TIME MANAGEMENT

Saturday, March 25, 2017
I had plans for this post. (note the past tense, har har) I filmed a video on bullet journaling (which in reality was just me getting distracted and pulling out books from my bookshelf instead. now I have a pile on the floor. oops.)

So, I filmed the video, sat down at my desk, clicked play to start doing some editing...

...and realized that, somehow, I filmed the video on it's side. (nooooo) I don't have time to refilm it and regather my thoughts, so now I'm in a scramble to come up with a Plan B.

*runs to brainstorm and comes back fifteen minutes later*

My brain cells have stormed and spoken: Today we're going to talk about time management.



It's almost humorous how often I get asked about time management -- how do you have time to do school and reading and blogging and editing? I don't find it humorous in a rude sort of way, but because I feel like I'm horrible at time management.

I'll sit down to write for three hours, but only an hour of that will be actual writing, and the other two hours are spent getting distracted with messages and books and food and staring outside at the scampering squirrels (true story. I feel like the dog from UP). Even right now as I write this post I just got distracted with blog comments and then visiting other blogs and then going down a rabbit hole of "READ ALL THE THINGS!

Time management is tricky, because it's all about staying focused and determined. And, at least for me, staying focused is one of the hardest things on this earth. (#ENFPproblems) I have so much I want to do! So much I want to accomplish! But my mind refuses to keep my writing document open and instead will first take care of approximately 1.2million other tasks.

I briefly mentioned this in my Growing Older post, but life is short and I want to make the most out of time. Will browsing Twitter or YouTube videos or Pinterest really do that much for me? Nope. Will they get my novel written? Nope. I love connecting with people online, but should easily be able to go without checking messages after I've done an hour of solid writing.

I don't know what to say when people ask me about time management, because honestly, I don't think there's a secret. You just have to do the thing. You just have to force yourself to sit down and write. If you have fifteen minutes to spare, read a chapter of a book! Write 100 words! Do a lil research for your novel! Throughout the years it has become natural for me to turn to something mindless when I have a few extra minutes, like social media, instead of doing something more fulfilling. The minutes add up quickly -- a "little bit" of wasted time can easily turn into an hour. 

I'm usually awake for 15-16 hours of the day. Yeah, there's a lot of things I want to get done -- school, blogging, editing, working, critiquing, eating (ha), relaxing, reading -- but it shouldn't be that hard to give a couple hours to each. We're all given twenty-four hours in a day. I've come to realize that some are just a lot better at staying focused than others and using their time wisely. I'm still growing and learning not to become distracted by squirrels. :P

Lately, I've been tracking the amount of time I spend editing. I start the stopwatch when I open the document, and whenever my mouse wanders over to Twitter or anywhere else, I stop the timer. I've tried setting a time goal for myself, because I should be able to focus for an hour and a half on editing. 

But it's been interesting -- seeing how often I get distracted. It's rare that I can make it past ten minutes without running to explore something else. It'd be great to be able to sit down for an hour and just write... block out the distractions and get a major chunk of work done. But often, that doesn't happen, and I struggle with this just as much as anyone else.

This post is proof that I'm really not great at time management. I've been blessed with the ability to do things very speedily which helps (except blogging. eek). And I'm improving as the years have gone by. I've created a schedule with writing, and bullet journaling has helped me schedule out my week. Time management also takes time (ha, how ironic is that?) to perfect, and I'm still working on it.

Articles and tips and tricks can only help so much. You'll eventually reach a point where you just have to do the thing. Write the words. Rewrite the novel. Clean the room. Eat the pizza. Watch the squirrels. Good luck to my fellow artists and writers and dreamers and poets and lovely souls. xD

<3,
katie grace

do you have any tips for time management?

57 comments :

  1. Great post, Katie! I get distracted really often too. What I like to do is write down a list of things I need to do that day, and before I allow myself to get distracted, I decide whether it's worth it in the long run or not: like, will spending an hour on YouTube or on Twitter benefit me in terms of my writing? If it's a no, then I try to pry myself off.

