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Melanie Jayne: “Time is Very Precious to Me…” (Contest)
Monday, December 13th, 2021

“Time is very precious to me…”
March 4, 1993, Jim Valvano at the ESPYS

We need more.

We want more.

There is never enough.

I’ve been a published author for six and a half years and have released twenty-nine books with four in the pipeline and five planned for 2022. I’m often asked how I produce so many books and manage all the work that goes into being a romance writer.

There isn’t a simple answer.

During the last six years, I was working full and then part-time. I run the house and always seem to be chasing a repair person because something has broken (Currently—my washer is giving error messages and not fully draining). I’m not the type that can lock myself in a room and work for eight hours straight, totally focused on what is in front of me. I must have a plan, and even more importantly, stick to it.

Here are five strategies that have helped me.

  1. Know how much time in a day is actually “yours.” For four days, keep a detailed list of what you do and how long it takes. Start subtracting from twenty-four. Sleep, tv time, morning coffee, social media, meals, errands, grooming (remember to shower). The remainder is “your” time. **Round up, everything takes longer in reality.
  2. Pay attention to how long tasks take from start to finish. For instance, a run to the bank. You should factor in changing clothes or showering, gathering the necessary papers, finding your keys, plus the trip itself, and then when you return, another change of clothes, putting receipts away. What you at first claimed was a twenty-minute task, now turns out to be sixty minutes.
  3. Learn how long it takes for you to get into your writing headspace. I am jealous of those who can write while waiting in the carpool line or while their husband is driving them somewhere. I don’t work that way. I have found I have a series of steps I follow before I can get to the words. It starts with dog out/dog in, laundry started, drink at the ready, and music or tv playing low in the background. I also check e-mails before I start in case something important has arrived. Then, I write. It takes me at least thirty minutes to settle in. When you do the math, I lose valuable time getting there, but once I’m ready, I’m working.
  4. I make To Do Lists that are feasible. I try to keep it to six items. I don’t want to self-sabotage by giving myself too much to do because I won’t get it all done.
  5. Prioritize what is important and what you need to accomplish today. What do you want to do? Social media is a time suck, not only producing posts but scrolling through everybody else’s. I know that TikTok is currently the hot trend. I found that I don’t believe I have enough to share to post often, and for a while, the stress of worrying about it caused me to lose valuable time.

Our lives are busy and constantly changing. Your scheduling will evolve as your life changes. You will learn how to trim minutes in certain areas, and maybe, add more in others. Remember, every day offers a new opportunity. Don’t give up!

Today, I’m offering a $20 Amazon Gift Card for a great time-management tip shared below.

About the Author

Melanie Jayne/M. Jayne spends her days on a grain farm in central Indiana with her long-suffering husband and mastiff, Duncan Keith. She writes Contemporary Seasoned Romance and has published several series. As M. Jayne she is the teller of tales of the Novus Pack. You can learn more about her work here:

For Novus Pack Fans- Trust Me comes out on January 25th. Learn more at

13 comments to “Melanie Jayne: “Time is Very Precious to Me…” (Contest)”

  1. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · December 13th, 2021 at 9:52 am · Link

    Great tips with which to end this year and to start the new one. Thanks for shaing.

  2. Danika Bloom
    · December 13th, 2021 at 10:43 am · Link

    My time management tip: Chunk-up tasks so you’re not bumping out of creative writing to answering emails to doing an admin task. I assign times of day to different tasks. For instance, before 8am I check email, read blog posts, maybe scan social media. But at 8 I switch laptops to one that does not have email or any communication apps and open my work-in-progress.

  3. Colleen C.
    · December 13th, 2021 at 12:48 pm · Link

    I plan things out, make lists, do things in a time frame that I am comfortable with.

  4. Mary Preston
    · December 13th, 2021 at 5:37 pm · Link

    Try not to procrastinate. This can be a huge time waster. Get in, get it done, move on.

  5. bn100
    · December 13th, 2021 at 8:22 pm · Link

    Focus on one thing at a time

  6. Jennifer Beyer
    · December 13th, 2021 at 9:59 pm · Link

    I’m a master at procrastination! I got a whiteboard where I wrote all of the small things and some of the larger things that I want to do daily and weekly and I give myself positive reinforcement when I do one of them. Little by little I’m finding I don’t procrastinate as I used to and when I have a rough patch and don’t do them for a couple of days, I have the list so I can start all over again. Self-love and a positive attitude, baby!

  7. Debra Guyette
    · December 14th, 2021 at 6:38 am · Link

    I try to get up earlier than everyone else.

  8. ButtonsMom2003
    · December 16th, 2021 at 1:12 pm · Link

    Unfortunately I don’t have any great tips – other than don’t retire.

    I’m happy I’m retired but it seems like every organizational skill I had while working went out the window after I retired. I don’t really miss working but sometimes I miss the structured environment.

  9. Alison Rush
    · December 22nd, 2021 at 8:14 am · Link

    I try to p!an and make list. Works most of the ti.e. but life happens😊

  10. Jean White
    · December 22nd, 2021 at 9:14 am · Link

    I have a calendar on my fridge with all of the major tasks for that month highlighted. That way I can break up the task into mini tasks to be put on my daily to-do list. This month was Christmas Cookie Exchange that was broke up into planning what kind/finding recipe. Then look what ingredients on hand/list out for grocery store. Buy groceries for week and list and when home , put groceries away and leave cookie items in bags. Day before baking put out ingredients to warm up/unwrap candies for Blossoms and pretzels/chop up nuts or chocolate.

  11. Jodie Bivins
    · December 22nd, 2021 at 9:54 am · Link

    I try to plan all my errands for the week to one day and have found if I take anyone with me I never stay on schedule. This is why if my hubby says oh I will go with you I try to move as many thing as possible because the man cannot go straight to where I need to go he always trying some new way or stopping here or there but rarely where I needed to go

  12. Beth
    · December 23rd, 2021 at 4:35 am · Link

    I wish I had better time management myself.

  13. pat
    · December 25th, 2021 at 9:20 pm · Link

    I have lists separated by must do (today) and so on.
    Then I group the ones (that have about the same priority) and put them in a “distance” order like if you’re out doing errands that are all around the same location and you can work them all about the time.
    If I don’t get to something I put it on top of the next list or if it can wait then that’s a new “catch up or work in” list.

Comments are closed.