Monday, May 8, 2017

Time Management and the "Book Plan"

Time management is probably the number one issue in my writing life. I created a “Book Plan” a few days ago, where I slotted out time in my day that I would spend on “book” things- journaling, writing, editing books that I’m publishing, and reading. My “Book Plan” totals out to 6.5 hours in my day if I limit it to the time I’ve scheduled. I’ve been wondering since doing this if this isn’t enough time for these “book” activities, but…I do have a life outside of working. I see these items on the list as being the minimum amount of time I need to spend on them daily to feel like I've successfully done my work for the day.

 So, I do have a plan. Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep to plans because I usually just keep them in my head or as a file in my cloud storage. Out of sight, out of mind. To combat this, I’ve actually printed out the “Book Plan” on postcards and have them in various places to remind me that I have this plan that I need to be doing. I have one in my office at school, just to remind me that, if I happen to have downtime, get something on the list in. I have one on my bedside table, reminding me to go to sleep because I need to get up in the mornings and get started on that plan. One near my dining room table, where I usually sit and write. One next to the TV, hopefully to remind me not to mindlessly watch TV, but to get to work if I haven’t done my days’ plan.

Then, there is that life thing. I am single. While I don’t have children to take care of, I do have pets. Cats can be just as messy as toddlers when it comes to needing to clean up after them. I have an old dog who now seems to not be able to hold his bladder throughout the night. I own my own home, so all of the responsibilities of owning a home are mine and mine alone. I also have to cook sometime. And go out places. And, because I am an only child, I spend a lot of time with my mother. All of this fills in quite a bit of time in my days and weeks.

I don’t know why, but it seems when people show concern as to how I’m going to do all the things: the writing, publishing, teaching, and librarian-ing, as well as live my life, it upsets me. I don’t like that others are thinking about my schedule and how busy I am. It’s just life for me. Maybe I get upset because I wonder how I’m going to live my life with all the projects I have on my agenda. I have plans, though. I need to build my business, build my market, build my next career. I am actually eligible to retire in 12 years from the school district. I’ll be 53. I’ll be half way through my life. I just don’t really have time to wonder if I can’t do it. I’m too busy working to make it happen.