In the last few days I’ve gotten three texts from three different people who stand in completely different places of my life, but all of whom asked the same question:
With all this extra time, you must be writing a lot lately, huh?
And I laughed and laughed. They’re so adorably cute.
They all apparently forgot that I also have two full-time jobs that have moved from being demanding in person to being demanding online, which is a fate I can’t begin to describe. I’ve also got a family who are now all at home with me. So, yeah. That’s a ton of distraction.
So I didn’t say anything in answer to this question. Instead, I looked at my ‘it’s in my head I know what I’m doing each day’ schedule and thought ‘I wonder what would happen if I wrote out a schedule and sectioned my time so that I knew what I was doing at specific hours during the day?’
Interesting results abounded.
One, my jobs had flowed from one task to another all day long so that at the end of the day I felt as if I’d washed up on shore but wasn’t entirely confident I’d completed a lot of work. I wasn’t drowning, but daily I drew closer to this fate.
Setting a daily schedule with times earmarked for particular tasks meant I would have actual, daily, writing time (guess what I’m using right now to draft this blog? Yep! It’s my ‘free writing time’! Dang, my readers are the smartest people out there!)
Two, things that before kept getting pushed aside (either because I didn’t want to do them or because they could be put off until later, or worse, because taking care of them felt frivolous, now fell under the safe umbrella of ‘writing business’ or ‘chair responsibilities’ (I’m a department chair at a college)- and those tasks actually got done. Score!
So now, if anyone asks me, I can actually say that YES, I am getting a lot more time to write- and in the midst of so much chaos and work, it’s pure bliss.
Feel free to try this tactic for yourself and see if it works for you. Obviously there will be days that don’t fit the mold; however if you find yourself working from home and at times feeling frustrated over it, do a basic layout of the things you’d do each day anyway. Put them into categories, and consider when you most prefer to do those things.
Ask: Do these tasks take a half hour? An hour? Do you need two hours? Can some of them be lumped together because — even though you don’t want to do them– they don’t take very long?
Some of my categories include: Bible reading/ devotions, a half hour for social media in the morning (this was a time-suck and no longer is because I am being much more careful about sticking to my schedule and not wasting time), Class preps/ grading, Email, stretch/ yoga, chair responsibilities, free reading/ writing (I get two of these per day), cardio, writing business, home essentials/ cooking, etc.
These are things I personally do and may not reflect your needs. This also isn’t an exhaustive list or one I follow daily (It’s not even in order lol). I’d encourage you to write out something, take it for a test-run and switch it up or adjust as needed. I hope it works for you!
Happy reading– and happy daily organization, friends.