When life gets in the way and leaves me with little time to write…I get cranky. The sense that I will never have time to write again, sneaks silently into my mind and feeds my lethargy. When I cry that there aren’t enough hours in the day, I force myself to look back over the last six years of my life. Remembering what I have accomplished in that time is often just the thing I need to get my motivation back on track. Here are five ideas I have used to make every minute count:
- Driving Time – Whether you are in the car for an hour, or ten minutes, you can use that time to your advantage. If you are driving, there are obvious limitations to what you can accomplish. This is a great time to mentally plot out scenes, develop characters, or take verbal notes on a recorder. I often use the microphone function on my phone and add notes verbally, emailing them to myself later for transcription. If you are a passenger, even better! Jot down notes to further your plot, write your next blog or your next several social media posts.
- Lunch Time – It doesn’t take long to eat, so in between bites make the blog or social posts you worked on earlier, catch up on your email or work on the outline for your next chapter. You’ve just added another hour of writing!
- Television – Here’s where I get a bit harsh. Think about your favorite television shows, how often they air, and how long they are. According to an article posted in the New York Times by John Koblin, the average person in America watches 5 hours and 4 minutes of television per day. Switch your priorities and you can finish that chapter you plotted out at lunch! Record your show, and catch up when your project is in better shape.
- Insomnia – Stinks if you have it, but if you can’t fall back to sleep in a matter of twenty minutes, try getting up and completing something. Research a blog post, find clipart and photos for your next Facebook post, or crank on your novel. Chances are, if you spend an hour or so, in the wee hours of the morning tying up a loose end, a more restful slumber will await you. A few stretches or yoga poses might help as well!
- Unplug from your phone – Unless your project is specific to your website, blog, or social media networks, consider unplugging from your phone. According to an article by Jennifer Harper in The Washington Times, the average person in America spends 4.7 hours a day on their smart phones. That equates to a lot of writing time!
Freeing up 6 to 8 hours per day might seem like a Herculean task, but by making small changes in your daily routine, you can find the time to do anything you set your mind to. I’m making writing my priority in 2017…how about you? DAH