My least productive month for writing has to be November and December. I think I have already discussed that I hate writing in the winter, which is weird because I love the winter. While there are other constrictions, the biggest hindrances are the holidays. I love them. Family, food, gifts, guilt-free goodies. What is there to dislike? But, the limited time I have gets taken up by baking, then Christmas parties and shopping and more baking. Just when I think it’s over, there’s New Year’s parties and football. So, where’s the writing? I’m not sure because I have been failing to find the time.
|Taken from Microsoft Clipart|
I went about looking for time-saving ideas online. I actually started laughing because it was as contradictory as writing advice. I find that refreshing, but that could just be me. Anyway, some said to procrastinate and others said not to—the one for it had a valid point but was still probably a little misguided. One said to learn to multitask, and another stated people are 40% less productive if they multitask. One article said to accept the fact that not everything will get done. I don’t know what world that author lives in, but it is not mine—although a care-free life is more and more appealing to me right now.
I decided to really think about all this and come up with a list of my own four things.
1. Disconnect. This particular one was referring to disconnecting from technology since it is way too much of a distraction and stress creator. I wanted to mesh this with the idea of time. I used to lug my huge laptop around everywhere just in case I had time to write. Then I had to plug it in and boot it up. By then, I’ve wasted quite a bit of time. So, disconnect from technology. Carry a notebook and jot down scenes while you wait in lines or whatever. Small moments can add up. You can type them later, but I bet that will still save time in the long run…and at least it’s productive.
2. Make a schedule. I like this one…probably because I am super organized and schedule oriented. But I think it has value. Set time for things and schedule it in. I normally wake up early to write. Unless it’s dark and cold…then the snooze button is way too appealing and my bed way too warm and inviting.
3. Listen to books on tape while cooking. I loved this advice, especially because then the “reading” time can become “writing” time later.
4. Breathe. I actually like one of the advices along this line…although it doesn’t help save time as much as mental status. Just breathe and know things will happen. Set priorities and relax. I always need to remind myself of that.
As the holidays approach at warp speed, stay sane. And feel free to share any time-saving advice of your own. I need all the help I can get!