Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Time Management and Other Myths

I've read a lot recently about how important time management is for writers (as well as most other folks). Of course, since I've retired from medicine, everyone assumes that I have the whole day before me every day, full of opportunities to kick back and relax. I, too, had that dream once. But no more!

Let me give you an example. When we moved to our current home, I gave away lots of my tools. "I'm not going to do that stuff anymore. I'll just call someone and write a check for it." Yeah, right. There are two things wrong with that philosophy: It's hard to find someone who's reputable and does good work, and those checks I talked about writing ended up lowering my bank balance. (Imagine that!)

I won't detail all the other things that pop up and demand the attention of the "at leisure" retiree. Suffice it to say that sometimes Kay and I look at each other and ask, "How did we ever get anything done and still work?"

Right now I'm working on a few new blog posts. I've spent a significant amount of time already on Facebook and Twitter (an activity I justify by calling it "marketing" and "establishing my platform.") Later I'll do a bit of business for the American Christian Fiction Writers. And then it will be time to get down to serious writing. Today and tomorrow and the next day, I'll try to carve out an hour or two to work on my novel. And that, my friend, constitutes the best this retiree can do about time management.

How about you?


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean Dr. Mabry. I'm learning more and more about time management, including making sure you get the necessary downtime to rejuvenate yourself. (Even God rested on day 7 :) ) And that's the key - really resting. You can stop and not rest (if you know what I mean). It's horrible when you have to give yourself permission to do this, but it's something we must do to stay in balance.

Erica Vetsch said...

Ah, I can identify with this. As a work from home mom, there are never enough hours in a day. :)

Thank you for all the work you do behind the scenes for ACFW.

Richard Mabry said...

Crystal and Erica,
Thanks for your comments. Perfect example: I sat down this morning to respond to Crystal's comment, and we got a phone call from Kay's son. Our granddaughter was sick at pre-school. We dropped everything, picked her up, took her to her doctor (lucky to get an appointment), filled her prescription, and Kay is now watching her for the balance of the afternoon while I try to salvage a couple of hours of the day.
Oh, yes. Retirement is nothing but free time! :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I get tons more done with working a full-time job and writing in the evenings and weekends than I did when I was unemployed. I think it's because I'm forced to discipline my time, rather than disciplining myself.

Great post!