Picking up after the A To Z Challenge has meant catching up with life off-line with little time for blogging overthe past two weeks. I’m back now, raring to go and I’m going to start with a few lessons I learned on carving out time to get things done.
Lesson 1: Ten minutes is enough to get something done so use it.
One of the most consistent enduring myths is that 10 minutes just isn’t enough time to get anything done, especially writing. Nah, its not true. You can write or edit a paragraph, crack a challenge, wash the dishes, send off a key e-mail. It may seem like moving a mountain with a spoon, but the more you get used to using those hidden gems, you will see outputs add up and things get done. Ten times 3 is half an hour. I have learned never to let 10 minutes go unused.
Lesson 2: Rearrange, restructure and renegotiate
My attention-loving diva decided to wake up early (my writing time) to spend more time with mommy. After too many make-shift solutions that didn’t address the underlying battle of wills, I restructured and renegotiated morning and mommy time. I still wake up and write but now I have carved out time to exercise in the morning with my daughter, using the Wii. Lets Dance can get your blood flowing, tennis and baseball flex those biceps and the diva gets her performance time, with mom populating the audience box. Look for ways to rearrange things to use time differently, and it may mean working it out with family and friends, but it can be done.
Lesson 3: Let it go, Don’t worry about it
It isn’t all going to get done. Accept it and move on. Just chose what you can and can’t live with–turning underwear inside out for lack of laundry, eating take out to cover for the empty fridge, paying the kid next door to mow the lawn, kicking dust bunnies back under the bed, whatever it takes. Embracing and owning that you can’t do it all, is empowering as all get go.
Lesson 4: Double dip
Commuting’s my biggest time suck. So I figured out a way to use it. I turned off the radio and started thinking through characters, solving plot problems, reworking dialogue and writing it all done when I get to work. I let the meditative state of the quiet car open a door for the muse to visit. When good ole musie takes a vacation, I still double dip the time. I exercise, sneaking in a few bicep curls at red lights.
Lesson 5: Set time limits and stick to them
It is way too easy to get seduced by cyberspace, losing yourself for hours on facebook, twitter, pininterest, blogs and the growing legion of on-line social media. The clock strikes midnight, no writing done, laundry piled up in several corners, half empty glasses of tea and yogurt containers scattered around the house. Trick is to give yourself a limit, how much depends on your life and needs and priorities. For me, I gave myself ten minutes per social media per night, its all I have. Others need more. That’s up to you. But when you’re done, turn it off and move on.
How about you. Any suggestions for grabbing some more time, to keep writing, get the tasks of life accomplished and just have fun?
As for me, I’ve got two months of mail waiting for me to sort through it. Ciao, gotta go sort.