Can you juggle time?
We might think so, but it's probably more accurate to say that we juggle tasks. From the necessary to the enjoyable, we try to accomplish it all, but not always with great success. The trick is to keep these tasks airborne to create the illusion that we're getting it all done. But are we?
If you were to look at my to-do list, you'd see that I'm not getting it all done. Within reason, this is okay. Life happens, and it needs to be enjoyed too. But I've been reviewing my habits in relation to my goals, to write well and productively. There's one small issue, though - I am a master procrastinator, and with that, get distracted often. I need regular reminders to stay on task. So thought I'd share my observations and action steps on the off chance that you might have similar "juggling" challenges.
- Ignore the internet. It's like a magnet. Facebook, Twitter, email, it's just crazy. Trying to write an article with my email open is a tangent waiting to happen. So I keep those windows closed, or bribe myself. Article done = dark chocolate. Or something similar that helps motivate me.
- Ignore the phone. Or at least, screen calls. That way, if the Super Duper Contest Company calls to tell me that I won, I won't miss it. I also designate working hours, otherwise interruptions can hijack the day.
- Ignore the chores. I don't mean ditching housework forever, only for a bit when it means getting a project finished. Saturdays are often my chore days to get general cleaning done. Knowing that keeps the distraction level down.
- Ignore the "must-do-now" items. You know, like the files that want to be alphabetized, or the unfinished craft project mocking you from the next room. Focusing on the task at hand frees up time later to work on those other items.
Pretty basic, I know, but when keeping these things in check, a lot more gets accomplished. Which means I can enjoy the other facets of life, which are just as important. A balance of self discipline, flexibility, and determination makes that juggling act a lot easier.
(Speaking of easier, one helpful resource is Jeanette Levellie's book, Shock the Clock. It offers great tips on time management for writers and other creatives.)
Are you a procrastinator? What tasks do you juggle? What helps you focus and get things done?
Taking a break before heading into my 7th blogoversary celebration in March. We'll have a few guests and maybe even a giveaway or two. :) See you on March 7!
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