Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 3: Don't Schedule, Manage

“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired to write at 9 o’clock every morning.” -Peter De Vries

In this world, there are people who keep to a schedule, and there are people who wing it.  I am decidedly the latter.

I am atrocious at keeping to a schedule.  I always have been.  For the most part, I think our collective obsession with schedules is vastly overrated.  Maybe that's just self-justification.  

The one area where I've run into troubles with my wing-it ways is with my writing.  I am notoriously bad at time management.  Especially with a young son and domestic duties to attend to, there are days- okay, weeks- when things don't get done.  Lots of things.  Laundry.  Dinner.  Vacuuming.  When those things get done, my writing falls by the wayside.  Clearly, something has to change. 

Below I've compiled a few of my best time management tips.  Some of them are fairly conventional, others, not so much.  Who knows?  Maybe with my next book, I'll even manage to follow them...

1) Know what you have to do.  I am never so efficient as when I make to-do lists.  With all the things I have to do on a daily basis, the odds of me remembering everything are slim to none.  I even put nice little boxes next to them, so I can check them off as I finish them.  It's good for morale.

2) Don't over-commit yourself.  Especially as I've gotten to know more and more people via Twitter and Facebook, I've gotten more and more requests to participate in various things.  The sad fact is, I simply can't.  No matter how much I adore the people who ask me, or how flattered I am at being included,  I almost always decline.  I'm writing a book, I have a toddler, and dinner is in three hours.  Anything more just isn't possible.

3) Ask for help.  As my husband reminded me recently, he can't know how busy I am unless I tell him.  If I can't get the grocery shopping done one day, I let him know.  If I need him to field dinner one night (or six), I say so.  I'm lucky enough to have a husband who really is my partner.  Even if you're single, reach out and let people know what you need: time, space, meals, whatever.  You may be surprised how much people will come through for you.

4) Be realistic.  Sometimes, certain things will take precedence over others.  A sick child always trumps writing.  Occasionally, my family wants to spend time with me, so my writing sits on the back burner for a day or two.  That's okay.  Conversely, when I'm in the heat of creation, or the throes of editing, there are many nights when we eat takeout.  I like to think these things all balance each other out in the long run.

Miss A Day Or Two?

Excerpt from All That Glitters: 

Ethan laid a confident, possessive hand on the small of Ava’s back.  She jolted.  “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“We have an audience.” Ethan kept his voice light.  “Just act casual.  If they think you’re with me, they’ll leave you alone.”

Ava snorted.  “Great.”

Ethan could feel her tension under his hand.  And her warmth.  His fingers flexed.  “Relax. I don’t bite.”

“Why don’t I believe that?”

He chuckled. “Relax.”  He eased her closer to him until she was pressed against his side. His thumb traced a lazy half-circle against her back, his fingers grazed her hip.  He allowed himself a tiny smile when he felt her breath hitch.  He could get used to this.

Ava couldn’t tell if he was torturing her on purpose.  “Is he gone?” Her voice sounded strained even to her.

“Left a few minutes ago.”

She bit back a curse and jerked away from him.  Asshole. She debated slapping the teasing grin off his face, decided to make her escape instead.  She walked faster,irritated at how effortlessly he kept up.

Ethan did his best not to laugh.  Damn if she wasn’t cute when she was pissed.  “Easy, sweetheart, I was kidding.”  He reached out and caught her wrist.  “Come on.  Why don’t you let me get you a proper drink?”  His eyes twinkled.  “After all, I’ve already seen your panties.”


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  1. Good list, Laura.
    Hmm, maybe I should start keeping a paper to do list again. Kept one at my last job and got loads done on a daily basis.
    Even though my current social circle is just family at the moment, I still have a hard time with point number two.

    I really like the quote out of All That Glitters. :) It sounds like it's a lot of fun. I'm going to have to get my mouse over to Amazon and buy it already.

    1. Aw, thanks Rose! You rock.

      In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess I have trouble with ALL of these, but hey, I'm only human. And it's good to have things to aspire to ;-)


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