Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Making Time Work for Me

The workshop I got the most out of at EPICon was all about time management. Presented by Cindi Myers, it was a real boon for me, mostly because I am completely obsessive about schedules and getting things done. I have to be. I have two very active teenagers, a husband who works from home 75% of the time, a house to take care of, and a writing career I'm hoping to grow as my kids get older. Some people might argue that the house is everyone's responsibility, which it is--I have zero problem delegating--but I know from experience that if I don't stay on top of things, stuff doesn't happen.

My trip to San Antonio is a great example. Not only did my daughter miss her piano lesson because my husband got it into his head that nothing happened on Fridays and thus didn't bother checking the calendar I had ensured was complete and up to date before leaving, but the fresh produce I had bought at their request so they wouldn't have to worry about getting groceries while I was gone went untouched. I threw it all out yesterday morning and went shopping again to replenish the pantry. Apparently, their meals consisted of a lot of English pancakes, pork ribs, and pie. For them, those are the major food groups all covered.

In the aftermath of my trip, I'm going through my notes to start trying to find elements I can incorporate into my daily life. The first thing I did was purchase a book Cindi recommended, 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron. It's only $.99 in Kindle format, so I'm passing the recommendation along to all of you. I haven't had the chance to read it yet, but it's first on the list to sit down and go through.

Another thing she suggested was the Pomodoro Technique. I'm not bothering with any of the reading or the app that's on the website, but the basic idea is to break your day up. You pick something to work on (writing), work on it for a short period of time without interruption (for example, 25 minutes), then take a short break. I actually did this quite a bit without realizing it, mostly because I have a lot of things that break up my day. I'm going to try and make it a little bit more organized and see how it works.

Cindi suggested a lot of different things to get past writer's block as well, in order to take advantage of your time. I'm going to blog about those later on sometime after I've had the chance to try a few. Because we all hit that wall. It would be nice to be able to climb over it, right?