Last week I wrote about an exercise I was going to do to see where exactly all my time goes ( Time: Where does it go? ) . I kept track of what I was doing when and how long it took me.
It comes as no surprise to me that I didn’t really get very much done. This could be due to the timing of my little exercise. I started on the 27th of December so my week included New Year’s. Not that I’m a very exciting person over this time of year and I figured that everyone else was on holiday so why do I need to be productive. Why indeed.
To be honest I spent most of my week quilting and I enjoyed myself immensely. I managed to get a lot done. I completed almost 4 quilt tops, so needless to say not a lot of actual writing got done. I got distracted with quilting because I am in the process of trying to reorganise my life. I returned from Canada about a month ago and in that time I’ve been arranging and going to appointments and just basically trying to get my shit sorted. I was going through my worldly possessions that are currently in storage on my parent’s property and thought that it has been a while since I’ve been through my fabric stash so maybe I should reorganise that as well. In my effort to be over productive I got a little off task.
During this little detour I did realised a number of things that I am going to share with you now.
For me, nothing gets done unless it’s on a list. I am a visual person. I cannot hide things away in files on my computer; I have to have it printed out right in front of me. I tend to forget things otherwise and you may be surprised to know that quilting was in fact on one of my many To Do lists. Though I may or may not have gotten a little carried away. If I set myself daily tasks of what I want to or need to achieve in that day it will more likely get done.
Morning is the best time for me to work. I realised I need to set aside a certain about of time in the morning and work on something specific. Some of the things I did manage to work on this week were the start of my writer’s plan (more about that next week) and my business plan. While working on these I realised I am going to need a bio and a specific writer’s resume. I also need to define my online presence and some areas where my blogs may need tweaking.
I need to limit my distractions. I get up early, walk the dog and while I’m having breakfast I check Facebook and my e-mails. I will usually reply to the e-mails straight away. Instead I need to allocate a specific time to reply to e-mails, perhaps in the evening, so that way I can get on top of the tasks I had in mind for that day right away.
Being that my little exercise took place over New Year’s I did work on a few lists. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions I write a list of what I want to do and achieve in the year. Now that my life is a little more organised I feel that I have a bit more direction and my goals are clear and I know what I want to work towards. I find that if I have a clear goal and a timeframe I work better then when I just have some lofty ambition.
It doesn’t have to be a new day or a new year before I start working on a new project. I don’t need to go to the shop and buy a new notebook, I do need to seize the moment NOW. I need to start TODAY. If an idea strikes I need to act upon it right away or nothing will come of it.
I did notice that I use my time in blocks. I will research or write a blog post until I get hungry. Then I’m hungry and distracted and have to get up and get something to eat. Once I break away from one task I’m onto another. So when I was spending time quilting I would set myself a time when I would stop to eat or decide that I would finish at say 7pm then I would read for a bit.
So by having a week where I did nothing much at all I realised how I used my time and how I can use it better. How did your week go? Did you make any discoveries about the way you use your time or how you could use it better? Please leave a comment below.