Last night was one such day. Bundled in sweatshirts with chattering teeth, we sat by the fence watching the game. By the end of the first half of ONE INNING I had made two trips down the hill to the biffy with my younger kids and one trip to the car for warmer jackets.
It is all part of the family sport experience. We don’t all go to every game, but we all try to make it when my son is pitching. Still, sometimes it feels like I don’t get to see nearly enough of the game.
How about your writing life? Do you sometimes feel that you have so many things that are important that steel your writing time?
Even some of the things that support our writing platform like social media, volunteer involvement and blogging can cramp our time writing. There is no doubt these things are important, but we must find some ways to streamline the amount of time it takes us to do them, so we can be all about the writing and still do well in building our platform.
Here are a few tips to get you started on decluttering your writing time:
*Use Social Media Tools that allow you to maximize your time. My friend Edie Melson has really given me some tips for utilizing tools like HootSuite to shorten the time I spend working on social networking. If you click on her name above it will take you to her blog that gives tons of tips for social media.
*Be Portable. There are sometimes when we are waiting that could be used to achieve our goals. For example, waiting at the dentist’s office is a great time to read a book for market research. Carry a book with you at all times. Bring a notepad and brainstorm blog topics. Check e-mail on your phone.
*Streamline Your Work Focus. Assign specific tasks to a day of the week. For example, write your blogs on Mondays, write Tuesday to Thursday and spend Fridays on your writing connections/relationship/volunteer work.
*Make A Do Not Disturb Sign or Signal. If you don’t respect your writing time, no one else will either. Make a habit of planning the time as if you are at work. Sure sometimes we sneak in a bit of time here and there, but we should have some set time each day to write. With kids it is especially helpful to try the timer method. Set the timer for 30 minutes(time depends on age) and ask them to play with minimal interruptions and at the end of that time you will do something together.
*Ask A Partner To Share The Load. At the game the other night, my husband and I took turns with the tasks that brought us away from the game. Asking your husband to cook one night a week, or give you some time to work on Saturdays. Find that extra time that allows you to be creative.
*Learn To Say ‘NO’. This is one of the hardest things to do, but it is essential.
*Map Out A Week’s Calendar And See If It Is Reasonable. Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure by having more things on our plates than we can possibly do, much less do them well. Cut the fat. Go through and prioritize and find what things need to be eliminated. (Don’t allow guilt to determine your choices)
What are some strategies you use to juggle responsibilities as a writer?