Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Use Of Your Time

I'd like to start out with a couple of quotes pertaining to time:

"You will never "find" time for anything.  If you want time, you must make it."
~ Charles Bruxton

"Don't say you don't have enough time.  You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein."
~ H. Jackson Brown
Although we all have the same number of days in a week, the same number of hours in a day and the same number of minutes in an hour, we don't all use them the same.  Some people are able to use their time wisely, making every minute work for them.  They seem to successfully balance family life and all that work entails.  Others struggle with their time, not accomplishing all they set out to do.  Sadly, I admit, I fall into the latter category.

My goal is to find a balance between my family life and my writing life.  Perhaps in my trying to find more balance for myself and my family, I can help someone else who is dealing with similar challenges.

I'm reaching out to all fellow writers and readers.  How do you balance family life and work?  Do you wing it like I do or do you have a schedule you stick to?  How flexible is your schedule?

How do you make time work for you?


jessi said...

I'm still trying to figure that one out. Same boat: Wife, mother, writer. Gave up the social life years ago. If you come up with any good answers, let me know! :)

Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Suzanne,
I have a lot of health issues to work around. I found that making a flexible 'to-do' list works best for me. When something gets done I just cross it off my list. I've found I can work much better like this. I did try the more rigid schedules (having things done by a certain date/time) & that's just not feasible for me.
Deb :-)

Katie Hines said...

Balancing family life with writing was relatively easy until my husband became unemployed. I have two kids, one of whom has a family of her own, and the other who is in college, so I pretty much set my own hours.

Now, however, my husband is at home most of the time, and I find that my writing time has been hindered simply because I love being with him.

So, since he is going back to college, I write and all while he is studying, and it works out okay after all, even though he does most of his studying late afternoon, early evening, so it changes my time of day.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi ladies. Thanks so much for all of your input. It's greatly appreciated.

Deb, I also deal with a lot of health challenges and some days I find it hard to get anything done. I'm going to try your to-do list approach to most things and see if that helps relieve some of the stress I put on myself when I don't get things done by a certain date/time.

Cher Green said...


I'm still working on this issue and don't have much to work around. My job puts me on call, so one week I may be off six days and the next I may be off one.

I have a live in boyfriend, so I do adjust some around his work schedule.

I've tried the lists and the scheduling times. The list seems to work best, but I still fight to get anything done. List seems to just grow as they get checked off slowly.

It just seems to take me so long to settle in and get started that once I do, it seems minutes later times up.

I need to create some type of routine that gets me in gear quicker, but haven't gotten their yet.

For instance, I'm here when I'm supposed to be working on Chapter one of my wip, lol. I guess mine is more of a get of your tail and get busy problem.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Cher, thanks for your input. Wow, your work schedule is a tough one.

I have to admit I sometimes have the get off your tail and get busy problem too.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I wish I could say I use my time wisely, but I can't. When I retired from teaching, I thought I'd have hours to write. Nope. My husband is retired too and his health isn't the best. We spend lots of time at doctors' offices.

I try to make the mornings mine. Write a schedule of stories to work on each week and do the best I can. There's always next week. :)


Susanne Drazic said...

I guess I'm learning I'm not alone with balancing time, family and writing.

Something I recently learned was to take things in blocks of 15 minutes. It was originally about writing, but I've also started applying it to housework too and it is definitely helping me get things accomplished a bit more. I'm finding I'm able to elevate my legs more like I'm suppose to, so that is a definite good thing.

Between the to-do list and working at tasks in 15 minute blocks of time, I'm feeling more in control and productive. :)

Cher Green said...

Progress is good! 15 minute blocks could work for household items for me, but when writing it takes me longer than that to get going. Although that would be great for ideas and such.

Susanne Drazic said...

Cher, I know what you mean about the getting going time for writing. Working on a story, I definitely need more than 15 minute blocks of time.

The 15 minute blocks of time are working with some areas of my writing though. I'm using the time to flesh out ideas, write down ideas I'm mulling over, working on blog posts and free writing.

Of course, it's working great with the housework, so I'm a happy person.

Now if I could just cook in 15 minutes ...

Cher Green said...

Wouldn't that be wonderful, cooking in fifteen minutes? I hate the time I must waste on preparing a meal. It seems like in the evening about the time I get moving good in my writing I have to stop to cook dinner.

They need to create meal tablets just for writers and their families. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Your comment on meal tablets reminds me of the cartoon The Jetsons. Didn't they eat their meals in pill form?

Maybe we should just get those tubes of meals the astronauts eat in space. Open and eat.


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