    And I like how you pointed out on using every minute! As I type this now I have to go to out in a few minutes, but since I'm not doing much, I'm here blog-visiting <3

    - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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    1. I completely agree! It's been hard for me to do that but I'm slowly getting better. :P

      Awwh, that sounds like a lovely use of time! Blog visiting is something I do while watching TV or things like that a lot.

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  2. One could argue that squirrel-watching isn't terrible. There is, after all, a quote going around the interwebs (or at least Pinterest) that says something along the lines of "Only a writer can stare out the window and still be working."
    That said, I very much sympathize with the getting-distracted-by-the-interwebs thing, particularly while editing or blogging. That's probably part of why I tend to be so productive on car trips, at least when I manage to get my laptop out in the first place- no internet connection!

    By the way, are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? And if so, do you need a cabin?

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    1. Ha, now that you've mentioned that, I think I've heard that before. It can be true. Sometimes. xD

      Yes! Car trips are lovely for that reason. (as long as I don't get carsick...) But sometimes if my internet is being stubborn at home, I'll spend more time trying to get it back on instead of taking advantage of it. Oops. xD

      I am! I'm already in a cabin... but you're welcome to join! ^.^

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  3. I get distracted really easily too. That's one of the reasons I have to do my writing longhand. On paper. With my laptop sleeping. Because the internet is a swirling vortex of distraction. And for me, completely unplugging is the most efficient way of dealing with that.

    I've just started bullet journaling, and I'm hoping it's as brilliant as people say, even if mine isn't as artsy as all those ones on Pinterest! (Not that I was distracted and procrastinating on Pinterest. Absolutely not. *twitches*)

    An excellent post, Katie, and one I really needed! ;)

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    1. Ooh, you write longhand? I have major respect for that. It would help with distraction, but I write waaaayy too slowly. o.o

      Heh, I always get distracted with Pinterest bullet journals as well. XD They're so pretty and inspiring! But like you said, mine doesn't tend to look as gorgeous as they do. :/

      Awh, I'm glad you enjoyed! <3

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  4. Amen gurl. I'm like that dog on Up, and just writing is haaard.

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    1. EXACTLY. Sigh, the struggle is so real. xD

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  5. Oh yep. With 24 hours in a day, it should be easy, right??

    - alittlesoutherngrace.com -

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    1. SHOULD be... but unfortunately it often isn't. :P

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  6. ADHD, squirrels are awesome. They're my favorite distraction.

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    1. Together we'll get distracted by the squirrels. xD

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  7. This is wonderful. I absolutely need to be working more on time management.... I may try this bullet journaling thing. *looks ruefully at the time that I've spent perusing blogs this morning*

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    1. DO IT! I would suggest searching Pinterest for some bullet journal inspiration, because they're fantastic.

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  8. #ENFP Problems... I feel this post so much. Everyone asks me how I have so much time to write but it's basically "I'm bad at time management and accidentally prioritized writing too much".

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    1. Ha, I feel. I need to get better at using my "writing time" to actually write, though...

      And yay for fellow ENFPs!

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  9. Simply put, I agree. XD When it comes to writing, I easily get distracted. I've found this horrible website that "helps" me write. You type into the space provided, and if you stop typing before the self-set timer goes off, your work disappears. HOW TERRIFYING IS THAT?

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    1. OOH is that Write or Die?? I've used that before and it's TERRIFYING, but... hey! It gets the words down. :D

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  10. Time management... *collapses* I guess I'm alright with time management??? I wake up, I get things done, and I could probably balance what I have, BUT I'M ALWAYS TAKING ON MORE FOR SOME REASON AND I DON'T KNOW WHY. It's like "oh, well, I can beta read another novel this month, right?" and "I bet I could make that deadline and submit an article to so-and-so by [random date]." I guess I'm stuck in the world of over-commitment, which results in being tired 24/7, and being less productive when I REALLY have to focus.

