Time management. It’s a thing.

Apparently, it’s a thing I have not mastered yet.

Some of the time, I confuse time management with procrastination. They’re definitely related, and both can keep you from doing what needs to be done.

Procrastination stems from knowing what you need to do, but being unwilling to actually do it. Poor time management often means you haven’t bothered to even figure out what it is you need to do. Or estimate how much time it will take to do it. Or determine how much time you have available.

Time management requires a certain amount of math. Which is why I think it leads to procrastination. In my head, the conversation is something like this:

Me: I really need to get this project done this month.

Also Me: Well, how many hours do you estimate it will take you to finish it?

Me: Um…

Also Me: And you already have a lot going on. How many hours have you already committed to other projects this month?

Me: Um…

Also Me: If we estimate that you have approximately 2.5 hours of free time per weeknight, and maybe 5 hours each weekday, and the project will take X hours…

Me: You know what? I’m going to go watch a few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. Let me know if you get that all figured out.

So… yeah.

One tactic that sometimes works for me is to just find pockets of time, and work on whatever project seems most pressing or accessible during that pocket. I mean, if you just keep plugging away at anything, eventually it’ll probably get done.

What about you? How do you find time to work on your creative projects? What gets in the way?

 

6 Comments


  1. ·

    I wake up early, early, early to get to work writing. I don’t stay up late so I can stay “on schedule.” I’m all dedicated like that! Trips can sometimes throw me off but otherwise I write just about every single day. I rise early even when we are out exploring and fit in writing time or photo processing stuff then.

    Also? I hate math. But a consistent routine does it for me.

    Reply
    1. Kat
      ·

      I had a routine that was working for me, but then the situation changed, and I have not adjusted well to the movement of my cheese. But you’re right. Routines mean you only have to do the math ONCE.

      Reply

  2. ·

    I tend to suck at time management. Unless under a compelling deadline, like NaNoWriMo. Even then, I’m ignoring other things for November to put writing at a much higher priority.

    What gets in the way? TV is a big time suck, but Facebook is a bigger one. Inertia. If I sit down to watch TV and/or putter online, it’s way easier to keep doing that than carve out time later to work on writing.

    It’s a matter of priority. I have to want to do it, or to feel I must do it, and I have to reshuffle other things I want to do.

    Reply
    1. Kat
      ·

      Yeah. I can do AOF prioritization (Arse On Fire) when things get crazy. But things inevitably slip through the cracks, like you said. My biggest time suck is drama. Well, more of an energy suck than time, really, but still. Even when I manage to quell my own, getting the drama of others dumped on me is an occupational hazard.

      Reply
  3. alisonhector
    ·

    Gosh, it’s such a fight to stay on top of time, Kat. I have Boy George singing “Time won’t give me time” on repeat in the back of my mind. Aaargh! But my strategy is to try to incorporate bite-sized bits of major projects each day. That way I make at least a little progress daily. But it’s a battle, I tell ya!

    Reply
    1. Kat
      ·

      Bite sized bits FTW! I totally agree, if I can even make a LEEEETLE progress, I don’t end the day feeling like an utter abject failure. Also? I love that you had a Boy George earworm. I’m a sucker for 80s pop culture.

      Reply

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