We are constantly busy. Insanely busy. I suppose that I’d rather be busy than bored, but sometimes it becomes overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has found me hiding under a blanket because I just need five minutes to regroup. But I’ve finally figured out a schedule that works for me.
Writing comes with its own set of responsibilities, some of which I’ve been slacking on as of late. (Blog reading, anyone?) I’ve also figured out a schedule to help me with that on a day-to-day basis, but for now, let’s look at the overall. This is a picture of my calendar during the month of November, which is a fairly crazy month. And yes, I really need a camera with a flash that turns off.
This is how I coordinate. See the blue tags? They have to do with my son. No school, for example, because this is No-school-vember. All doctor appointments are in red. The yellow tags? Writing deadlines. It’s great because I can glance at it from across the room and have a general idea of my week. The things that we do every week are written with pen, color coordinated, but not tagged. For example, every Monday I take Small Son to speech therapy. It’s a normal thing, and his color is blue, so there it is. Tuesday is Tiny Daughter’s ballet, so it’s written in and highlighted in pink. Tuesday is also when I hook up with my writing group, so it’s written and highlighted in yellow.
Yeah, it seems like a lot of work, but it’s actually pretty smooth and it makes it so much easier to plan my writing life. I can see immediately when I’ll have time and when I won’t. For example, I take my computer to ballet and write for half an hour while she’s stretching out and learning the basics. Then I can pop to the window and watch the rest of her class. While Small Son is with his speech therapist, I can take Tiny Daughter and run to the grocery store right across the street. I get my shopping in without A) terrifying Small Son by dragging him somewhere unfamiliar and B) taking any extra time. Learn where your writing time is and fit it in. Figure out where you’re going to be and work around it. I can write at ballet but there isn’t any Internet, so that isn’t the time to submit pieces online. I can swing by the Post Office and mail submissions on the way home from ballet or speech. I don’t spend time wandering around. I’m not idle.
Buzz kill, I know. But it’s necessary, at least for me. I’m working on a memoir and a few different novels. I’m a beta reader. I have an amazing writing group. I read slush and write for a magazine. I do about four million other things, and they’re things that make me happy, but they also require time. Time is currency. Spend it wisely.
How do you organize your time? I’m dying to know!