Sunday, July 1, 2012

Time Management Mayhem

Yes, I’m still here…sparingly as it may be.  I have been rather elusive, I realize, but as I stated in my last post, I have a lot going on.  In addition to the day job, the side job, the book, the family, the garden and the house, I am also spending more time with my second book, which has not seen enough of me lately. 

I’ve also been working more with my time management skills again.  I have to say, I was getting much better there for awhile but then this past month or so has caused me to slip off track.  I now realize June was just a busy month altogether with pretty much every weekend full of one event or another. 
My time management skills have once again been challenged. 

Based on this challenge, I am going to change things up to stay on track.  Back in March I wrote a post about taking control and managing my time.  I had come up with a plan, set my goals and mapped out a schedule.  While that schedule was working, I see now I need to learn to make adjustments for months like June, when activities, events and family time consistently pull me away from my computer.  When I am pulled away from my writing, I need to have a contingency plan to stay on track.
I have my plan, which hasn’t changed, but maybe my goals are too broad.  I can’t just say, “I want to write a book” or “I want to complete my book by August.”  No, goals need to be more specific.  While a daily task list is nice, it is not always attainable when other priorities come up.  I can say I need to write no less than three or up to five pages a day but too often I may fail and daily failure is not what time management is about. I would rather say I need to write 30 pages a week.  This gives me the option of writing on average four pages a day, or if other matters take up my time, writing more on one day to make up for a day I cannot write. 

Having specific goals in mind, I also need to work again on scheduling.  As I continue to work on the side as a private investigator, I must also label my writing as a side job with a certain number of required hours.  While I generate the necessary number of pages each week, I must also spend time with research, note taking and also preparing posts for my Blog.  Completing all these tasks will mean I must put in a certain number of hours.  Staying away from the possible failure of trying to abide by daily tasks, my hours will be a weekly requirement with the hope that by Sunday I can easily make up any hours not acquired earlier in the week.
One trick I am trying to learn is the idea of putting together an editorial calendar for my Blog.  I don’t know if I can manage this particular time management skill…this means planning a month or two in advance, knowing ahead of time what you plan to write and researching topic ideas before even figuring that out.  Sometimes, just coming up with ideas by the seat of your pants is not a terrible thing.  However, it is a time management skill that has been put to the test by others and seems to work very well. 

I guess I will just need to figure out if that strategy will work well for me.
I know I’ve said this before but it’s true: only time will tell.  I’m learning as I go but if changing things up a bit helps me stay creative and also on task towards my goals, only good things can come my way. 

So how do you manage your time in order to stay on task with the goals you wish to meet?  Do you have any tips or tricks you feel might work for others in all areas of their lives? 


  1. I'm also an author and also have, shall we say, a few time management issues. It sounds like you do a lot better at managing time than I. Thanks for the suggestions and sorry that I couldn't be more helpful.

    Peter Last

  2. Thanks Peter - I believe time management will always be an issue we just have to work through until we find out what works best for each of us. I'm sure you will find what works best for you and I'm glad if any of my suggestions help at all. Good luck and all the best to you.