Edison time clock (Photo credit: Anita363)
In the comments for one of my earlier posts in this A to Z marketing series, Shelly from Second Hand Shoes requested, "I'm really liking your posts on marketing. I'd like to see one on managing your time with marketing if you're a writer. But you've probably already planned your posts for A to Z."
Well, guess what--I'm not so good with time managementsometimes. With four blogs entered in this year's Challenge in addition to my role as an A to Z co-host, I got a bit behind my intended schedule. Two of of my blogs I finished ahead of time. On Wrote By Rote I planned out all of my posts and finished about two-thirds of them. On Tossing It Out I planned most of my topics ahead of time, but I've been writing as the Challenge progresses.
That being said, I think that I have an understanding of some good approaches to time management as do probably most of you. Sometimes time management is easier said than done. We all have things to do and other things that arise in our lives to hinder us from doing what we need to do. Jobs, families, household responsibilities, friends, recreational opportunities...whew!--the list never seems to end. How do we find the time for everything that must be done and still include writing or whatever the passion is that we truly want to pursue and the marketing that accompanies that pursuit?
There will always be those things that throw us off schedule, but that doesn't mean we can't still maintain some kind of time management plan. Time management may sound like an ordeal, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some approaches you can try:
The Trip Schedule-- Treat your day like a journey. Figure out your departure time and your arrival time and factor in all stops in between. You can create accomplishment maps with stops along the way that represent the things you have to do. Draw up a time table that outlines your stops in order to see where you have time to fill in.
The Event Planner---Treat your book or special project like an event. After all that's what it is. Aim for a planned finish date and work backwards from that. Be realistic and give yourself adequate time. Make a list of everything that needs to be done and create a series of deadlines that you can check off as you go.
The Daily Grind--- This is not so much of an analogy as it is a fact of life. Our lives mostly run on some sort of schedule. If you have a book to write, a quilt to sew, or something else that is your special life ambition on the side, then you have to figure out where in your schedule you are going to squeeze it. Maybe you'll have to give up something else that you like to do. Decide what your priorities are and make as much room as you need to attend to these priorities after the duties of the daily grind have been taken care of.
Let's face it. Time is limited and there is not much you can do to change that. However, you can make trade-offs to accommodate your dreams. If you're spending too much time doing housework can you get help with it somehow? If you're driving a two hour commute every day, can you car pool or take public transportation so you can follow some of your own pursuits in that time.
When you have something that you want to do that is outside of your normal daily life, you may have to make some sacrifices in order to do it. What are you willing to give up? Television shows, club-hopping, bridge night, or some other recreational activities? How badly do you want to achieve your dreams and are your loved ones going to back you up on doing it?
There are always things in life that we want to do and other things that we must do. The question we must always be ready to ask ourselves is what are we willing to give up in order to do what we must do? After that we have to find the proper balance to make our dreams be fulfilled to the utmost without turning those dreams into nightmares. In the end it's all about balance.
Speaking about Time:
One blog that sounds pretty involved with time is Living 2012: Every Minute--Every Hour--Every Day. Actually Kathleen Medina is all about family and making the best of time with family. She was also one of our A to Z Video Contest entrants and you can see her clever video here.
Ruby can be found at Blabbin' Grammy. She could be listed under T for Texas, T for Tennessee since she was originally from the latter before moving to the Lone Star State. But I can guarantee you that Ruby knows a thing or two about time--she sure knows how to fill up her days. And she's been telling a great tale for her A to Z entries. The 2012 A to Z is her third year participating in the April Challenge.
Another blog about time--as in having a good time--is Al's Penwasser Place. I dare you to read one of Al's posts and keep a straight face. You might think I should have featured Al's blog on P day--no, I'm not going to go there. Let's stick with time--good time.