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Author's profile photo Marsha Ryan

How to Save time During the Holidays

My least productive month for writing has to be November and December. I think I have already discussed that I hate writing in the winter, which is weird because I love the winter. While there are other constrictions, the biggest hindrances are the holidays. I love them. Family, food, gifts, guilt-free goodies. What is there to dislike? But, the limited time I have gets taken up by baking, then Christmas parties and shopping and more baking. Just when I think it’s over, there’s New Year’s parties and football. So, where’s the writing? I’m not sure because I have been failing to find the time.

I went about looking for time-saving ideas online. I actually started laughing because it was as contradictory as writing advice. I find that refreshing, but that could just be me. Anyway, some said to procrastinate and others said not to—the one for it had a valid point but was still probably a little misguided. One said to learn to multitask, and another stated people are 40% less productive if they multitask. One article said to accept the fact that not everything will get done. I don’t know what world that author lives in, but it is not mine—although a care-free life is more and more appealing to me right now.

I decided to really think about all this and come up with a list of my own four things.

  • Disconnect. This particular one was referring to disconnecting from technology since it is way too much of a distraction and stress creator. I wanted to mesh this with the idea of time. I used to lug my huge laptop around everywhere just in case I had time to write. Then I had to plug it in and boot it up. By then, I’ve wasted quite a bit of time. So, disconnect from technology. Carry a notebook and jot down scenes while you wait in lines or whatever. Small moments can add up. You can type them later, but I bet that will still save time in the long run…and at least it’s productive.
  • Make a schedule. I like this one…probably because I am super organized and schedule oriented. But I think it has value. Set time for things and schedule it in. I normally wake up early to write. Unless it’s dark and cold…then the snooze button is way too appealing and my bed way too warm and inviting.
  • Listen to books on tape while cooking. I loved this advice, especially because then the “reading” time can become “writing” time later.
  • Breathe. I actually like one of the advices along this line…although it doesn’t help save time as much as mental status. Just breathe and know things will happen. Set priorities and relax. I always need to remind myself of that.

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