Wednesday, September 19, 2012

3 Ideas for Time Management

1.) I hereby humbly offer this Petition for 36 Hour Days:

Since slowing the planet's rotation down is nigh impossible and likely disastrous, can we earthlings agree to modify our age-old custom of hours being 60 minutes? I suggest 40 minute hours. If we do this, then we will all then have 36 hours in each day. Of course, if we do, our average 8 hour work day will only last 5.33 of the hours as we know it now. We would have to recieve the same pay for this new time as we used to get for the old time, understanding that this means we must be more productive. (Stay focused!!!) However, I implore everyone to maintain the average 8 old hours of sleep we allow ourselves (yeah right) by allocating 12 of the new hours to maintain our usual amount of shut-eye time in slumberland. Additionally, to keep everyone aligned, it seems it would be easiest if we adopt a military time style for telling time. (Clockmakers and watchmakers of the world, prepare yourselves to make new products...)

This shift of time would allow more time for LIVING life...which, for writers is writing.

Barring the whole global shift of time as we know it,
 writers need to brew up some time for writing.

2.) Get out your cauldron, add water to half full, place over roaring fire outside in a location safe for a fire. When the water is bubbling good, add 1/4 cup of newt eyes, 3 warts off a toad's back, and about 2 cups of kitten toes, claws intact -- calico toes work best for this. When all the ingredients are in the cauldron chant for a quarter-hour: "Time, time come to me, at my disposal always be." Let the fire go out then bottle up your brew and drink it (over ice and with a sprig of mint) when you need more time.

JOKING! NEVER EVER take the eyes from a newt, the warts from a frog or the toes of a kitten. They need those things! And besides, the Three-Fold Law/Karma can be a bitch.

Seriously, unless you have a DeLorean, a Tardis,
or that nifty necklace thing Hermione had
that I cannot remember the name of and am
not currently inclined to google and find out, 
time is going to be an issue YOU have to manage,
stealing those precious minutes where you can find them.

If you are a single person working only one full-time job--or perhaps someone who is incarcerated--you're probably not whining for more time. It's those of us working 1 or more jobs, working and going to school, those with kids/spouse/pets, those with yards and flowerbeds and/or gardens, those active in their communities teaching texting to the elderly, or those involved in Big Brother/Big Sister type stuff, who are going to have to schedule some time.

3.) Set some time aside for yourself--daily if at all possible--and follow through. This may mean losing one hour of sleep (AM or PM--don't bemoan this idea...I hear DiVinci slept only 15 minutes every 2 hours), or showering instead of luxuriating in the bath, or half-jogging as you push that mower around the yard. (Double points for this as it's cardio!) It may mean getting your ass off of facebook. It may mean sitting alone with a notebook you put in your lunchbox instead of propetuating office gossip. It may mean turning off the TV/cellphone/X-box--or in my case, Spider Solitaire.

The bottom line...

Like any other goal you set for yourself, writing, be it a novel or short story, takes COMMITMENT.

Writing requires YOU find the ways
that work for YOU

This is the only way I know to get the writing and all the chores done: I sit in the chair and I write until the words stop coming. Then I get up and I do laundry, clean the house, mow the lawn, or make dinner. I do some chore that needs done (sometimes a chore qualifies as stopping to herd a child into the bathroom and threaten privileges if they don't shower right now), then I go back to the chair. I re-read a bit of the last scene, then write until the words stop coming and I go do the next chore(which might be assigning a chore to a kid, running an errand). Sometimes it seems the words are a mess of unreadable crap, in which case I open a new document and write in there because that's not part of the book and its okay if this random page sucks because its not part of the book and I clearly have to keep going to get this other shit out of the way so I can get on to the good stuff which is worthy of being in the book, and these portions I will promptly copy and paste into the shiny and awesome book document and hit save. Sometimes, I have to call it a day because the words--even rotten ones--aren't coming. That's okay so long as it's not an everyday occurence. 

If I'm not putting words on the page, I'm not writing, so how can I call myself a writer? 

(**If you have a spouse/co-habitator who will do ANY of the chores and help buy you some time for this thing you're passionate about, be VERY VERY grateful. They are doing much more than helping around the house. They are sacrificing some time you two could be together in support of your goal. I hope you recognize that.)


  1. Whew, thank goodness you said not to try brewing that. My cats are too old to be considered kittens, and they kinda need their toes anyway. (Plus, a quarter cup of newts eyes? That's like what 400 newts. Where does one find that many?)


  2. It would take quite a while...imagine how much writing one could get done if one weren't chasing down kooky "cures." :)

  3. "The pig was committed."

    There are days I definitely relate to bacon.

  4. Your chore-based system is very unique!