Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in a day?
If you answered “No” I envy you. Teach me. It seems like no matter how much time I have it’s not enough.
And it’s every day. The same cycle, like Inception or reverse Inception where twenty-four hours seems more like four.
And me without my totem wonders–is this real life? There are just so many distractions
that it becomes next to impossible to accomplish anything. I read an article on The Urban Muse where Susan Johnston describes ten time management methods tailored for writers. So, I started strategizing and since have tried the following:
1. Making Lists
I love lists. Making lists. Reading lists. Using lists is where things get tricky. I make a lot of lists. I mean a lot. It’s really hard to stick to lists when you’re always misplacing them. So, I’m currently looking for a better way to keep lists.
2. Using Timers
This is actually pretty effective. Set timers at fifteen-minute intervals (or 30 or an hour dealer’s choice really) and commit to tasks for the set amount of time, then take a break for the same or less amount of time. This method really breaks up big tasks so that they don’t seem so daunting to approach and I don’t find myself too distracted when I can look forward to a break.
I’ve found using iCal and Google Calendar has been pretty useful. I can map out tasks for an entire day, week, month or year so that I can stay on top of appointments, assignments, meetings, etc. I can also parse out time throughout the day for me-time, errands, and writing time.
I feel like the old man in that episode of the Twilight Zone, but made for this era—I’m great at finding time for distractions, but there’s not enough time for what needs to be done. So, how do you manage your time? Have you tried any of the above methods? Have they been effective for you? If you have any effective advice on time management let me know in the comments so I can be Meredith Burgess (hopefully without the apocalypse).
Until next time, thanks for stopping by!
15 thoughts on “Enough Time to Make Hay While the Sun Shines”
I use a gigantic planner and I try to write large projects down at the beginning of the semester so I know what will be coming up. My only issue arrises from not putting things in my planner.
Also you kind of need to work on your font. For some reason it changes sizes sometimes. Try to make your pictures bigger too!
Do you find that you have to set aside a certain time of day for writing, or do you just write whenever?
I’ve been trying to set aside a certain time of day because I have to be strict with myself or myself will take advantage of my leniency haha
When I think of my time management, I have to take into account of when I do my best writing/thinking. The time of day where I feel like I am the most creative and thoughtful happens to be around 3 in the morning. So an important part of time management is knowing your work habits and figuring out a way to live a lifestyle that meets your needs.
I’m so glad someone else feels the way I do about lists. Something about making lists just makes it seem like things are in order, however much they actually aren’t. But I’m also losing them pretty often, or making the same lists twice and getting them mixed up as I cross things off.
I know it’s hard to not procrastinate with all of the distractions out there, particularly with today’s technology, but I find people complaining about a lack of time all too frequently. I too struggle to complete what needs to be done in what seems to be an ever shortening day span, but I know full well that it’s my own incompetence holding me back. If I would actually buckle down and do what needs done, I would have more than enough time in the day to complete everything.
My gosh, thank you. There are things that I just don’t seem to have the heart to make myself do, and I definitely needed some tips on better ways to bamboozle myself into doing them. Using a timer is interesting and seems like an awesome idea; however, I’m one of those people who can hit the snooze button for four hours and not think twice. I wonder if it will be that easy to ignore the timer!
If you have a phone that you can change the tone, make your timer have a really annoying tone so you can’t ignore it or make it something you really enjoy and might encourage you. Pavlovian stuff here haha
I’ve been trying to do this better, yet am failing. Perhaps this will help me. I really have to try more and get better. This blog was interesting and informative.
If you have an iPhone or a mac laptop the reminders app can be pretty useful as well. I like the idea of setting timers, that would help me since I tend to get lost working on something and forget how much time has passed until too late.
1. That is a beautiful picture, Lindsay.
2. Here is an app that many writers swear by: http://macfreedom.com/
3. I use Google Calendar to schedule out my day.
4. I made my novel writing students this term make out a full weekly schedule for themselves. Color coded. They loved it. I don’t know if they’re all sticking to it, but it made them think about how important it is to be the boss of your day.
5. Check out the Eisenhower method of time management. So helpful! http://unclutterer.com/2012/12/28/stay-productive-with-president-eisenhowers-method/
The timer idea is great. Of course, the key to making it work is to use it for a wide variety of activities. Don’t learn to associate the timer only with tedium. I like your idea of budgeting in break time. I like to use those break in some sort of active way like hiking or wandering the banks of a local stream or lake with my fishing pole. My added suggestion here would be to work and break in different spaces. Allow that down time to put you into a completely different frame of mind. Creatively speaking, I find the transitional mindset between work and play to be one of the most generative. Idea of labor and pleasure come together in interesting ways.
Time always flies by when you need it. It’s good to plan. Just in case things start to go a different route you will be prepared. Good tips by the way.
Time always flies when you need it the most
I am pretty old school in my planner. I always have to have one I write in. First off to remember things I have to write it. Secondly I have tried to do the iPhone calendar and I always end up not doing it or being done with it. I think I am just better off marking things off in my planner like yay I finished this event or this task.