Sunday, May 15, 2011

Managing Your Time and Peak Hours

Time management. For years, those two little words were a source of my frustration. I do better with it now. But it takes constant work.

Most of us can't wait for that elusive prime time to write. We lead busy lives, have responsibilities, hold other jobs, raise families, and work more hours than we like. We juggle too many balls. And if you’ve ever tried to juggle – it’s about coordination and timing.

I’m both a morning person and a night owl. Afternoons - forget about it, I'm toast. Does that mean I can slack off for hours each day? Not a chance. Not if I want to accomplish my daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Those goals – personally and professionally – mean I must coordinate each hour in my day. I must stay productive and motivated. There isn’t time to procrastinate.

I write down my tasks and goals each day, and check them off afterward. I celebrate each item I’ve accomplished. Why? We’re often so pressed for time that we forget to take a moment to celebrate the little steps and events in our lives. Anything positive is worth doing, and when you do it enough it becomes a healthy habit. Healthy habits are good! And by checking in each time I’ve finished a task, it allows me to review my goals so I stay on track. Otherwise my time isn’t well-spent.

Afternoons aren’t the best time for me to tackle edits, critique someone’s story, or engage in a complex discussion about calculus. By coordinating my afternoons with more mundane activities, it leaves my peak hours open to accomplish the big goals, and frees up my most creative and energetic times – boosting my productivity.

Time is valuable.

Recognizing your time is a valuable asset.

Are you successful with managing your time?

~Ann Cory


N.J.Walters said...

Good advice, Ann. I do all my "new" writing in the mornings. It's the best time for me. I work on blog posts, editing, advertising and other writing related stuff in the afternoons.

Jude Mason said...

Hi Ann,

I'm probably not as organized as I should be. I often wish I was more so, but it just isn't in me right now.

Mornings, I do all my catch up with blogs, email, groups and such. I normally get down to the actual business of writing at about lunch time. I don't write a lot in the evenings. That's family time and with hubby retired, we do a lot of 'stuff' in the evenings.


Ann Cory said...

I enjoy writing in the mornings too, NJ. The house is quiet and I'm alone with my thoughts :)

Thanks so much for stopping by *fangirl squee*


Ann Cory said...

Hey Jude!! *bear hug* It took me a long, long time to get my schedule figured out so that it worked for me. And it truly is all about finding what works for ourselves. Evening time with hubby is always a good thing :)

Maggie Nash said...

I wish I had a routine! I used to do my writings early morning before heading off to the day job and then get back to it after dinner, but as I get older I don't sleep as well. Gone are the early morning writing sessions and if I'm lucky I can get some writing in after dinner.

So most of my writing happens on the weekends these days. Like you I write down a list of things I need to do, then each time I do 30mins of writing, I do one of them and cross it off. Sometimes it works, but lately the family stuff has taken over. I dream about cutting back on the day job so I can spend more quality time writing.


Ann Cory said...

I so love that you stopped by Maggie! Weekends are a great time to write. I've been itching for the warmer weather so I can go outside while I write.

Sometimes it's all about sneaking in time where we can :) Now what's this sleep thing you're talking about? lol.


Fiona McGier said...

I work 2 jobs, so today and tomorrow I'll leave the house about 7am and get home about 10pm. My own fault, really, having 4 kids in 5 years, wanting them to be close friends, forgetting that 2-3 of them would be in college at the same time! I work all day Saturday, so do my own laundry and catch up on e-mails and blogging on Sunday. Next year my plan is to give up sleep entirely and get a third job!

Ann Cory said...

Oh my Fiona! You are very busy! *bows down to you* Course you're doing one of the most important jobs - being a mom :) As long as you do find some time for yourself - than that's a good thing :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!

Just wow! :)