    Sorry, that was a ramble :P That timer idea sounds really good. I also have started "customizing" my bullet journal, in which it's basically a list of things I MUST do every week/day, so I know when the list runs out and I have to take a break ;-)

    audrey caylin

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    1. You seem to be doing an awesome job with time management! You're always writing words and publishing blog posts. x

      UGH OVER-COMMITMENT. I've been forcing myself to do less beta reading because I'm just really bad at it. -.-

      Ooh, that's cool! I'd love to see pictures of that. :D

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  11. I'm so bad at getting distracted. Like when I study I find my mind wandering. So what I like to is decide on how much time I want to do the task I need to get done and then I can say when that time is over I get 15 minutes on my social media and other stuff.

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    1. Ooh, that's a good idea! Setting timers or doing word wars with friends is always a great motivation. :D

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  12. I'm actually not bad at time management, the only problem I come across is making myself sit down and DO THE THINGS, like I have little motivation to start doing my homework right now, but I know that I won't have any other time to do it this weekend, so GAH I NEED TO.

    Love this post!!

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    1. WORKING UP THE MOTIVATION TO DO HOMEWORK IS THE WORST. Ew. I hope you get it done!

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  13. This is so true. Sometimes I'm really bad at time management. I get distracted SOO easily, it's not even funny. Definitely something I need to work on. :P

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    1. Well, you're not alone. I think most of us struggle with that. :/

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  14. *applauds this post* dude I needed this. Your tips were helpful, but I think the most helpful reminder was that tips and tricks will only do so much. You just got to pull yourself together and do it. Which is so hard but so important

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    1. Yesss exactly. And thank you for always being so motivating with me. XD

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  15. Yes, sometimes staying focused is like giving your brain a workout. I totally feel you when it comes to ENFP problems! :P

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  16. Oh, this was a really awesome post to read! I'm really bad at time management. I started blogging really recently, so now I'm just like AGH COMMENTS NEW POSTS and by the time I'm done with everything, it's time to go to sleep and I got nothing done. I really want to start carving time out for writing though. I really really need to, if I want to improve.

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    1. I KNOWWW BLOGGING CAN TAKE UP SO MUCH TIME. It's a super good thing and I enjoy it, but I wish I was just a little bit faster with it. :P

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    1. Here it is! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrIPX8cYBjOaeVxQLILsJqg

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  18. Oddly enough, I'm more focused on writing when I'm in the bus? Maybe it's because it's the only thing I can do to pass time (that, + no WiFi). But I still get distracted though, just not as much as at home. Idk, I'm just awful at time manangement, and apparently you are too, so maybe the solution is in effectiveness (not sure I translated this well, so I'll explain real quick what I mean: how much you get done in a short amount of time. basically what you said XD) Anyway, time management or not, you're still a girlboss to my opinion ;)

    random P.S. More stories on Wattpad! (I don't have anything to read, haha)

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    1. Ahhh that would make sense! I do better at coffeeshops -- even though I don't go to them much. I think it's maybe because it's a new setting and place? Or the wifi. Not sure. xD

      Got it. xD Thank youu!

      Eep! I hope to do some more eventually! :D

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  19. Yees! You just have to do the thing! But that's the hard part... >.<

    I need to print out "Will browsing Twitter or YouTube videos or Pinterest really do that much for me? Nope." and tape it onto my wall of inspiration. I've been getting so distracted by those things as of late because once I get home from practice/class/whatever I'm exhausted and don't want to think. It's not good. XD

    I recently discovered this app that helps with squirrely phone checking! (sadly doesn't prevent squirrely computer moments. XD) It's called Forest. You plant a lil' tree and it set's a timer for a certain amount of time... but if you leave the app your lil' tree DIES and you have an ugly dead stick in your lil' forest. It's shockingly motivating...?
    I dunno.

    jeniquablog.wordpress.com

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    1. RIGHTTT I DO TOO. They're so easy and mindless and it doesn't take any brain strength! And writing is so hard and NOT mindless and it takes alllll the brain strength. :P

      I REALLY REALLY WANT TO GET THAT. o.o

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  20. Great post! I also struggle a lot with distractions, and you nailed it with putting all of it into words.

