Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Time Management and that Whooshing Noise #IWSG

Welcome to April already. Oh. My. Gosh. I hadn’t thought the year could fly by any faster, but apparently I was wrong. Because writing and publishing are such slow businesses in many aspects, the year swishing by can trigger all sorts of insecurities:

My dreams are never going to happen! I’ll never finish this wretched book! I’ll never find that agent who sees something special in my writing! I won’t be able to find the right publisher! And heaps more… (I believe this list is endless).

But really, all we can do is make the most out of the time we’re given. Whether we’ve been blessed with a lot of time to write, or struggle with very little, time management is essential. It gets the work done, it keeps us relatively sane, and it keeps those horrible insecurities at bay.

There are many different ways we can manage our time. It might be scheduling, or an approximate word count per day or per week. Or it might be sacrificing the time you spend on other things eg watching tv. This list is also endless. So work out what works for you.

How do you schedule your time? How do you stay disciplined? 

I kept this post short because yes, the A-Z challenge is upon us and those taking part have limited time to jump around from blog to blog. I’ll be taking part via the IWSG website, the letters shared amongst the admins. So don’t forget to check it out!!

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

62 comments:

  1. Even when there isn't a lot of time, it's still all in how you schedule it. You CAN make time if you want to by shuffling things around or dumping what is really just a time suck.
    I don't play as many computer games as I used to. (Can't quit completely though - that would be insane!) And when I'm writing, it's two-three hours every night no matter what.

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    1. Yep, I've cut back on tv and games too. It really does make a difference.

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  2. Personally, I'm awesome at scheduling my time. It's sticking to the schedule that's the challenge. ;-) Word count targets don't work well for me at all. Regimenting time is some better. However, if I can avoid being distracted while writing then I chalk that up as a win.

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    1. Yeah, I'm easily distracted too...oh look, a shiny!

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  3. You can always make time, maybe not a ton, but you can make time. You just have to be willing to give up the stuff that sucks it away here and there

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  4. I have failed miserably at the time management method of keeping insecurity at bay. In fact, I've probably lost many hours that could have been spent writing to obsessive email watching in the past few months. O.O Yeah.

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    1. I think times like that are inevitable. The trick is to be kind to yourself, recognise the triggers, and reassess your goals for the time being.

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  5. You're spot on Lynda. We always find time for the things we want to do, but sometimes we don't want to write! I mentioned dreams today too.

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    1. It kinda depends how badly we want something, and how long we're willing to wait.

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  6. I have a to-do list and I map it out so that I can accomplish everything in one day. I know what messes with my time, and I just try to prevent it from taking over. I think my biggest thing are tasks that lead to other tasks.

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    1. Ha! Those tasks leading to other tasks are bad. Only yesterday I started doing something that led to another thing which led to another... before I knew it, the morning was over.

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  7. You're spot on Lynda. We always find time for the things we want to do, but sometimes we don't want to write! I mentioned dreams today too.

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  8. Fortunately I'm able to take time off work and catch up on a tremendous backlog of stuff, including finishing a MS and A to Z. So I'm really blessed in the area of time right now.

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    1. awesome!! I hope you make the most of that blessing :)

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  9. I refuse to believe it's April!

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    1. I'm with you! Let's call it January! from 2012...

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  10. There is some truth to making time...if it's important enough I find a way. April's hard though with the a-z.

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  11. A quarter of the year gone already! I've got a fair bit done, but better organisation and discipline would bring me even better results.

    Must try harder.

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    1. While trying harder is important, it's equally important to continue being kind to yourself, and celebrate your victories, no matter how small.

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  12. Totally agree, Lynda. The things that matter have to be top priority and the time suck factors lessened.

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    1. I don't know why as writers we often put writing last in our priorities.

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  13. I'm really disciplined. My problem is working at my job and other things take all my time right now and I need to relax and veg out at night right now so I'm not writing then.

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    1. The need to veg out is important. I switch off at night, and I'm okay with that. We need SOME time to recharge.

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  14. You're right about being organised. It's comforting to have some measure of control there when there are so many unknowns we can't control.

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    1. So very true! And it's pointless fretting over the things we have no control over.

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  15. I'm usually pretty good with time management and being organized but lately, I'm all over the place. Must get back on track soon! :)

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    1. That's normal. Often it's a sign of needing a short break.

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  16. It's scary when time seems to pass so quickly, so I try to set monthly writing goals and keep track of how much I write every day. When I add it up at the end of the month, it's usually more than I thought!

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    1. I haven't tried a monthly goal. I like that. Weekly writing goals work for me when I'm writing a first draft. It helps me keep that pace up.

