(Blogging over at the The Ladykillers today: but I’ve copied the post here too for your convienance)
Meet Bob. He is 22 months old. According to some child-rearing books children between the ages of 18 to 24 months are “Developmentally at a level similar to Neanderthals two million years ago.”
Seriously? I’m living with a Neanderthal? Oh, don’t worry, the book goes on to explain that Neanderthals were smarter, more verbal, and more agile than ape-men (what a relief) but also more aggressive and stubborn.
Well, you got that part right.
So what does Bob have to do with Time Management?
First off, there is a lot to learn from Bob – he’s stubborn and tenacious – which may be qualities all writers need to possess.
Secondly, he does what he wants. I laugh as I write this – but it’s pretty much true. If he wants to sleep- he does, if he wants to eat- he does, if he wants to play in the garden but it’s raining he pounds on the window with his little fists – you get my drift. He either does what he wants or fights for it.
So how does all this relate to “Time Management”? I think we all make time to do what we like to do. The question I get asked more often than anything else is, “With three small kids, where do you find the time to write?” My answer is, “I make the time.”
It’s about priorities.
Here are my tips about making the time:
- We’re all busy, when you can make out a little time to write, even if it’s ten minutes – have an idea about what you’ll be writing (i.e. the scene where she finds the body or the confrontation between characters x and y)this way, you are making the most of the precious few minutes you’ve set aside.
- Therefore, think about your story before you sit down to write. I love to do this when I’m working out. It’s the part of me that loves to multi task. Asking yourself the “what if” question while you’re doing a repetitive action like on the treadmill is great to get ideas flowing. If you don’t like working out – doing household chores like dishes or laundry can get pretty repetitive too.
- Working on a novel? Then rinse and repeat step 1 and 2. Seriously, all it takes is thinking about your story (planning) and writing (executing).
Want to kick it into high-gear for 2011? Here are your bonus tips:
a. The more frequently you do step 1 and 2 the easier they get.
b. See yourself doing steps 1 and 2. Writing a to-do list with “write 1000 words” on it, is not enough to actually get yourself to do it – trust me – I’m a consummate list maker. What will actually get you doing your to-do list is seeing yourself accomplishing your tasks (sounds a bit new-agey – sorry- but it’s true). You need to engage your frontal lobe (this is a part of the brain that our Neanderthal friend in the beginning of the story, Bob, has not developed yet.) So, before bedtime take a few minutes (and I do mean few minutes – this takes about 2 to 3 minutes – YOU HAVE THE TIME TO DO THIS) and use your mind to see yourself writing. What time is it? Where are you? Who is watching the kids? What are you writing? Work through any road block you may have, to complete the task of writing, in your mind at that moment. Don’t wait for the next day to work through these potential blocks because then your time will be spent on that instead of writing.
So that’s it – now go do it! Remember you are NOT a Neanderthal -you have evolved past that.
(Disclaimer – I don’t actually think Bob is a Neanderthal either – I love my little guy with all my heart.)
Bookmark this page and check back in 2011 and let me know how my tips are working out for you!
In the meantime – Merry Christmas to you and yours and have a very blessed 2011!