In today’s society, and especially for women, every person has to be a master of time. We need to figure out how we can fit in everything we want to do, everything we should do and everything we need to do. Sometimes those can be in diametrically opposing directions.
This year, I have come up against this far too many times and like the song suggests, I have had to let a lot of things go. Things I love have fallen by the way because of events and circumstances that were way beyond my control.
In January of this year, my husband of thirty-one years was diagnosed with colon cancer. And while this changed a lot of things for him, for me, it made me dig in my heels to keep something of myself within the spiraling chaos that might surround us. He was surprised but I wasn’t because of symptoms and problems he’s had for three years. But we all know how hard it is to get a man to admit there is something he can’t control.
So when we were driving home, I basically laid down the law. There were things he had to do and there were things I would not give up. Now, that might sound rather harsh but I have seen too many women cater to their man’s every need and lose themselves. Even more so, I’ve seen men who don’t even know how to load a dishwasher because their wife did everything. I’m really not trying to say this is wrong on either side but it’s never been the case between us.
Still, more than even enumerating what I would and would not give up, I knew I would need to become a master of time. Sure, there are only 24 hours in a day and at least 8 of those are needed for sleep and that left a mere 16 to do my thing and make sure he got to his appointments or work.
Here are a few ways to make sure you can do it all.
- Keep a calendar. – Yes, we’ve all purchased a calendar for the beginning of the year. Some of them are cute and fun and it’s meant to track everything. However, if you can’t keep up with those things or accomplish any of them, what good is it? One of the best calendar’s ever is the one in your smartphone. Wait a minute – that’s too easy. Yup, it is but you can program every appointment, every book release, every promo gig in it and accomplish them all because it’s alarm system is amazing. Frankly, if it doesn’t go in my calendar, it won’t get done. And don’t get me wrong, I still do paper calendars when scheduling promotion because I need to see the big picture.
- Don’t over book yourself. – We’ve all done it, thought we could slip that extra writing time or promo item when in reality, we truly can’t squeeze one more minute out of the day. If you are too tired, can’t think straight or even remember with the calendar exactly what’s happening, you’re doing too much. Do items and other things in small measured doses. Overdoing is just stressing yourself out and if you’re like me, if I’m stressed not much gets done.
- Schedule your writing time. – One of the best pieces of information I’ve ever had is if you write it down, you’ll see it in black and white then it becomes real for you. People will do this with writing goals all the time. Same thing goes for scheduling. If you schedule your writing time, that time is blocked off for you and your writing needs. Sure, it might have to go around doctor appointments and chemo treatments, but at least you will have time to do the writing.
- Learn to say no. – Recently, when my sister was having a difficult time getting it together to move, I had to say I wouldn’t be coming to help her no matter what. While it hurt me to do so, I just didn’t have the time between all the trips and scheduling conflicts plus she lives two states away. I did have my promo and royalty money and I said I’d hire a moving company to help her because it would be easier than her begging all our friends. It wasn’t expensive since she was only going about 3 miles between new and old place. Yet, the piece of mind I go in knowing I helped the only way I could while saying no, made me happy. You can’t do everything and that’s something every writer needs to realize. Sometimes you have to figure out what’s more important and do that thing.
- There are things that are just more important than others. Family will always come first for me, next is friends and writing is third if I had to put them in some sort of order. But that’s overall priorities. Sometimes, the priority for the day can be totally different. When I know that my family and friends don’t need me, writing and anything to do with my writing career becomes the priority of the day. There is nothing wrong with juggling things as long as you keep your priorities straight.
Now, I’m no super-woman and there were days that I thought I had to be going mad. But we’ve made it to the other side with both husband and my writing career intact. There’s nothing better than that!
Hope this has helped you in some small way.
About the Author
Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. She loves hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.