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  17. I'll confess right now that if I've got time on my hands I waste most of it. My time management skills are awesome when I have to try to fit in a bunch of commitments in a short span. That said, I've been dedicating a few hours each day to writing, busy or not.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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    1. It's funny, but I work best when I'm busy too and need lots of things done. I love those deadlines. They keep me focused.

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  18. I'm trying to stretch the day, getting up earlier during A to Z and putting all my chores into planned slots. Don't know it will work out.

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    1. I hope it does work out for you. Best wishes for April!

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  19. Cool photo! And I definitely have been hearing that whooshing noise lately. ;o) Good advice. I stay disciplined and stay on schedule by NOT watching TV. I'd rather read books most of the time anyway, in the evening when I'm relaxing. That doubles as "research," too!

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    1. Yeah, I wish I could read in the evening too, but I really can't read when there's lots of noise around. ie, when the tv is on.

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  20. The most important gets done first thing. My devotion time, my exercise, then a good 1000 words before I start my chores and getting ready for work. Even the TV stays off. And Facebook can wait. Blog reading happens between hair clients during the day.

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    1. Yep, I have a great schedule happening at the moment--morning walk, breakfast, devotional time, exercise, then the rest of the day starts. Routines really work for me because I get distracted so easily.

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  21. I didn't set goals this winter, but now that spring is here, I've got a plan. I just have to make a spread sheet.

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    1. A spread sheet! That sounds serious! Best wishes for that! :)

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  22. With five children, I never really had time for television. I find I get the most writing done if I run to the library and hide there. The laundry can't chase me there...come to think of it, neither can the dishes. Thanks for sharing this with your readers, Lynda.

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    1. hehe, I can relate with the need to escape sometimes. My escape place for writing is the local coffee shop.

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  23. Scheduling is hard. Sometimes, I want to do something, but I have to finish something else first. Choices, choices... I create my own dilemmas most of the time. I guess, I have to streamline my projects and not grab more than I can handle.

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    1. Sometimes it's good to have flexible schedules because life has a way of happening ;)

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  24. Scheduling is tough, and I'm currently over my limit for social media for the day, but wanted to stop by and say . . . you can do it! You'll get there. :)

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    1. hehehe, yep, I totally understand. It's hard to keep a limit on that social media time because there's always just one more thing you want/need to say. I appreciate it, though :)

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  25. The only way I've been successful is to set small goals. Sometimes I even have to tell myself that I'm going to just open the document. :) But of course, I end up writing more.
    But I also keep my life as simple as possible. My kids don't have a lot of outside commitments, and I limit my social media time and rarely watch movies/TV.

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    1. It sounds like you've found what works for you.

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  26. Small steps, my only set stone goal right now is write something everyday. I am still figuring out the rest, as life happens to all of us. The years pass faster it seems to me the older I get. I think it is because I have slow down and my interests change. Best of Luck,
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. It's an excellent goal to write everyday. It will keep your skills sharp, even if you only write 100 words some days.

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  27. Small steps, my only set stone goal right now is write something everyday. I am still figuring out the rest, as life happens to all of us. The years pass faster it seems to me the older I get. I think it is because I have slow down and my interests change. Best of Luck,
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  28. I have daily and weekly goals. I also write in spurts to give myself a break to do other things.

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    1. Yep, it's the flexible goals that seem to work for me too.

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  29. My time schedule changes quite a bit. Depends on what's happening in my life at the moment. I agree, flexibility works for me.

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    1. Flexibility is sometimes necessary. Glad it works for you.

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  30. I agree, Lynda. The insecure list is endless. My writing time has taken a definite upsurge since I've retired.

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  31. I've found that I write better by getting all the odds and ends out of the way first. So I've started scheduling no more than one or two odd things every day, I have a written list. Every day at the top is my writing. Beneath that is the odd project or two. At the bottom are the things I do every day that can be done in a few minutes here and there. For me the actual placement on the list keeps things in focus for me.

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    1. wow, I like the way your organise yourself. It's smart to include only one or two odd things per day. Those odds and ends have a way of multiplying.

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  32. I use the Pomodoro Technique when I really need to get work done. 25 minutes of focused writing, 5 minute no-screen break, repeat 3 times and then the 4th break is 15-30 minutes!
    Brandy from Brandy's Bustlings

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  33. Life is busy and it can be hard to find the time to write when I get home from work. I do my best to get myself in the chair writing, but sometimes I am too tired. Trying to come up with a better plan. :) Great post and comments from everyone!
    ~Jess

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I'd love to hear your opinion. Thanks for leaving a comment.