Beating the Clock With Time Management

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

Use a timer to make time to write.

One of the biggest obstacles I have to overcome on a daily basis is time management.  There are times I wish I could magically create time a to write where Tiny Tot didn’t need my attention for a couple of hours and I could work in peace and quiet.  As of this moment, however, that magic ability has yet to appear. The best I can manage on a daily basis is to wait until she goes to bed and hope I’m still alert enough to create comprehensible sentences.

Thankfully Grandma likes to play with Tiny Tot, so I also have about four hours every Friday and every other Monday to write like a madwoman. Even so, that’s not a lot of solid writing time.

Reaching for the dream…

Because Tiny Tot is one of my reasons for pushing on, I know finding the time to write is essential. You see, it’s my dream to stay at home with her, so I absolutely must write (and publish) to make enough money to attain my goal.  That can feel impossible at times, especially when just starting my career.

I have no doubt there are a lot of writers like me, searching for ways to make more time for their craft.  While I don’t have the answer to how to do this, I know of a few resources to help us.

2 ways to make time…

Perhaps the best resource is Flylady.  Marla Cilley (aka Flylady) advocates a system of 15 minutes at a time.  This system is designed to work in all aspects of home life and can be adapted for writing also.  The best part is that children can begin to understand that Mommy or Daddy will be able to play with them as soon as the timer goes off.  (Flylady’s way of keeping things moving is to use a timer.)

Another writer once said her husband  helped her fix a way for her to sit on top of the fridge to work while her son played safely on the floor below her.  Being creative is what writers do.  Putting that creativity to work finding a way to snatch a few minutes to write is a logical step.  I’ve personally discovered I can work on a project during lulls at my day job.  It may not be as satisfying as sitting at my computer for a couple of hours, but it keeps me going in the right (write? 🙂 ) direction.

Trial and error…

I am positive there are other resources available that actually help (and many that don’t) with time management.  My suggestion is to try several.  Keep doing those that work for you and discard those that don’t.

Time is a commodity everyone must decide how best to use and writers are no different.  However, when you use your creative impulses, you may discover some unique ways to create time to write.

What works for you? What tips and tricks do you use to make time to write?

7 Responses to “Beating the Clock With Time Management”

  1. Nice article! One thing I’ve been doing recently is trying to find ways to get dual utilization out of a block of time. Our kids have a lot of activities, and while I’m not going to try to multitask during a hockey game or a dance recital, there’s only so much you can get out of watching a soccer practice or sitting in the car during a piano lesson.

    I bought a netbook and have been taking that with me for those chunks of time which in the past would have been occupied by playing Angry Birds on my iPod Touch or just vegging out in the car.

    Sounds like your little one probably isn’t doing much in the way of these activities yet, but maybe that idea will help you down the road. And I’m sure there are other situations in which it could be applicable.

    Best of luck! Time management is a VERY important skill.

    • vripple says:

      That is very true. Productively using that down time waiting is a great way to stay on top of things that need doing. I have a laptop, but it’s almost as awkward to lug around as a desktop computer. I might just look into a netbook. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Marion Spicher says:

    A couple things worked for a while in the past … 100 words per day but other responsibilities fell behind. Currently wont work as I am reworking the plot. Will try minimum 1 hr./day. Start small. Be successful. I need 1/2 hr. to get re-acquainted with the story! Had a month’s interruption. Egad! How did that happen? I am convinced in order to stay in the story one needs a good memory or must write daily. Setting that as one of my goals. May time management be something we all conquer, making sure to budget time for family and fun.

    • vripple says:

      Goals are good. Little ones are better because they’re easier to accomplish and make us feel good because we did them. Besides, like a pennies, even little accomplishments add up over time. Good luck and thanks for the comment.

  3. Linda Burke says:

    Sat my year old granddaughter in her high chair with washable crayons and paper to play with while I was writing. This was good for at least 30 minutes. She also liked to play with smaller toys while sitting there. Even a snack. This was our special “writing time” each morning.

    • vripple says:

      I’ve done something like that with my daughter. Sometimes it’s her favorite Veggie Tales video and sometimes its playing the piano in my office while I type. If you can find that just right fun thing to let them entertain themselves for a bit, it’s worth it to snatch a little writing time.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

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