It’s About Time (Management)

Okay, enough dilly-dallying.

Kids are back in school today, which means that I NEED to get a lot of writing done. Problem is, I also have a ton of errands to run. And that leads us to Problem #2 in the Making of Baby Grand: Time Management. (If you’ve been keeping track, Problem #1 is Procrastination.)

One of the greatest things about full-day school is not having to drag the kids shopping. It bores them. It frustrates me. I took them to Lowe’s last night for an hour, and I spent more time wondering if they’re okay, tired, hungry, than actually shopping. So I like to make use of the alone time, while they’re at school, to get things done. But, as you know, I… must… write…

Managing my time seemed easier when I was writing mostly freelance articles. They were short assignments, for the most part, and I could schedule phone interviews and work around those. Generally speaking, if I don’t have a large block of time to work, I don’t like to get into a big project, and writing this novel is a big, BIG project, so I end up wasting a lot of time I could have used for writing by not taking advantage of the little pockets of time I have throughout the day.

What I’ve tried in the past is slicing the day in half: working in the morning, and then filling the rest of the day with whatever I can fit in (housework, food shopping, etc.). But sometimes I’m on a roll and don’t stop working at noon, and my kids end up with Wendy’s for dinner and no clean clothes to wear. Or I can’t get started or am feeling uninspired and spend my time organizing a drawer that I don’t really care about and have nothing to show for myself at the end of the day. Or sometimes I have appointments in the morning or for lunch, and that throws my entire day off, and I spend the day watching reruns of House, frustrated.

I have a Long Island Writer’s Club luncheon on Wednesday (see what I mean?), and we’ve been asked to present an issue that I’ve been struggling with so that the group can provide suggestions. I guess “time management” is it for me.

Maybe, today, I’ll try alternating my work hours: work from 9 to 10, run errands from 10 to 11, etc. Maybe if I can fool myself into thinking of my novel as shorter projects, I’ll be able to do more work. I hope I buy it!

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3 thoughts on “It’s About Time (Management)

  1. Breaking down large seemingly insurmountable tasks into smaller more manageable ones is a good tool…or so I’m told. LOL Good Luck D! Keep on plugging away.

  2. Dina,
    Can so relate. Remember Anne Lamott’s motto. The one inch picture frame. In other words, only work on one tiny section at a time. Or, the old “how do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time.

    Have fun at your writer’s luncheon. Nothing like being around a bunch of writers to make to want to write. Or eat a gallon of chocolate ice cream! LOL.

  3. That is exactly the problem I had writing books rather than articles. My solution was to break up the book into chapters. That way I would consider it a smaller project. But still, the number of times I started at 8pm when Rowan went to bed and found myself still working when she came through to me at 6am is just ridiculous. I found that was when I would get my focus and just keep going. Not good for the following day’s productivity though!

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