Thursday, April 14, 2011

Empress Procrastination Tries to Manage Her Time

Every human being has exactly the same amount of time, and yet consider the output of Robert Louis Stevenson, John Peabody Harrington, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Goldman, Neil Simon, Joyce Carol Oates, Agatha Christie, and John Gardner. How did they accomplish what they have? They weren't deflected from their priorities by activities of lesser importance. The work continues, even though everything else may have to give. They know that their greatest resource is themselves. Wasting time is wasting themselves. When people ask them, "Where do you find the time?" they wonder, "Where do you lose it?"
~ Kenneth Atchity

Time management is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Frankly, I suck at it. I'm a very organized person in theory, but the execution of it lacks a bit at times. I really work best under a deadline. When I have a deadline, I have no excuse to put things off (I am the EMPRESS of Procrastination). When I have a deadline, I let nothing get in my way. I stay up late, wake up early, spend every waking minute working on my project to get it done. Without a deadline...I sort of end up like this:

So, I've set up a schedule for myself. We'll see how it goes. I tend to not stick to these things very long. But I have eternal hope :D

I am a stay-at-home mom with two kids who are now both in school full time. I know I have the hours in the day to do everything I want (most of the time). So I should be accomplishing a lot, right? I mean, I should be churning out a new novel every other month and my house should always be spotless, shouldn't it?

So why is everything, including my novels, laying around half done? Honestly, I have no idea. It's like spending $100 out shopping and having nothing to show for it. I will admit, that despite my best intentions, I often find myself during my child free hours, simply staring off into space, or cruising the blogs and tweets, or cuddled up on the couch with some hot coco and one of the many shows I've recorded over the week but haven't gotten around to watching. Often, even writing just sounds like too much work and all I want to do is vegetate.

And I really need to stop beating myself up over that. Heck, everyone needs a break...especially stay at home moms :D But, I could be managing my time better. And since I have several projects that I really REALLY want to get done in the next month or so, I have put myself on a schedule that should, if I follow it, allow me to accomplish what I want to in my personal endeavors, and still enable me to take care of my home and family in the way that I want.

I write best when I am alone and it is quiet, usually in the mornings...but I have also discovered that if I get all the house chores done first thing in the morning, my day goes much smoother. I seem to have more time to do everything else, and I am much less stressed going about the rest of my day. So I have decided to sacrifice a bit of my "me" time every morning to get the things done around the house that need doing. If I can stay on top of things, the chores should only take an hour or so a day...which leaves me plenty of time to squeeze in a few miles at the track, run all my errands and still have time to write or watch tv or just stare off into space until my children come home.

So, that is my game plan :D I will manage my time wisely so that I can fit everything into my day that I need, and want, to do.

Does anyone else have a hard time managing their time? Do you find yourself playing online or doing something else when you should be applying those fingers to the keyboard?


  1. Since I started my blog (coming up on my one-year anniversary), gotten on Facebook and Twitter, managing all the social media stuff has been a huge challenge. It's a handy excuse to say, "I'll just make the rounds of all the sites, leave some comments, tweet something pithy. . ." and then realize I've spent a few hours NOT writing. And not only that, I've used up my writing momentum with all those other things.

    I also do better with concentrating if I've done the chores and my walk first, so I'm also going to wedge a specific allotment of social time in there. Get everything done and then have a clear field for writing. Starting now.

  2. Wow. Either you're somehow in my brain, or this is universal. :)

  3. I think it's universal. I always thought I was the best at procrastination, sometimes waiting until the last three hours before a big project was due to complete it. But apparently we're all pretty good at it, or bad depending on how you see it. ^_^


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