Time Management

I noticed when I visited the blog this evening that I had missed my post date. Hence, I realized another obstacle I face as a writer. My lack of time management skills.

I have enough hours in the day. I get 24, just like the rest of you, but there are days when I have to wonder what happened to the 18 or so hours that have passed since I woke up. What did I do all day? Why didn't any of those hours include writing?
Sure, I work 12 hrs shifts at the hospital and those night shifts play havoc with my engery level and productivity, but that's only two nights a week. Five days a week I should be writing at least 6 hrs a day. I'm not. I've tried making schedules, checking off boxes of most important to least important items that have to be done, but the morning passes and all I've accomplished is to sip two cups of coffee and watch the news. Talk about depressing.

So, I'm at my wits end. I really have no idea how to manage my time and my writing is suffering because of it. Any suggestions? Any sure fire helpful hints? If you can help, I'll name a character after you in my next book.


Rox Delaney said...

Give yourself those mornings. I need a good two hours at the least before I can clear my head enough to remember my name, much less write.

You'll still need a push to get you writing. Maybe schedule an email to remind you that it's writing time? Or have a family member or friend call you--without chitchatting--to give you a push.

I'm sure others will have better ideas, but it's a start. :)

Pat Davids said...

Thanks, Rox, I'll stop beating myself up for being slow in the mornings and concentrate on what I can get done later in the day.

Rox Delaney said...

Some people are morning people, whether that's actually clock morning or body morning for people who work late shifts. Others just jump right out of bed and make me want to hurl. (Apologies to my morning friends.)

Go with who you are and find a way that works for you. What do YOU feel is your most productive time, if given a choice? (The answer "no time" is not acceptable. Sorry. LOL)

Reese Mobley said...

I think you need to cut yourself a little slack. You need to give yourself some time to recover. You are a wonderful writer and friend and you will get back on the saddle when you can. You've got too many good stories inside of you just begging to be written and when the time is right--you'll write.

Rox Delaney said...

Reese is right. Don't force yourself if you don't need to. It'll come when the time is right.

Melissa Robbins said...

Pick your favorite thing to do and tell yourself you can't do it until you write for 30 minutes or whatever time limit. After that, you can reward yourself by doing your favorite thing.

Nina Sipes said...

Somehow, in the back of my silly head, I think I remember you saying that you wrote at night because that fit your schedule best. It could be that it still would. My best time is different at different times and seasons. Not because of outside work but because of inside my head. Maybe it is daylight driven, I don't know. But I do know that productive time for me drifts around.
Maybe you should think about your hospital work schedule and think about when your brain is most active and when you have to fight to keep a thought warm. Then try to duplicate the best time of that at home. Some writers are at their peak at 2 to 6 AM.

Penny Rader said...

What time of the day is your most creative? Use that time for writing. Use mornings to putter and whatnot. Maybe afternoons or evenings or the middle of the night are when you have the most creative energy.

Working 12 hour shifts sounds exhausting. Plus you've had an extraordinarily hard year. I say lighten up on yourself some. Are you getting enough rest?

Maybe instead of thinking you have to write 6 hours which sounds overwhelming, block out an hour here, or maybe two hours there. Or set the timer for 30-45 minutes and just go, writing as much as you can. Set the timer again, and go. Repeat again, if you still have creative steam left.


Joan Vincent said...

Pat, I have been struggling with the same problem. It's almost like the mind subconsciously blocks out writing. I believe the long hot summer also contributes to this. It's hard to be energetic and productive when its boiling outside. Don't sweat (no pun intended) the downtime. You need it.