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Monday, April 19, 2010

Time After Time: Avoiding Timewasters

I find it apropos that I'm writing this post on a Tuesday to schedule on a Monday that I'm flying back from a book festival I attended over the weekend.

Because today, it's about time.

Finding the time to write can be hard. Even if you have a lot of free time.There are things that distract us and things that take priority and then the day is gone and we haven't written a single word. I've written before about finding time, but I'd like to take the opposite side today.

The things that steal our time.

I'm pretty lucky. I work at home, and I have a lot of free time to write. I have large chunks of my morning I can set aside every day. But even then, I still have days where nothing gets written. Sometimes it boggles my mind how that can happen.

But in reality, it's because I know I can always do it "later." Clients will need something, so instead of writing during those hours I set aside, I jump on the computer to do "just a few things" first. And then more stuff comes in, and something else happens, and then my day is gone.

Those quick little "I'll just check X" are killers. E-mail, Facebook, blogging (oh yes, this has kept me from the page more than once), all seem so innocent, but the time adds up. Well, actually it's more like it slips away.

So, if you have time you set aside to write, don't talk yourself out of using it. Even when you have good intentions, like if you hit the dry cleaners first thing, you'll have all afternoon to write. Because life will happen and you'll remember six other things you need to do while you're out.

My best writing days are when I take advantage of those hours I set aside each morning and get my words written. Whatever time you manage to carve out for yourself, don't take it for granted.

Use it.


  1. I've definitely found that FB, email, etc suck up my time horribly. So when I have protected time to write, I make a plan to do extraneous "checking" for 2-3 hours. But it's hard!

  2. I'm one who is going to have to start managing time much better - and soon (golf season is upon us). I'm either going to have to wake up earlier or use my night hours more wisely.

  3. Thank goodness for being able to schedule blog posts ahead of time. Now, I need to stop commenting and get down to work...

  4. I so agree -- days without writing, even if it's only my blog post, lead to stress.

  5. I agree. It's hard with the pressure to have a web presence and read/write/comment on blogs not too spend too much time on that & too little on writing. It's important to keep the writing as the most important.

  6. TV is my biggest enemy in this category. I also turn off the wireless radio on my computer so I literally can't get online. But making that move from the couch to the writing room...hard at the end of a long day.

  7. If I wrote in the evenings, TV would kill me. Too many fun stories to watch.

  8. I am so-o-o guilty of "I'll just do a few things". I get really mad at myself when I find that my writing time has been frittered away.

  9. I'm a terrible time waster. What I've finally learned to do is just stop everything when it's time to write and do it, and not stop till I meet my goal. Once I start writing, I frequently exceed my goal.

  10. Cat, I do that too. I go upstairs and I'm lucky to get 1000 words done. I stay downstairs, and 2500 go by like nothing.