Time Management

Being an author in this era seems to involve working on multiple projects at once. There are ruminations that lead to outlines. There is the drafting of new material. Promotion is also required. Maybe this is as simple as making a tweet or two, but some days it involves updating the blog, maybe writing some guest posts for someone.

In my case, I still owe The Storyreading Ape some posts. I have no less than four Lisa Burton Radio slots in the works. I'm working with Sean Harrington on some generic Lisa art that I can use for various purposes, and possibly recycle without making you tired of them. Then there is research for new projects, promo art for the next books, and some reading that I'm behind on.

The common denominator is time.

There's only so much of this stuff to go around, and when things pile up something has to give. Some of you may have noticed that I skipped blogging last night. I also have a life away from this iPad, and tend to neglect it a little too much.

One of the things I've learned… over time… is that I can't do it all at once. I've tried more times than I care to admit. This applies at the paycheck job too. What happens is that I get less done than I should have.

I can't get away with this at the paycheck job, and sometimes I have to move multiple projects at the same time. I'm the boss at Entertaining Stories though, and will have things my way here.

Dealing with multiple projects takes a certain amount of whining and hand wringing. (At least in my case. Ask my wife if you don't believe me.) Surprise, whining and hand wringing takes time away from things I should be doing.

I use task lists when it gets out of control. If I can keep it straight in my head, I don't bother to write it all down. Then I pick a project, put on the blinders and work on it until I'm finished.

There is a lot to be said for finishing something. It might be as simple as updating my pinned tweet, but the act of completion is like a Scooby Snack for me. I'm energized to take on the next thing.

I used my deplorable art skills to make an image for my pinned tweet and updated it. Some of you have already shared it. Hopefully, the art is good enough for the split second it takes to get the point across.

I worked on all four radio interviews, and got them back to the guest authors. There is more work to do, but I can do nothing until they trickle back in.

I started my beta reading project yesterday, and moved it ahead today. I have a document started with notes, and hopefully can help this book in some small way.

Another piece of Lisa art arrived last night, and I sent out the instructions for the next one. When it comes to blog art, I try to buy them four at a time. I can use another portrait too, and have a couple of ideas for the third one, it involves either a hairdo from the early 70s or one from 1900. Lisa likes to change things up. It's still planning and time.

I'm also collecting ideas for promotion of my next books. There are some Yak Guy things Lisa can do, and some baseball things for the other project.

I did not address my critiques, but they aren't as time sensitive. I also didn't draft anything beyond this blog. I might dabble with my outlines for an hour or two.

The point is that I have to put on my blinders and work exclusively on one thing at a time. I get more done that way. Right now the focus is on reading, but if I can complete something small (like Twitter) before or after reading, I can still accomplish things.

In the end, clearing my slate will give me more time for drafting new material as I move into February.

Right now, I picked up a giant bottle of beer, and a new tea I want to try. There is football to watch, and maybe game one will be tea, and game two will be beer.

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37 Comments

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37 responses to “Time Management

  1. Time management is a tough thing to do. For me it’s reading time – I just don’t have enough time to read these days, which makes me sad. However, I’m re-jigging things at the moment so hopefully that will change. You seem to be able to achieve a huge number of things thought – I’m always impressed 😊 oh, and like you, I own the Story Reading Ape some posts…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You do better than others in time management and I have to respect the things you accomplish. Well, done.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting blog post! Thanks.

    Like

  4. I have to say, you seem like you accomplish a lot! I’m trying two projects at once right now. One on edits, one on first draft. I work in small sentences sometimes on the latter. Reading I try to do as much as I can though sometimes it’s hard to fit it in. I still haven’t figured out what to blog for The Story Reading Ape’s blog but I’m not exactly a published author yet, so I figure maybe I have some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve nailed my problem exactly! Time management is real hard when you have a ‘pay check ‘ job. I think I am going to try to timetable my week and see how that goes. Tricky though if you have guest posts or blog that are scheduled for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is tricky, and that’s why I don’t wait until the last minute. I’d rather deliver a month early than a minute late. It’s like surfing a wave. It’s hard work to catch the wave and climb to the top, but easy to ride once you get there. I try to stay on top.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Time management is always the challenge. I find it to be a headache and requiring sacrifice of something. Breaks help though. I have to remember to include those in my schedules. At a job where I’m the employee, I get told to break. Doesn’t run as smoothly when I’m solo.

    Think I missed the tweet you mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Time management is a HUGE issue for me. More often than I care to admit, it is my writing that goes to the back burner. I’m working on some sort of plan that works for me. Your post inspires me. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The person who comes up with a sure fire way to stretch time, will be on to a winner! This would be impossible of course, I know, because I’ve tried!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ack! I needed something stronger than a beer to get through game 2. Today, I will be in mourning…

    I hear you about time, though. There never seems to be enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I thought your pinned tweet was awesome. Don’t cut yourself short.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah, I keep to-do lists. Video games could take up my whole life, so I discipline myself to wipe at least three things off the list before I open that window. Then there are things like conventions, signings, and the occasional protest march that just take up whole days…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You aren’t kidding about the time management, Craig! If I lose my calendar, I guess I’ll just run around in circles, – wouldn’t know what I’m supposed to be doing without it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Time is wonky and oh so relative. What we can do in a day and can’t manage in a day…*sigh*
    I tell you, at work, I look at the clock around 3, and I think Oh my, I have a lot to do! Then I look at the clock as the little hand approaches the 5, and I think OMG I need more time!
    This applies to lots of things in my life, but with work, I have a pattern.
    Is there ever enough time? Only when you’re waiting. *heavier sigh*

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I read all the projects you have going on and am so humbled.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Writing Links in the 3s and 6…1/30/17 – Where Genres Collide

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