Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adventures in Time Management and Other Horror Stories - Part II

I'm one of those people, who likes to write in the morning. In fact, I like to do almost everything in the morning. The energy levels are high, nothing (usually) aches, and my brain is fairly high functioning. All this is well and good except for one thing. I work. If I'm not at my part-time job taking on extra hours, I'm dealing with my own small business.

When I arrive home, I can do email and read blogs, but it's hard to concentrate on writing The Great American Novel or anything else for that matter. How do I re-wire my energy/brain/body clock, so I can write something coherent after 7:00 P.M.? Is it impossible, or can I adapt?

What are my options? Get up at 4:00 A.M. and write for two hours. Possible, but my inner clock throws a total tantrum. It would also wipe out my Bible reading/prayer time, which happens between 6:30 A.M. and 8:00 A.M. If I want to really mess up my day, that's the way to do it. So, where do I cut and paste? What gets moved to a different timeframe or priority level?

The first adjustment I made was getting to sleep no later than 9:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M. This lengthens my daytime, productive hours. If I'm sleep deprived, almost everything goes out the window. The second thing I'm tackling is the Procrastination Monster. Writing isn't even a possibility if I've put off other necessary tasks until the last minute. I'm still working on this one, folks. It's tough.

Like my devotions, I try to schedule my writing time. When I began spending a set time in the Word each day, it was hard. It takes 21 days to set a good habit (and about a second and a half to break it). The key is to get up when you give in to the, "I-just-want-to-veg-out-I'll-do-it-tomorrow syndrome," and start over. I'm applying the lessons I've learned in setting a devotional time to my writing endeavors.

I'm finding that once I sit down and begin writing, the time passes in a blink. It's that initial sitting down at the computer, turning it on, and starting the process that trips me up. My body is learning that whether or not I'm tired, I'm going to do this, and it may as well get with the program.

How about you? Do you have any experience with needing to re-adjust your normal, "I'm a morning - I'm a night person," preferences? How did you re-train yourself to function at a decent level?

10 comments:

Christa Parrish said...

My ideal writing time is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Hahaha. That can't happen because I'm a homeschool mom who also teaches writing classes *outside* the house three days a week during those hours. So, my actual writing time is usually 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. That's just the way it has to be for now :) It is a season.

Christa

Jessica said...

Hey Susan,
I hear you. The hardest part is turning on my laptop. Once I get in the story, time flies.
Also, the time thing has me too. I tried waking up at five but somehow my kids magically saw the glow of my laptop and woke up too, which defeated the purpose. I usually try for naptime, but that's iffy. Nightime, I'm just too exhausted. I go to be same time as you but I still feel tired. Maybe I need to eat more veggies. LOL

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Christa -

Wouldn't it be nice if we could write when our energy levels are at their peak? Life gets in the way, and adjustments are necessary.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sarah said...

I'm an evening person. I find that my creativity levels are the highest after 6 p.m. Unfortunately, that's when my husband gets home from work. So, I'm torn between spending time with hubby, or writing. He's a pretty understanding guy, but he doesn't get why I like to crawl off by myself to write. So I compromise by waiting until he goes to bed to write.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

My late husband and I loved to spend time together. However, we found a little time away doing our own thing enriched our relationship. It gave us more to share with each other.

BTW, this last week has been a time management nightmare. All my good intentions went down the drain. While I've done some research for a devotional assignment and written blog posts, the book sits on my computer untouched. Sigh.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

I just got on here and found your comment. Blogger did not send an email notification again. I'll have to research the problem.

Sarah, I guess you're experience is not unique with the comment problem.

Sorry this is rushed. Time for work.

Blessings,
Susan :)

quietspirit said...

Susan:
I am an anomaly. I can be a morning person. And I can be a night person, depending on the need.
I prefer to do my devotions and praying right after I have my breakfast. A medication I take tells me to take it with food before 9:00.
I am a morning prefering person with a husband who worked nights most of 30 years. Our son also works nights. So I get to use the computer in the mid to late afternoons.
Most of the activities I participate in meet in the evenings. So I feel I am short changing one of them.
This sounds like a question the panelists on TWV could bring up for discussion.

quietspirit said...

Susan:
I want to keep up with the comments on this entry.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Wow! I guess it's like being ambidexterous.

Adapting to a night schedule is a struggle for me. Ever since my last surgery, I want to conk out between 8:00 - 8:30 P.M.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

I'm glad you're enjoying the discussion. You mentioned the Writers' View 2 might find this question interesting. Why don't you suggest it?

I confess this time management stuff is difficult. Just when I think I have it licked, life throws me a curve. I guess sticking to a plan as closely as possible yet with the ability to stay flexible is the answer.

Blessings,
Susan :)