Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time-Saving Tips for the Season: Want to find Writing Time? Here’s how.

Ah, December’s here and nicely settled in. A month full of planning, shopping, cooking and all kinds of activities to be added to already busy lives. I love this season and the whirlwind of preparation, but I also wonder how to fit in writing time.
I went online and also asked writing friends for their strategies to help me in coming up with 13 tips on finding a bit of extra time. So here goes. ...

  1. Figure out exactly how you spend your waking hours in the holiday-season. Keep a Time Journal and cut or limit any activities that aren’t productive.

  2. Concentrate on one thing at a time.

  3. Actively think about ways to free-up time. Just considering your daily schedule may help you locate some much needed minutes.

  4. Try to use the time you spend waiting. For example, write out Christmas cards or pay bills while you’re waiting for food at a restaurant or filling a waiting-room chair before a doctor or dental appointment. Another possibility: Take the bus or have someone else drive so you can work while in traffic.

  5. Plan your next day before you fall asleep. Can you combine errands? What do you absolutely have to do? What can be put off?

  6. Set your priorities each day and try to accomplish the most important things first.

  7. Consider writing a list of the things you must accomplish. There's a magic in committing a goal to paper or seeing it on a computer screen.

  8. Share the load. Delegate responsibilities whenever you can.

  9. Look at what is going RIGHT in your life. Reward yourself when you get your work done.

  10. In those jobs you simply must do yourself, try to find some element you enjoy. Look hard; surely there must be something that brings pleasure.

  11. Give your writing, or whatever activity you love, a High Priority. Perhaps wake up early. I love to write first thing in the morning, when the house is silent.

  12. TV. Yes, you must cut out time in front of the television set. Record shows you absolutely can’t miss and skip the commercials. Or watch the shows as a reward for finishing other tasks.

  13. Ask others who use time wisely for their ideas and tips.

Following my 13th piece of advice, I’m hoping you’ll help me brainstorm more time-saving ideas. How do you squeeze in extra minutes in your hectic, Christmas--preparation days? Please share. --

Sources Adapted from A. Lakein. How to Get Control of Your Time And Your Life


  1. My idea is to do less. Drop some things on the list.

  2. So true- delegate whatever and whenever.

    Have a great day!

  3. Colleen,
    Hey, that's an awesome idea. Thanks.

  4. I am Harriet,
    Yep, I agree. Delegate. :) Thanks.

  5. Most days I think I am going to have to break down and say sleep and eating are over rated. LOL

    This time of the year is a very busy time. One of the reasons I didn't do NaNoWriMo in November. I will actually take off a few weeks after I finish last chapter of work in progress today. So other than edits and little things like that I just try to not have something going at this time. Then dive in with both feet in Jan.

  6. I'm afraid to keep a time journal. I already know what to expect.

  7. Virginia,
    Sounds like you've got a good holiday plan as far as writing goes. :) Have a good one and maybe get some sleep and food while you're between things.

  8. Alice Audrey,
    Yeah, sometimes it's nice not to have to know. Take care.

  9. I wish delegating were an option. I somehow doubt the dust bunnies would be willing to help out. I am slightly more orgnaized than last year, though, since I've been working on Christmas gifts throughout the year. The same could not be said last year.

  10. Yeah, if you figure out how to get those dust bunnies to be helpful, please let me know. Mobilizing them would solve a lot of my cleaning problems.

  11. My idea is to get another me....LOL..It will help a whole lot.

  12. These are good ideas for anyone who might have a time management problem at any time, not just the holidays. Also good for procrastinators (raising hand). Nicely done!

  13. Savannah Chase,
    Yeah, another you. Another me. We could both get a lot more done that way. :0)

  14. CountryDew,
    I'm with you. Most of us can use help with procrastinating. I hope you have a great holiday.

  15. One thing I think is important is the tip to do one thing at a time. I know I am so much less productive when I allow myself to bounce around tasks, never finishing one.

  16. Lauri,
    You're right. It's hard sometimes to do just one thing until it's done, but we can both keep trying. Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Nice TT list! I find this especially useful this time of year {when it seems that there aren't enough hours in the day}.

    #5 & #8 are my favs. Planning makes for smooth sailing and delegating certainly buys more time...

    Enjoy Your Holiday :-)


  18. {S.T.U.F.F.}
    Yes, it does seem like we need more hours in the day. :)

  19. I'm with Colleen. Cut it out. Or, you know, procrastinate until the very last possible minute and do a rush job ... I like to put writing first whenever possible!

  20. Lynn,
    Good suggestions. I like the one about putting writing first.