time to get lost in your own thoughts, just be careful. On longer rides, I find listening to podcasts or audio books a great use of my time.
I also spend most of my evenings before bed reading. Reading is second only to actually writing in importance to being a working writer. The downside to my nightly sessions are if I’m at a really good part, I don’t want to stop which equals zombie me in the morning.