Mick Jagger once sang, “Tiiiiime is on my side.” Good for him! Every day, I wail, “Tiiiime is ganging up on me.”
My day starts at 5am and finishes at 11:30pm. You’d think being awake that long would mean I have oodles of time to fit everything in. By everything, I mean my full-time day job, my full-time writing job (and the research, reading, revising, critiquing, contest judging that goes with it), maintaining significant relationships, a major house renovation, demanding cats, and analysing social media (a fancy term for Facebook).
I’m not fishing for sympathy here. I bet you have a crazy schedule, too. Are you coping with it? Or are you on a gradual slide into insanity, like me?
In my quest to be a better time wrangler, I bought a how-to book on the subject. Six months ago. Hmm, it might’ve been seven months. Anyway, I haven’t carved out time to read it. When I accidentally caught the wrong train home yesterday, I had a spare moment to brainstorm.
If You’ve Got Too Much on the To-Do List:
• Don’t be a martyr or a yes-person; learn to say no once in a while, especially to things that make you less productive.
• Unpubbed and blogging all over known universe (um, like me)? Scale back. Writing comes first, self-promotion comes later.
• Ask yourself, “What am I willing to sacrifice?”
• Can you combine two tasks into one? For example, if you warm up with writing exercises, channel it into a blog post or vice versa.
• Prioritise. Work out what absolutely, positively has to be done and complete those tasks first. You might find you can delegate the lesser jobs. (Hey, would somebody else like to do my circuit training routine at the gym for me?)
If You’re a Time-Waster:
• Serial eBay cruiser? Tweeting every two minutes? Is your work suffering as a result? Maybe you need to give yourself a time limit. Try writing or whittling the to-do list for an hour, then reward yourself with a half-hour block of playtime. Set an alarm—a very loud, shrill, hard-to-ignore one—so you know when to stop messing around.
If You’ve Got Too Much Time:
• Luxuriating? Lucky you! In the words of Survivor’s Jeff Probst, I got nothin’ for ya. Now, get to work, you!
Are you a time-waster or a time-miser? What are your best time-saving ideas?