Creating Time

Okay. So you’ve made the decision you are a writer, or a golfer, a concert violinist, a lawyer. Whatever your heart’s desire is.

timeAnd you’re ready to take the next step: making time to become the best you can be.

And you stop, stumped, scratching your head. “How do I do that?” you ask.

Sit down, dear friend, and let me share some ideas with you.

If we’re working a day job and writing, we are actually juggling four significant obligations—family, church, work, writing.

When I worked a day job, the best advice I received was “Get up earlier.” Here is how I carved up my Monday through Friday make the writing time I needed.

4:00 a.m.-5:30 a.m.                 Devotions, exercise, shower, dressCalendar 2
5:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.                 WRITE
7:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m.                 Breakfast
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.                 DAY JOB
5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.                FAMILY
9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.              Wrap-up the day

By simply getting up earlier, I created two hours of writing time every day. I’ll admit it looks simple but it was hard at the beginning. It took discipline to obey the alarm. Hint: I put in a place where I had to get out of bed to turn it off.

By the end of the first week, I discovered the benefit. I’d written more words in that week than in a month of trying to find the time to write.

Key discovery I made: Keep the weekends free for family and the other stuff that goes with life.

Now that I write full time, my schedule is much different. Writing is my day job. I have to discipline MP900385402myself to create time for family and church and the other stuff of life.

Is this the perfect schedule for everyone? Obviously not. But I hope it stimulates some thoughts in looking at your own activities and getting creative with your time.

How are you at making and keeping schedules? Can you see areas where you can do it better?

5 Responses to Creating Time

  1. Linda August 5, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Easy for you to say. It’s not really “creating” more time, because we all only have 24 hours in each day. It’s how we’re prioritizing the use of our time. But I get the idea. Which I believe is more like, “if you want something badly enough, there’s a way to make it happen.” And to be open to suggestions of how someone else found a way where there seemed to be no way. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Christina Weeks August 5, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

    So true! Do you have any advice for the late afternoon slump? (Besides coffee-hee hee)
    I tried getting up at 5:00 a.m. and was successful for a time, but then my body’s need for sleep took over. Suggestions?

  3. Henry August 5, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

    When I find my self slumping in the afternoons, I give myself a 20 minute nap (setting a timer). If I nap longer than that, I’m too groggy.
    Not everyone can get up at 5:00 a.m. consistently. I’m a morning person so it’s easier for me than others.
    A good writing friend finds she writes better in the evening after the kids are in bed.
    Another negotiated with her family for one night out a week or some other block of time to go to Starbucks or the library to write.
    Another grabs every 15 minutes she can–for example, waiting at the doctor’s or in line to pick up her children.
    I don’t think we need to set a set amount of time every day as long as we study our routines to find some time to write every day, even if it’s only ten or fifteen minutes.
    When I worked a day job, I also used my lunch break to write. Others have told me they do the same thing.

  4. Diane Bohannan August 6, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    I try to make it to the computer once a day after the kids go to bed. But life has a way of interrupting! So I do the best I can. Once school starts, my writing schedule will change. One thing that helped this summer was to ask for writing time from my family. I told them how important writing was to me and they jumped at the chance to support me! Every person’s schedule will be different. The important thing, like you said, is to create the time. Make your passion or interest a priority, and you’ll succeed! Great advice! Thanks, Henry!

  5. Henry August 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    Working with our families is so important. Their support and encouragement help us deal with the challenges of writing.

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