Tuesday Tip

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tip#1 Seven days a week just aren’t enough days to get everything done. I think we need a day between Saturday and Sunday so we can all have an extra day. It could be called Sundurday or Satday. Oh, the things I could accomplish with an extra day, but since I don’t, I’ll have to make due with the seven I’ve got.

For those of you who read my last blog post, you know what my to-do list looks like. To-do list help me create daily structure. Daily structure is great, but I can’t live day to day. I need to visualize my entire week. Being a single mother, with a mother battling an illness, living with a busy sister, working 5-6 days a week, and writing on top of that, I can’t just plan my weeks day by day.

Make a Weekly Schedule

Making a schedule won’t give you more hours in the day, but it will help you make the most of the time you already have.

Making schedules might be painful, but consider the alternatives. Going on a whim. Relying on memory. Schedules not only give you peace of mind, they help you balance life and increase productivity.

My sister and I share a joint Google calendar so we can coordinate our lives, but you can use a good old-fashioned wall calendar or weekly planner.

Plan What you Need and Want to get Done

Start with your obligations. Record the days you work, appointments, etc. After that, record the things you want to do. Other than work, doctor appointments, and my son’s visitations with grandparents, I also need to schedule when I will write, edit, go to the gym, and visit my mom. It might sound cold and calculated to schedule family time, but I’ve found that by scheduling time with friends and relatives I actually see them more and have more quality time. This gives them the full attention they deserve.

Make a List of Priorities

Writing is a priority, and if you don’t treat it like one, you won’t find time to write or justify the time you dedicate to it. My priorities are as follows

Main Priorities

  • writing
  • family
  • work
  • editing
  • grocery shopping
  • chores

Secondary Priorities

  • gym
  • Netflix
  • friends

Tips to Remember

  • Be realistic with your time frame
  • Make a new schedule once a week–before your week starts
  • Make the schedule of the week you want to have
  • Adhere to the schedule, but be flexible. If it rains on a day you were supposed to plant your garden, you might want to rearrange.(check the weather if weather is a factor)

I hope that helps you add a little structure to your busy life. Do you keep a calendar? What are some ways you balance writing with family and life?

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15 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip

  1. Jon

    Odds are if I tried that I’d end up like Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf, who spent so much time creating elaborate revision timetables he never did any actual revision …

  2. Love this post because you say writing is a priority and give a suggestion to be flexible. Both of these things tend to be overlooked when people talking about scheduling. One thing I’ve found with periods of not making writing a priority is that it gets tougher and tougher to get back to it when you put it to the side. All it takes is one time of ‘I can delay this’ and you can find yourself a going a month without writing.

    This sounds odd, but do you ever schedule a ‘lazy day’ or just one to sleep in? I try this every now and again only because I tend to push myself too much.

    • Breaks are good, and you’re right it takes a long time to get back into it. I read somewhere that it can take up to ten days to recover from a major writing gap. I believe it. I’ve taken a lot of heat from family for making writing a priority and scheduling family time. If it’s important, you block off time. That way, it’s a priority, not an afterthought. It’s funny how you can tell people, don’t bug me at nine on a sunday. I’m watching Game of Thrones, but tell them you’re going to write for an hour and they go mad.

      • Are those ten days of trying to write or ten days of saying you’re going to write and never making it? I’ve had both. 😛

        I’ve gotten that heat too. A few even stated that I put my writing ahead of my son, which wasn’t a pretty discussion. Though the funny part is that one of those people said it while I was writing and my son was sitting next to me reading.

        I do find it funny what people will leave you alone with. TV is scared, but artistic endeavors are magnets for trouble. I can never figure out how I can be typing away at a book and people just walk up to me to talk. Downside of having to work in the open.

      • I know, right. My ex (for good reasons) would play video games all the times and barely spend time with our kid or do chores. I would wait to write until my kid was in bed and I was being selfish. Mind blown. I like how you incorporate your kids into your writing time. It’s nice to teach kids quiet time. I encourage rylee to do quiet things like read and practice his spelling words while I write. While he’s doing his homework I open my laptop beside him so we’re working together. If nothing else, you are teaching your kids to work at something they love.

      • To be honest, I didn’t really incorporate him that time. Usually, I write while he’s watching his shows or playing with his trains. I take a lot of breaks to check on him, play for a bit, etc. He hasn’t figured out how quiet time works. The current definition is that it’s when daddy needs to be quiet to work, but he can be as loud as he wants. Might be part of the reason nighttime and some of the weekend is me handing him off to the wife and making a run for it. 😀

  3. I vote for Satday. 🙂 I know what you mean by needing an extra day. Time management has always been a struggle for me, dating back to grade school. Being a creative person with a propensity for procrastination, I need a strict schedule. If I don’t, then all hell will break loose. LOL! That being said, I like your thinking on weekly schedules. Prioritize is a must and making time for writing is imperative. I put my writing time as an appointment every day (Monday through Friday). Like Charles, if I don’t make it a priority, then I will come up with excuses to not write. Sure, I don’t have the amount of writing time I did, say, last year, but I try to write at least an hour a day. 🙂

    I strive to balance work and family time. I work from 8-5 (including household duties) and at 5:30 pm, I shut off my laptop. I spend the evening unwinding and spending time with my husband. The weekends are time away from my work/writing too. I find I need this for the sake of my own sanity. I go, go, go all week long and I need the weekend to unwind and unplug.

    I know this is not doable for you, being a single mom, but even taking an hour or two to just unwind works wonders. 🙂

    • You know, I hate that I forgot to mention taking breaks. Might have to edit the post. Every other weekend and Sundays every other weekend, I am kid free (grandparents). During those times, my sister and I unwind. We literally sit and talk on our couch for hours. My mom thinks it’s a waste of time, but sometimes doing nothing is all I want to do after a busy week.

      • YAY! I am soooo glad you take breaks like this! It’s needed for your own peace of mind. It’s NEVER a waste of time and we do it every weekend.

        Remember when you were in kindergarten and there was naptime? It’s a proven fact that to increase productivity, the brain needs a break. Many industries/businesses have adopted this mindset and their employees are 45% more productive than those who do not nap.

        I’m a firm believer in naps, along with Satday! 😉

      • I take at least one nap a day. either during my lunch at work or when I get home. I don’t function without them. I hope you’re able to get a few naps when needed. So re-energizing.

  4. Scheduling is a great idea. After all, we follow other schedules, why not schedule time for writing. If you are getting interruptions from family because you are there, schedule to be elsewhere.

  5. Just one extra day? I could go for two or three. 🙂 I would go nuts without my calendar and my to-do lists. It’s the only way I can stay organized and get anything done. Writing everything down reduces stress for me, because I can’t possibly keep everything that needs to be done in my head.

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