Weekly Treadmill   5 comments

June 5, 2017 – How Do You Schedule Your Work Week?

Walk your audience through how to schedule their work week productively. As humans, we always want to know how to get more done in a week. If you have anything that has helped you schedule your time throughout the week, put that into the post.

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Walk your audience through how to schedule their work week productively. As humans, we always want to know how to get more done in a week. If you have anything that has helped you schedule your time throughout the week, put that into the post.

Image result for image of disorganized organizer bookI have lots of moving pieces to my life. How to keep it all scheduled is a challenge. I used to work in the social work field where everybody carries around a Dayminder that could be used to bludgeon a mugger to death in an emergency. If they lost their Dayminder, my coworkers would lose their minds, which is really not attractive in mental health professionals.

Rather than be obsessive, I have different methods for keeping myself organized depending on what part of my life I am dealing with at the moment. That way, I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m writing (which is supposed to be fun, right?).

My money job takes up the largest portion of my waking life … like it does for most of us. Gotta eat to live, gotta work to eat. It pays for everything else.

I have very few hard and fast rules about writing. The big one is – I write something every day. It might just be a sentence, but I strive for 1000 words. That doesn’t always happen on paper because it’s hard to write a 1000 words while hiking a mountain and avoiding grizzly bears. But if my hands are otherwise occupied in other activities, my mind still writes.

Of course, at some point, I have to sit my butt in the chair, put my hands on the keyboard and write. Sometimes I crank out way more than 1,000 words to make up for my extra-extra-curricular activities.

When I get home from work, it is family time. I’ve usually stopped at the gym (at least three times a week) and I start making dinner as soon as I get there. Mondays are almost always a “down” night. I watch television with my husband (the 18-year-old finds our taste in entertainment … perplexing). I will still try to get a little bit of writing done after the movie is over and before I go to bed, but I accept this as a concession to a contented marriage.

Tuesdays are a workout night and so I get home a little later. I am really into simple real-food meals and my parents were restaurant people, so I have all sorts of tricks for getting dinner on the table quickly or easily. Tuesdays are often one of my easy nights where I slid a casserole into the oven and manage 45 minutes to an hour. After dinner, I usually spend an hour with my husband … and sometimes the teenager. And then I try to put in another hour writing. With the longer days of summer here in Alaska, I’m putting in two or more now.

Wednesday is workout night because its also my son’s night to rock-climb. I pick him up after my workout and we’re doing driving lessons right now, so Brad slides something I’ve preassembled into the oven. The extent of his non-breakfast cooking skills is setting time and temperature. I can maybe get an hour of writing in on Wednesdays.

I also work out on Thursdays, get home, make dinner, get in two or three hours of writing. Thursday is the one evening Brad leaves me alone because he is doing his own thing.

Friday nights we mock PBS and BBC, which can also be considered research, so I don’t usually write on Friday nights.

I make up for that Saturday morning and then in the evening, unless we’re doing something fun.

Sunday afternoon is often spent writing.

I also use lunch hours and long car drives to write in my head. And all that time on the rotary machine … yeah, you guessed it.

Maybe you see a pattern. I don’t deny myself fun activities, but any time I’m not talking with another human being or doing math, I can and will write … in my head or on the computer. I treat writing like I would a second job. I strive for 15-20 hours a week and about 8000 words a week. Some weeks I do more, some weeks I do less, and I refuse to freak myself out over that. If I publish at least one book a year, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal, but I’d rather write a good book than a rushed book, so ….

In terms of how I keep my writing organized … I keep my research on the same drive I keep my writing. I want to be able to refer to it without a lot of effort. Sometimes, I will append it to the end of the draft novel, so I can easily go there and grab phrases or refresh my mother. I love Microsoft’s Sticky Notes program because I can leave layers of notes and deadlines on the desktop. As I accomplish items, I delete the sticky note until slowly, I begin to reveal the photo undernearth. That way I reward myself for milestones. I am experimenting with One Note, so I may have a new method for organization soon.

These days, when I start a book, I set a date for having the draft done and for potential publication. These are not set in stone, but by giving myself a deadline, I find I am better able to keep moving along rather than just dawdling as I write.

The biggest productivity booster I can recommend, though, is to set “office hours” when you don’t play on the Internet or with video games. Schedule it as writing time. Don’t scream at your kids when they interrupt you, but let the family know that these are designated hours, during which time your writing is the priority. My husband and son know that if they walk into the bedroom and I have earphones on, it’s probably best to exit the way they came without talking.

I’m sure people who write full-time have better methods than I do. I have to fit my writing in around my other life and that means I need to be flexible and not too obsessive about schedules.

 

 

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Posted June 5, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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5 responses to “Weekly Treadmill

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  1. It does feel like we’re on a treadmill doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing.

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  2. What a lot of work-outs! I used to do those too after work, but grew tired of the terrible trance music in the gym. I prefer to go for long walks now.

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    • I love long walks too, but unfortunately, Fairbanks Alaska has long COLD winters, so the gym is safer and more pleasant … and it only costs $20 a month. I’d have to pay that in hand-warmers if I was doing a one-hour walk every night.

      Planet Fitness plays an assortment of contemporary music. I’ve heard jazz, country, hiphop, and Top 40 during a single workout. There’s actually an app for creating your own radio station and I think PF subscribes to it. They actually have a lot of variety.

      I can also listen to music or an audio book on my MP3 or listen to the the 10 television channels PF offer. So I often turn my workouts into research. I’ll listen to 20 minutes of CNN, 20 minutes of Fox and then finish with whichever one is making sense that day or turn to something else when they’re both being hysterical and stupid. HGTV is right in front of my favorite rotary machine.

      Liked by 1 person

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