Time Management Systems that Match Your Lifestyle
A few years ago, on a chilly November morning, I was researching on the Internet and in my local library for ways to organize my writing and time. After years of writing I still was not seeing the results I wanted.
I launched into my regular routine of researching I've learned through the years whenever I tackle a new writing project. This time however, I was covered in information that was either too simplistic (!2 Tips to Better Time Management), or so detailed with techie stuff it made my head spin.
After days of research I ended up with a huge pile of notes, magazine articles, and books, that covered two of my desks. (Yes I have two desks. Long ago I mistakenly thought a second desk would end my clutter problem. I bet you can guess how that worked out).
To make matters worse I had taken over a dozen workshops on time management over the last ten years. After all the information gathering, the time to take workshops and interviewing other writers, I looked at my pile of information and felt like crying.
“Where in the world is the solution buried in this mess,” I thought.
After staring at the mess for a while I got up, grabbed my blue coral colored bowl, and heaped five big scoops of Death by Chocolate Ice Cream into to. Then I flopped down on my old worn love seat and watched the cold wind blow the snow around the oak trees outside my window.
Not exactly the ideal solution, but, it did help.
As I savored the chocolate melting in my mouth, I remembered how different my choices of ice cream are from some of my friends I went shopping with. Then I remembered the different ways we set up our kitchens, and how different our menu choices and ways of eating are.
That was the turning point for me. I finally realized that all these expert ideas on time management were useless to me, (and maybe others), if I did not first understand my individual life style, my talents, areas that needed improvement, not to mention differences in writing styles and goals.
To create a time management program that will work for you and your individual needs, as well as grow as you and your writing grows, you first need to establish what kind of system will work well for you, and even more importantly, what kind will not work at all.
For myself, I don't do well with time constraints. Perhaps it's the differences in culture. I went with a few other people to the Franklin Covey time management seminars years ago. The others flourished, and I lagged way behind. In fact, taking time to figure out how long things were taking me to do ended up confusing me, and then nothing at all got accomplished.
So, are you time based or free flowing? Can you work within a time structure like 10 am I will do my outline, Noon I fix lunch, and so on.
Or, do you work better having a block of time you can move in that is not so defined?
Once you understand the type of person you are when it comes to time, you can then look at your lifestyle. What are the most important things for you right now. Family time? Writing time? Exercise time?
Defining your lifestyle priorities first, will allow you to see where you can place your writing without sacrificing what's most important for you. When you do it the other way around, you end up creating internal stress for yourself, as well as letting the system go because it simply won't work for you.
Which are you?
A. A time based person that thrives in detail and structure?
B. A free flowing person
What are you current Lifestyle priorities?
A. Family time
B. School time
C. Writing Time
D. other – please write these down
Take some time to ponder on these things and write down your answers. Put them with the answers to the quiz I gave you last week. If you haven't had time to finish the quiz, ( or even look at) make ten minutes before next week to do so. It will be worth it...I promise you.
So until next week....