“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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 http://www.readmelaniejayne.com/trust-me.html