Sunday, March 18, 2012

Time to Manage Time Management

That’s quite a mouthful, don’t you think?  It’s quite the task as well. 

According to Wikipedia, the definition of time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. 
Wikipedia further introduces the wide scope of activities involved with time management, to include:  planning, allocating, setting goals, delegation, analysis of time spent, monitoring, organizing, scheduling and prioritizing.

The activities involved with managing time as noted above would appear to be overwhelming.  However, in order to complete a project, especially a large one, there is really no way to do so without finding a way to manage the time it takes to reach completion.  Of course, you could shrug off the urgency and just let the cards fall where they may…
But why begin a project or attempt to reach certain goals with no assurance that you will see results on a timeline you can manage?  It’s much better than waiting for results based on someone else’s timeline, as there are no guarantees when you do not take control.

And that’s what I have been doing…taking control. 
I will first apologize for not posting at all this week but that was due to what this post is all about.  While I continued to edit my first book and add more content to my second book, I was also working on a writing schedule that I could realistically manage with my new work schedule.  In my attempts to map out a good schedule, I was not able to commit to blog posts for the week. 

As I researched ways to manage time, I found a new book titled, Writer with a Day Job written by Aine Greaney.  I have to say I was excited to find the book while browsing my favorite book shelves full of writing books at Barnes & Noble.  When I quickly flipped through the pages, I immediately appreciated the way the book looked and the way it was written but when I turned to page 36 and saw the words…”If you’re a writer who’s starting her first job or rejoining the workforce after a long hiatus…,” I thought, this book was written for me! 
I have just about completed Writer with a Day Job and I will agree with the tagline that it is a book filled with “Inspiration and Exercises to help you craft a writing life alongside your career.”

A book I discovered some time ago is titled, The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen.  Its tagline is “Tips and Tools to help you write more, stress less & create success.”  This book also includes a lot of ideas, tips, quotes and information on how to use your time productively.  It’s a fun little book, one that easily fits in my purse so I can read it whenever I need some motivation. 
After scrutinizing my schedule and the realistic amount of time I have available to write every day, I believe I have come up with a plan, which is the first activity when managing time as noted in Wikipedia’s definition.  I have already set my goals and have mapped out a schedule.  From there I will continue to analyze the time spent so that I can monitor whether the writing schedule is working for me.  I am not concerned with the task of organizing; I can do that in my sleep.  It is prioritizing that is most important and sometimes difficult to manage but with scheduled writing periods throughout the week, I believe I will effectively tackle that task.

Benjamin Franklin expressed it best with the quote, “By failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” 
It is so true when it comes to all aspects in life, really.  Coasting through life might bring about less stress but for anyone who strives to do something with their abilities, their dreams, or plans for the future or what they hope for when it comes to their children’s future, a good plan can only lead to success.

What are your plans in life?  How do you manage your time so that you work towards accomplishing them?  Have you ever received advice from someone that struck a chord and motivated you towards successful completion of those plans?  If so, I’d like to hear from you. 
Remember, sharing is caring.  Or better yet, remember this quote from C. S. Lewis…“Nothing is really ours until we share it.”

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