Last night my husband and I attended our monthly Tulsa Night Writers meeting. Jim Laughter, an accomplished author, spoke on time management. He touched on several key ideas that sparked my memory and started my creative juices flowing.
As a manager in corporate America, I frequently search for more time to accomplish my goals. Now, as an author, time management has leapt to the forefront of my needs. I often long for just one more hour in a day. But as Jim said, “There are only twenty-four hours in a day. It’s all we get. There ain’t no more.”
Jim pointed out that a successful author is required to be a master in multiple areas. We prepare to write, research our material, plan the flow of our story, whether by using a simple or complex outline, develop our characters, and define the plot. Then we must manage our time to weave together our manuscript.
To manage the myriad of processes writing requires, then generate a quality manuscript, forces each of us to recognize the value of time and to know ourselves well enough to avoid wasting both our time and our resources. This demands a structured day, week, and month to accomplish our tasks.
Here are few time savers I use:
- Identify the best time of day for you to perform each task. Determine when are you the most analytical, creative, sleepy, or when get bored easily? Then structure your schedule around your biological clock.
- Time wasters such as emails, returning phone calls, following up on appointments etc. can be scheduled for times you find yourself bored or restless.
- Fight the urge to check your email every hour. At most, three times a day will allow you to stay current on important items and avoid the time wasters.
- Return phone calls right before lunch or near the end of the business day. Your caller will be more tempted to keep the call short.
- Schedule Social Media activities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin for times in the day when you are not the most creative. Protect your creative energy as a priority.
- Schedule your website and/or blog updates for particular days of the week. Establish a timeframe goal for updates then remain true to your schedule.
- Share your schedule with your loved ones. Ask their help in keeping true to your plan.
- Build in flexibility for family interruptions because they always occur, then have the discipline to return to your schedule within an hour unless it is an emergency.
- Good luck in practicing some new ideas and restarting some old ones. We can’t replace lost time so let’s use quality time for our most important activities.
A special thanks to Jim Laughter for allowing me to use his presentation as a platform for my blog. Don’t miss out on his books. He will not disappoint you.
Jim most recent novel, The Apostle Murders, is a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Check out his website, www.jimlaughter.com and read the prologue. You will find information about his other novels including, From Victim to Hero – The Untold Story of Steven Stayner, a stirring true account of a kidnapped 7-year old boy that overcame incredible odds and survived to become a national hero. Don’t miss out on his great books, including his Galactic Axia young adult sci/fi series. All of his titles are available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook formats.