Time Management for Writers
Copyright 2002 Terescia Harvey
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My battle with time management
As difficult as time management for the writer is, not having time to write is even more difficult to deal with. My own personal war with making time to write hasn't yet been won. But I've won some battles. And that's what I want to share with you, ways to manage your time so you have more time to write.
I started by buying some books about organizing. I really thought it would help if I had an organized workplace and that if I could cut down on the amount of housekeeping I did, I would have tons more time.
So I purchased It's Here...Somewhere by Alice Fulton and Pauline Hatch, Organizing from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office, and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern, and from my local library, checked out the audiotape of Getting Organized : The Easy Way to Put Your Life in Order by Stephanie Winston.
Turns out it was a good theory, but I couldn't prove it. The books were all excellent, but my own procrastinator's spirit caused me to fail at many of the tasks the books' authors suggested. Still, after a few months of frenzied organizing and decluttering, I had a lot less stuff to deal with. Too bad I still didn't have any more time. In fact, now that I was "organized" I swear I had less time than I had before. So it wasn't long before I gave up on being organized.
What was I going to do? I was going insane with the need to finish my first book, but I never seemed to have any time to work on it!
Then it hit me, like a ton of bricks, a bolt of lightning, a smack in the face--the proverbial kick in the @$$. (See my aside on clichés here.)
It turned out that there wasn't anything to do, except do nothing.
The battles I won--you can win them too!
Nothing has to be cut out 100%, but trimming 50% of these time hogs will really give you more time for life's important things (such as writing!). And be honest about it. If writing is important, you'll find the time. I have.
- No reorganizing--it's a time waster most of the time. The only time it isn't is when you're willing to make lifestyle changes. Drastic lifestyle changes. And don't believe anyone who tells you different.
- No TV. I have certain shows I wouldn't miss for the world, but those you only watch because it happens to come on next...skip it. Get your bottom in a chair, in front of your computer, at the table, wherever, and start writing.
- No reading--at least while you should be writing.
- No volunteering!
Oh, yeah, NO internet! Email is a wonderful way to keep in touch, but if you let it, it will suck up every spare moment you have. The best advice I can give you is to limit checking email to 3 times a day. Set a schedule and stick to it.
Treat your writing as the job it is. Think about it. Would you ever tell your boss you couldn't finish that report because you had to put away your clean dishes? I don't think so, not unless that IS part of your job. Really.
© Terescia Harvey
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