Managing Your Time When You’re Busy

Life may be super busy for you right now. I know it is for me — and that’s a good thing in many ways. If you’re a business owner, you’ll appreciate what I’m saying. Having more projects than is completely comfortable means your business is expanding. That’s a good problem to have. But it’s still a problem, and it needs solutions.

I’ve said it before,  but time management is not my favorite thing. Don’t get me wrong. Organization is one of my happy places. But it’s a challenge to be organized and on top of things in a world where events move fast and the unexpected happens frequently. Right now, the cats have fleas, I’ve got visitors coming to town this week and next week,  a good friend is dealing with a death in the family, we’re late on an important deadline at my day job, the holidays are coming… And I’m going to be speaking at Comic Con in Tulsa, as well as my Writing Well Creative Writing Workshop in November. And business at Chipper Muse Creative Service is booming.
As you can see, lots of good things are happening, mixed up with one very sad thing and one very annoying thing, and lots of annoying details to make the good things go smoothly.
The first time I tackled this topic, I was having a rough week. This time, it’s been a rough month. But as a special person in my life reminded me just this morning: All you have is right now. And right now, you have time for what you are doing right now.
Sounds very zen. But there’s truth in it. All any of us can handle is the immediate moment, and we exhaust ourselves when we worry about our to-do lists. Even on an ideal day, you can only do one thing at a time. So focus on that one thing, and get it done well. And then move on to the next thing. Remember the old saying, one day at a time? Make it one moment at a time, and you’ll be better off.

Now, if you want some additional tips on time management, I’ve got some good links for you to check out:

  1. Over at Writing Is Hard Work, busy teacher Roger Colby is offering tips for surviving National Novel Writing Month. His first post is about time management, and he is busy enough that I’m embarrassed at my own lack of productivity. Read his Compartmentalizing post.
  2. Nanowrimo’s website has a post on time management for college students who are writing. I’m not in college, but I like the post’s title, which is about the “preservation of sanity.” That post is here, if you’d like to remind yourself that no matter how busy you are, you don’t have a essay due on top of it. Unless, of course, you do have an essay due today, in which case I extend my sympathies.
  3. BookBaby has a blog post on time management for writers on a deadline. And let’s face it, who isn’t on a deadline? If the deadline isn’t for your writing, it’s for something else, like fitting your writing into a certain time slot before you have to go to work, the doctor, etc.
  4. Rebecca Bradley shares her tips for time management, including what to do with the kids (if you have them). She also recommends cutting out unnecessary TV, which of course can be extended to cutting out anything that we don’t really need to be doing and that we’re using just as time-fillers.
That’s the best I can do in the limited time I have this morning to get this post live. On the other hand, that’s pretty good information to get you started, and I came up with it in 20 minutes. Proof positive that I can, in fact, manage my time and get some writing done fast, if I set my mind to it. And you can too.
Copyright (c) 2016 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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