Monday, July 03, 2006

Time Management

T-shirt of the day: Pink shirt with "Write brained" on it in white. It's from one of the writing organizations I belong to. I initially bought it with the idea of using it to sleep in, but I discovered (as mentioned in earlier entry) that I don't like sleeping in t-shirts. My nightwear is all satin, silk, microfiber or (in winter) flannel, and the t-shirt wasn't as comfortable. Now it's mostly my "hang around in the hotel room" attire when I travel since it's bigger than the shirts I like to wear as shirts, but that also means it covers my behind in leggings, which is good for the exercise class I have this evening.

I made excellent progress on the book this weekend. It seems as though I can reach my daily page count goal in about three hours of work if I don't fiddle around too much. It's the fiddling around that kills me. When I start tracking my time, it's amazing how much time I can't account for. I'll feel like the whole day went buy in a flash and I was terribly busy, but then when I try to determine how much time I spent on what tasks and what my results were, I have nothing to show for it. I know I also get sidetracked easily. For instance, I spent a good hour Friday night researching and planning that vacation I want to take when I get this book done.

I keep feeling like I don't have a life and don't have time for a life, but at the same time I want to work more, to get more books written, do more promo work and really make a go of this career. In order to do that, I need to learn to make better use of the time I've got. I think I'm going to try using the kitchen timer approach, though I think I'll actually use the alarm clock on my cell phone because I find the ticking of the timer highly distracting. I'll set aside time slots for certain tasks, and use the timer to make sure I don't let time get away from me. The faster I write, the better I write (there's more energy in it), so if I can make myself write more in less time, then that gives me (theoretically) more time.

Then after this current crunch is over, I want to try to get myself organized so I can save time that way. Then, maybe, I can have my life set up so that I can mix in quality free time with efficient work. I'll never be an efficiency expert, but I'm motivated to make time for all the things I really want to do, and I think that getting more balance in my life will make me a better writer.

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