    And the only tips for avoiding distractions/managing time is excessively slapping yourself or banging your head on the table :D

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    1. *headdesks excessively* We'll see if that works. :P

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  21. Tip number one: Do the thing. XD
    Because that seriously is the best advice ever. :P

    I've actually recently created a schedule for my writing and IT'S SO USEFUL. Like, wow I didn't expect it to make a difference so quickly, but it has?? And it's just so so great to have a set goal and to know what I need/want to get done in the day.

    But uuuugh it is soo easy to get distracted by things. Sometimes it's really just a matter of weighing up what is /good/ and what is /best/.

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    1. I've found that piece of advice to be so painfully true. xD

      YESSS GO YOU! Schedules are amazing and I'm glad it's worked for you! :D

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  22. This is a great (and needed) post!

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  23. AH I'M TERRIBLE AT TIME MANAGEMENT!!! Just ask my family... I had to take a writing break to get back into reality. Thanks for this post!

    Micaiah
    www.notebooksandnovels.com

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    1. Well, you aren't the only one. :P We're all in this together. xD

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  24. Oh man, time management. There's 'bad at time management', and then there's me. I mean, look at how late I'm commenting on this post. I guess everyone has to figure out their own way of dealing with time management. I tried to make a bullet journal, but I was too disorganized to even format it without making a mess, so that's definitely not mine. I exist in a cloud of constant distraction, procrastination, and regret. Thanks, ADHD.
    But really, you nailed it with this post. You just have to commit and do the thing, right? Sometimes that's what it takes.

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    1. Psh, you're totally good. And there's no obligation to comment if you start feeling bad about being "late." Life is a crazy thing and tends to run away from us sometime. I'm answering this comment two days later, so... we're both equally bad at commenting? :P

      Ahh, that's so hard. :/ It's frustrating when you can't find your own method and regret is swirling around screaming about all the things you should be doing. -.-

      (also, random, but do you have a blog?)

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    2. Afraid not; I barely have time to keep up with life as it is. I'd be terrible at blogging. Plus, I'm really boring lol.

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  25. Haha, what's 'time management'? I have ADHD, and I'm afraid I'm not compatible with time management software. I'm always either three steps ahead or behind, XD

    You really are like the time management queen, though. :P

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    1. Ahhh, that would be difficult. How frustrating. :P

      PSH. Totally not. I'm just working on it. xD

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    2. It can be, haha, but you learn to cope. :)

      You're working on it much more rigorously than I, at least. :P

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  26. "but only an hour of that will be actual writing, and the other two hours are spent getting distracted with messages and books and food and staring outside at the scampering squirrels" OH YES. Whyyyy must this be true for basically all writers? *dies of all the distractions*

    I'm HORRID at time management, but one of the things that has been helping me lately is a trade-off of sorts. I'll do a certain amount of school (read a few chapters of an assigned book, answers some history questions, etc.), then write another few paragraphs of my outline. By the time I'm done, my amount of school that's left to be done is smaller, and my wordcount is bigger :D.

    Loved this post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts ;).

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. RIGHTTT WHY DOES WRITING HAVE TO BE SO HAAARD. (or... why are the distractions so tempting? :P)

      OOH, that's a cool way of doing it! I could try that, but I'm worried that it would be hard for me to jerk out and back into the "writing zone." Hm, something to think about though -- thanks for sharing. :D

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  27. YOUR POSTS ARE SO HELPFUL AND MOTIVATING AND AHHH. I just usually endd up wasting a bunch of time because I get distracted and -- *Dug voice* SQUIRREL!! XD

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  28. MOST. NEEDED. POST. EVER.

    I'm literally the worst at this lol GO ENFP'S.

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