Friday, November 9, 2012

Managing Your Time When You're Busy

I hate time management. I mean, I love the idea of it. I love being organized. The part I hate is trying to make it work in a chaotic, unpredictable world of suddenly sick friends, unexpected and immediate new work deadlines, accidentally broken cell phones, long lines at the voting booth, Nanowrimo word count deficits that are compounding worse than the national debt...

In other words, life is a bitch sometimes, and this week in particular she has been super mean to me. I can barely figure out if I'm coming and going, and yet I have a blog post due today. Yeah, sure, I can just not post, but I care about being consistent. So, I'm doing what any self-respecting blogger/writer would do after a week like I've had...

I've looked up what other people are saying about time management and I'm sharing their links.

The truth is, I'm not sure I have enough wisdom myself to share with you yet on managing your time for writing. I kind of suck at it, and I need to get better at this skill as much as anyone does. So, barring my own insights, I can at least share the wisdom of others. Here are some cool things I've found so far, and I hope you have fun exploring the links and maybe meeting a new blogger because of it:

  1. Over at Writing Is Hard Work, busy teacher Roger Colby is offering some of his tips for surviving National Novel Writing Month (the said Nanowrimo that is kicking my butt at the moment). His first post is about time management, and he is busy enough that I'm embarrassed at my own lack of productivity. Read his Compartmentalizing post, and then check out the rest of his Nanowrimo series.
  2. Nanowrimo's website has a post on time management for college students who are writing. I'm not in college, but I like the post's title, which is about the "preservation of sanity." That's about where I am right now. Barely holding on to quirky so as not to pass into crazy bastard territory, a la Sheldon of the Big Bang Theory. That post is here, if you'd like to remind yourself that no matter how busy you are, you don't have a essay due on top of it. Unless, of course, you do have an essay due today, in which case I extend my sympathies.
  3. If you're a software nut, you might look into RescueTime, which supposedly helps you to manage your writing time better. I haven't tried it. I won't recommend it. But it's interesting to know that it's out there. If you've tried RescueTime before or if you decide to try it now, let me know in the comments what you think of it. I'm curious to know how effective it is.
  4. BookBaby has a blog post on time management for writers on a deadline. And let's face it, who isn't on a deadline? If the deadline isn't for your writing, it's for something else, like fitting your writing into a certain time slot before you have to go to work, the doctor, etc.
  5. Rebecca Bradley shares her tips for time management, including what to do with the kids (if you have them). I don't. I'm glad about that. I think I'd probably forget them at the library for hours, or something equally un-mom-like. She also recommends cutting out unnecessary TV, which of course can be extended to cutting out anything that we don't really need to be doing and that we're using just as time-fillers.
That's the best I can do in the limited time I have this morning to get this post live. On the other hand, that's pretty good information to get you started, and I came up with it in 20 minutes. Proof positive that I can, in fact, manage my time and get some writing done fast, if I set my mind to it.

So, what's my excuse? And what is yours? Something to think about, isn't it?

How do you manage your time? And have you found any resources that help you stay on track when you're busy or when life throws you the unexpected? Please share below! And don't forget to check out how fellow writer James Garcia Jr. manages his busy schedule and writes novels at the same time, in his post Finding Time to Write. This guy is actually making it happen, and we can learn from his advice. Plus, he has a new book that you might want to check out. So, give it a read if you haven't already.

See you next week, and if you're Nanowrimo-ing like I am, best wishes to you, and may your word count increase exponentially!

Copyright (c) 2012 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm? Well, I'm not sure just what exactly I am making happen, but I'm sure there's something!! Oh, yeah. I accomplished a goal - a couple of them actually. Now, if I could only figure out how to get those novels noticed in a sea of books. *sigh*
    Well done, my friend. You have magic at the ends of your fingers! 20 minutes, you say?
    I hope you have a great week. Good luck juggling all of those things on your daily to-do list. *waves*

    -Jimmy

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