“You’re the busiest person I know.” #MFRWauthor

Today’s prompt in the 52-week blog challenge is “Managing Writing Time.”

I’m not a member of the Cult of Busy. You know what I mean — sometimes there’s a cultural push to be busy all the time. We’re urged to work more, play more, schedule more outings and activities, all because we seem to place some added significance on a jam-packed calendar. Wring the most out of each day! Live life to the fullest! Work hard, play hard! These are the messages from the Cult of Busy.

I never thought of myself this way, as someone pushing to squeeze everything into my already-stuffed schedule. Instead, I think of myself as someone who has a lot of things she really wants to do. I really want to go to farmers markets, cook fresh meals instead of eating out, and try new recipes. I really want to knit sweaters and sew skirts. I really want to run and lift weights and go for long hikes in the woods or on the beach. I really want to succeed in my career, and I really want to write books. Lots of books. All the books.

Am I busy? Sure, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels more like I get to do all the things that I love. There’s little stress from trying to do too much, just the pleasure from doing the things I love. So it came as a surprise to me when I was having dinner with a group of girlfriends when one of them said to me, “You’re the busiest person I know.” And all around the table, my friends chuckled, nodded, and chimed in their agreement. I just don’t think of myself that way. But they sure do!

How do I manage my time, especially my writing time? Here are my favorite tips for time management.

  • Love what you do, and do what you love! Then instead of thinking that you have to do things, you’ll think that you get to do them.
  • Turn off the TV! I do watch some TV but not every day. It soaks up so much time! I save my limited viewing time for shows I absolutely love, and I skip the rest. It’s not a deprivation when I get to do other things instead!
  • Focus! If I only have an hour to work on something, I make sure to work on that thing before I get distracted by social media or other fun toys. If I finish before the hour is up, I get to play online for a few minutes. It’s a good reward!
  • Use a timer! This might sound a little silly, but does it ever work. I set a timer for small bits of time — 15 to 30 minutes, usually — and lock onto a project or task until the timer chimes. If I feel the urge to back off the task before the bell dings, I take a deep breath and keep going. If I know it’s just for a few concentrated minutes, it’s easy to keep going!
  • Delegate! If I can dish off a task that someone else can do better, faster, or cheaper than me, I do it. I have no pride about this. I don’t have to do every single thing myself!

So this is how I balance two jobs, freelance work, a workout schedule, hobbies, a family, and all the other things that have to happen in my week.

What are your favorite tips for time management?


5 thoughts on ““You’re the busiest person I know.” #MFRWauthor

  1. I use the timer idea, too, especially when I have so much to do I start freezing up from the overwhelm. I spend an hour on ech thing, and actually feel as if I’ve accomplished something by the end of the day.


  2. I really enjoyed reading your post, Kayla. Thanks for the sage advice (that I already agree with) since you point out that being busy doesn’t have to mean business-like pushing yourself to the limit busy. I am doing what I enjoy/love, and it’s time I stopped feeling guilty about all the ‘thought’ time that goes into it. Much obliged!


  3. Good tips. I don’t do the timer thing. I do write because I want to and I put pressure on myself mostly to stop being a slacker and gets words to page. No one around me thinks I’m busy. I am, I have kids, a house, pets, now PTA but mostly they think I sit at home and do nothing.


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