Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Time Waits For No One

Isn't it amazing how quickly time seems to pass when you're busy. You're going to and fro, doing this and that, and before you know it the day is gone, you're pooped, it's bedtime and you're thinking you'll have to do it all again tomorrow. But really, do you accomplish anything you NEED to do on days like that, or are you merely running around doing stuff? Are you making progress or simply wasting time? 

Doing busy work is often a way to avoid doing what you really need to do. In essence, all of that busy work is a waste of time. A smart woman once told me, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing! I try to live by that saying, especially when I'm strapped for time. No matter what project I'm working on, I want to be sure to use my time wisely so that I make progress towards my goal.

One thing I've found that helps me tremendously with making progress on any project is to organize my time. We all have just 24 hours in a day. You can easily portion out how much time you spend on daily tasks, such as work, errands, email, phone calls, paying bills, etc. But I'm here to tell you that it's not about all of the things on your to-do list, it's about organizing your mind to focus on what you need to accomplish, and that includes your book project.

Wouldn't it be better to spend an hour writing, instead of spending 20 minutes complaining about not having enough time to write? Stop using the excuse of being too busy or not having enough time to work on your book. Instead, apply these points when reviewing your to-do list and making time in your schedule to work on your book.

  • Prioritize projects. Know what s most important and tackle that first. Even if you don t finish, determine that you ll make some progress.
  • Have realistic goals. Keep your expectations attainable.
  • Make several small goals rather than one large one. With each small step taken, you get closer to the finished product.
  • Make an action plan and follow it. Take time to make time.
  • Develop a routine. Schedule time on your calendar and keep that appointment with yourself to write. This will help you get in the habit of writing. It will help your family, friends, or roommates know that you take your writing time seriously, and so should they.
  • Make use of small chunks of time. If you've got 15 minutes in the middle of the day, use it to proof your work, research something, make a call, check a fact, or plan for tomorrow.
  • Pay attention to where you are wasting time. Avoid anything that does not contribute to your goals.
  • Have a comfortable, peaceful, quiet place to work.
  • Eliminate distractions.
Implementing these few tips will help you get more done, feel more accomplished, and have more time to do everything on your list. Try it, and remember to keep the main thing the main thing.

Dost thou love life? Then waste not time; for time is the stuff that life is made of.
~ Benjamin Franklin

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