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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Management

Lately I've struggled to find time for all my hobbies.

This is mostly my own fault. I made the decision to run longer distances each day, I made the decision to start working out, and I made the decision to go on some amazing trips. (Oh, and I made the decision to purchase that pesky time-suck that is known as an iPad.)

When you combine all these decisions with the other things in my life I enjoy, such as parenting and writing and keeping up with my friends and family, and then when you throw a full-time job into the mix, well...the minutes disappear quickly.

This has led me to think about how I allocate my time, and to think - to really think - about what I’m doing with the precious minutes I have available to me each day. Some things are non-negotiable and won’t be changing. These include the time I spend with my son, and the time I spend with friends and family. If anything, I think my life would be more fulfilling if I increased the time I spend with those people important in my life.

I’m not going to stop writing either. I haven’t had that many great writing days over the past couple of months, but that’s starting to change as I allocate more time to my writing. And there is nothing that compares to the feeling I get when I have an awesome writing session. When the words are flowing, and when the verbs are popping out as fast as my fingers can type them, it doesn’t matter if I only write one paragraph or twenty pages. Life is good, and I can float on the good feeling from a strong writing session for several days.

But if I’m spending more time writing, what have I thrown out the window?

I’m still running and working out, although the humidity is shortening my runs. But according to my bank account, it’ll be awhile before I can take another trip. That means no weekends without a computer, which means I’m able to fit more writing in the nooks and crannies that make up a long unplanned weekend.

The biggest change, however, has been with my iPad. I’ve limited how much I use it over the past five days as an experiment, and it’s amazing how much more time I have. I had no idea those ios board games were eating away so much of my time! Word with Friends. Hero Academy. Ascension. I was losing bucketfuls of those precious minutes of each day keeping up with all the games I was playing. It was fun, but it also demanded a lot of my time, time I am no longer willing to give up so freely.

So I’ve scaled back my gameplaying on my iPad, and I’ve started limiting how much I use it. Which is probably why I had time to write this blog post.  :-)

Do you ever think about the ways you spend the minutes of each day? At the end of the day, do you feel satisfied with what you did?

6 comments:

  1. I always wish I'd had more time to write.

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  2. I have this issue all the time myself. I have 2 very little kids and I refuse to give up time with them, but what slows down my writing is games as well. Although I get sucked into World of Warcraft more so than anything. Whenever I'm writing and I get stuck on something I seem to drift off to that game. I tell myself, only for ten minutes then get back to writing. 3 hours later it's time for bed and I'm still delving into dungeons looking for new loot and crafting materials. ugh. Im glad you're getting more time in. I can't wait to read this novel of yours, Scott.

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  3. Yeah, Tim, I seem to remember seeing something in one of your blog posts about games a while back. Skyrim was a huge distraction for me for about a month, and now I've struggled with all the amazing tactical board games that are available on the iPad. I loved board games as a child but no one wanted to play, so now that I can play anyone in the world at anytime...well, it's a hard addiction to break!

    How's Devil Dog coming along? Once you finish rewriting the ending, will you be done?

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    1. Once the ending is completed I'll send it back to the content editor for one more round. I don't think there will be changes form there, and then I'll need to grab a copy editor, and then I'll finally be done with it. I already started book 2. I guess since it's my first one, I decided to slow down a little and make sure I do it right. I've learned a ton of things on these first few passes with my own editing and the editor I'm working with.

      I love board games too. I still have several in a closet in my house. Mostly collecting dust, but every once in a while I can get a couple friends to play one. Never my favorites though. I love Risk, but everyone always wants to play Monopoly. Beggars can't be choosey. I just love playing.

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  4. Ah, the iPad. It can't replace a laptop, but at least it gives you constant access to millions of time sinks.

    Working on a computer in your own time is a challenge. There are always a horde of five-minute distractions waiting to swarm you.

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  5. I have avoided playing any games on the internet and I only check in on FB once a week. I also don't have an iPad or a smartphone, which really cuts the distractions. My secret addiction is reading newspapers and periodicals every spare minute - often when I should be writing. But overall, I'm pretty happy with my time allotment. People (family & friends) first, then job, then everything else. :-)

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