Posts Tagged ‘ time ’

Making the Most of Your Time

  There are only so many hours in a day to do the things we want to do, to do the things we have to do, and to squeeze in everything in between. Whether we make a mental list or a physical one, most people have a good understanding of what’s important and prioritize as needed. Although these priorities can get skewed or switched depending on the day or need.

While some things are easy for me to attend to, running, family time, reading, others are a bit harder to make time for. Like writing. I love to write, but at the end of a long day at work, it’s difficult to motivate myself to sit in front of another computer and stare at it for another few hours when I could just as easily shut my brain off and watch TV or exercise or read.

I recently read an article on some writing website (of course I forget where I read it now…) where the writer interviews Ashley Ream author of Losing Clementine. Ream has a hectic life as many of us do, but still found the hours to get writing done. I’ve read other articles in the past where writers will carve out time in the wee hours of the morning or the night or lock themselves in their offices at certain times of the day or they have a set time every single day where they will write. The point being that everyone needs a different method that works best for his or her lifestyle and personality. What Ream mentioned in her interview really caught my attention. She creates Excel spreadsheets for her writing schedule. Days of the week across the top and dates down the side with each day having either number of words she wants to write or OFF if she knew she couldn’t write that day. Then she stuck to her schedule and toward the end of her schedule she wrote in days for editing and rewrites.

I’ve since created my own spreadsheet and it’s going very well so far. I was realistic with it without adding too much and setting myself up for failure. And it’s very rewarding to see the calendar and what I’ve accomplished as the days pass. And while, yes, it’s still hard to write after work, I realized that if I load up the weekends with a larger goal, then I have the work days to come home and rest. It’s created a nice balance and taken a lot of the pressure off as well.

Happy writing!

Balancing Act

  Some days it feels like I have a million things going on at once. It’s tricky finding the time to balance my passions and obligations without feeling overextended. It seems like one interest always gets sidelined for the sake of another. In an age of multitasking, how do I put my focus on and passions into everything I want to??

I’d love to hear some of your tricks for accomplishing your goals while maintaining the other areas of your life, but one way that I’ve found works for me is to set aside a certain part of each day for those things I need to do and those things I want to do. This is a similar technique for those training for an event such as a 5k or a marathon or a bike ride. If I write down what I want to accomplish for the week on my calendar and refer to it throughout the week, I’m much more likely to follow through on my goals.

Another way I can prioritize and make sure I’m not spending too much time getting distracted or waylaid by things that I don’t want to take precedence (ie. watching a SyFy show instead of writing!) is by going somewhere I’m able to focus and that’s not at home. Usually I’ll go to my local coffee shop, plug in and go to work.

I do think it’s important to be flexible and not beat myself up too much if I fall short of my weekly goals. No one is going to have a perfect week. Stuff happens that is unplanned (like my power going out while I was typing this because of a huge thunderstorm rolling in…) and while it’s great if you can stay on track despite these wrenches, it’s not always possible.

Lastly, one thing I realize I do too often is find goals that I unintentionally let supersede more immediate goals. For example, I’ll see a new and shiny book at the library on Canada and next thing I know I’m setting aside time when I should be working on my book and researching a trip to Canada. I need to check myself when times like these come up and mentally say, “Is this what you want to spend your time on right now?” Probably not. Maybe once I finish the draft I’m working on, I’ll reward myself by planning a fun trip…

Happy writing my friends! 😀