Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finding the Time to Write what You want to Write

You'd think working at home would give you more time, right? NOT!!! Sometimes I yearn for the company office just so I don't have to do all the extra stuff around the house. And... all the 'tasks" my husband assigns me. Let me give you an example. This week, he's writing a chat program so that he and I can chat on our computers between his office and me at home. The company he works for has a firewall that won't allow conventional chat programs like ICQ to operate. So, while he's writing the program, he has be doing the design document, designing the interface, and doing research on appropriate icons. All of that takes TIME. Lot's of time.

And, if that isn't enough, he sends me versions via e-mail to test. It's copy this file to my desktop, or put that executable in the directory, or go shutdown the program that is already running on his desktop, then start the new program, no not version 1.7, version 1.8. Moreover, when it's all done, page him and let him know the program is running so he can test it.

All of which takes time. And, then it's schedule meetings with pool heating companies, call for prices on door locks, organize our equipment manuals, etc. You name it; he's probably already thought of it; from scan these invoices and bills to make copies and mail.

Now, you not only run your own business, but you are a full-time office assistant!!

And of course, how can you avoid the dirty dishes in the sink or the laundry basket. I mean, come on, it only takes 10 minutes or less to throw a load of clothes in, or load the dishwasher, right? But, what about all of the other tasks that distract you when you tell yourself it'll only take a couple of minutes? Those minutes add up, and fast!

Am I just ranting or is there an end in sight?

Well, to be honest, a little of both, I guess.

First of all, this probably doesn’t happen in all households. Ours is a little unique as both my husband and I are technical geeks. We are also a perfect match personally and professionally. He is a Vice President and manages a team of application developers and programmers and I am a technical writer/fiction author/business analyst. He's stable and realistic, deep in details, while I'm full of visions and new ideas, and ready to take on any new task. 

Ready to take on any new task? Well, now we're getting somewhere. 

I am always ready to take on new tasks, as a matter of fact, I enjoy it. But, there has to be a better way of organizing those tasks. 

Prioritize, Prioritize, and Prioritize.

Sounds easy, right? Of course, there is, and it won't take hours of planning but it does require some amount of commitment. 

I’ve changed my priorities over the last 11 months. I’ve closed several businesses so I can concentrate more on studying the Bible and biblical history. I spend more time keeping my household together and my mental and physical health on track. 

Over the last 11 months I’ve been on bed rest three times, and each time wasn’t fun. Just think how much worse I would have been if I were still overwhelming myself with the workload I used to carry? 

My suggestion to you is create a column of all the things you want to accomplish, and then give them a priority number. You can’t give more than one item the same priority number, no cheating!

Then, see how each of those top 10 or 15 items fit your lifestyle and your life goals. You may have to prioritize again.

That’s okay.

If you choose to work at home and write, set yourself specific hours and make sure nothing else interferes with your writing. It’s your JOB. 

As for me, I don’t spend 8-10 hours in my office anymore. I have a memoir to work on, blogs to upkeep, and the rest of my time is split between: church, friends, family, pets, home and myself. Not necessarily in that order. 

Figure out what works for you and if it’s important enough, you’ll find the time to do it. But, remember, not at the expense of your own physical or mental health. 

Maintain your sanity, always!

And, if it’s not fun or enjoyable, then why are you doing it?

Think about that.

It’s your time. You only get a finite amount. Use it wisely.

And, remember. Take each day one at a time. 

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