This week’s tip is about something I myself need to work on: Time Management.
If you have any hobbies and a full time job, it can be a bit hard to balance all those things and writing. 8 hours of work, plus the “lunch hour” that’s tacked on, and then an hour in traffic both ways eats a good portion of any day. It leaves precious few hours for yourself, and so you have to choose how to spend those hours wisely. Here are a few tips on how use those hours in a way that balance social life and side projects with your writing.
Schedule writing days. Set aside days during the week that you will dedicate to writing. It doesn’t have to be the whole evening, but it should consist of more than one hour, in order to give you time to ramp up and get some stuff done. Having a goal for this time can also help increase productivity.
Have a dedicated social day. Mine is typically Saturday, but if you’re more religious minded, make it the holy day, since most days of worship involve spending a number of hours with other people. Since you are already with them, you can just continue spending the day visiting. This helps maintain your social life by doing something every week, but keeps it from overwhelming you.
Schedule hobby days. Just like scheduling writing days, schedule a day where you can work on your other projects. Again, this doesn’t have to be a whole evening, but enough time to actually get something done, with a goal in mind for the evening.
Keep a notebook and/or voice recorder handy. One way to keep writing, even when you don’t have much time for it, is to scribble things down in those moments you do have to yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes. These also come in handy when you have a sudden burst of inspiration and need to jot down or record an idea.
Write on your lunch hour, or simply daydream about the story. Any time you have to yourself can be used as an opportunity to write. Daydreaming about the story can be useful to work through problem areas, but make sure you have something to write down to final result, or you may forget later.
In the end, the important thing is to make time for writing, as well as your other hobbies. Look at your life, and find all those little moments that you can fill in, or simply organize your life to make space.
If even with all of this, you can’t find time to write, you may need to think about what your priorities are. It’s not a crime if writing isn’t one of them, there are more important things in life. However, if you want writing to be a priority, then you may need to cut something else out.