I knew that writing would become more challenging when I was laid off from my steady 8-5 M-F job and began working from home as a consultant, but I don’t think I fully appreciated how challenging it would be. Add in a ton of doctor appointments for myself and also my partner, and it becomes almost herculean. Oh yeah, and I’m ADHD. Which means I pretty much suck at time management.
Lately, what this has all meant for me is that I’ve been spending a lot of time on my weekends catching up on the work and writing tasks that need to be completed each week. Which means there hasn’t been a lot of time to relax and regenerate. Which is probably why I keep getting sick.
Ugh, but now it sounds like I’m complaining, which I’m not. I like working from home, and I like the fact that so much is happening for me right now on the writing career that I have no time. It’s just tough to stay on top of it all.
Which brings me to this blog and what I wanted to talk about in the first place. How does one manage time when there so much to do? Some of these I came up with myself, but I have to give most of the props to my partner, who is a brilliant problem solver.
- Make daily goals.
I do this for my work as well as for my writing, having a minimum number of hours that I need to work each day in order to make the money to pay the bills (I’m paid by the hour as a subcontractor). I also have a minimum word count that I must write each day in order to meet my deadlines.
2. Use calendars. Plural.
My most important calendar is in my phone, because I can instantly share it with my partner, putting in all meetings, appointments, social engagement dates, etc. I also have a wall calendar by my desk because sometimes it’s just easier to glance over at it.
3. Have reminders.
This is a big one for me, with my problems remembering and keeping track of a lot of details. I use three different apps on my phone–the built-in “Reminders” app where I can schedule reminders for things like “Get cat food” or “Call the insurance company.” I also have reminders every day for things like taking medication. I also use checklists, including an app called “2Do” which is great for shopping lists, task lists, etc. I’ll also use visual reminders like leaving out a bill or a note for myself.
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Even with every strategy above and more, there will be times that I forget something, or I just plain run out of time. I try to keep things in perspective and not kill myself off trying to do everything. Stressing out only makes things worse, after all. I still try to have fun and relax once in a while.