Gina Conroy is founder of Writer…Interrupted and is still learning how to balance a career with raising a family. Represented by Chip MacGregor, she finds time to write fun, quirky mysteries in between carpooling and ballroom dancing . Her first mystery Cherry Blossom Capers, released from Barbour Publishing in January 2012, and Digging Up Death is available now.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. But it’s what we do with those 24 hours that separates the productive from the unproductive. So how can writers simplify their life so they can find more time to write?
Think of the three most important things in your life. The three things you can’t live without. Now contrast the top three things you spend most of your time doing. Do they match? If not something is wrong and you need to re-evaluate your priorities and where you are spending your time. Your priorities don’t match your actions and something has to change. If you’re reading this, writing is one of your top priorities you don’t spend a lot of time doing. As you re-evaluate where you do spend your time, determine what should go so you can make time for the top priorities on your list.
Make a List of your Have tos
Once you know your priorities, it’s time to make a list of the things you have to do. You know, things like making dinner, paying jobs, carpool, homework, laundry, yard work, house work… (okay, for me house work does not fall under the have tos. It’s more like “when I get around to it.) But you get the idea.
Then find ways to simplify those tasks. Take cooking for example. When I’m in the mood to cook, I bulk cook several different meals at a time and freeze extra for those days when I don’t have time to cook. Then I can pull out the frozen food and throw it in the crock pot in time for a hot cooked meal. Some people are more organized and plan for freezer cooking. Whatever your personality, you can simplify your life. You’re writers, get creative!
Make a Plan or To Do List and FINISH
This one always trips me up. I LOVE to plan, but don’t always follow through with one project to the end. So my life gets complicated by the half a dozen unfinished writing projects and household chores waiting to be finished. How to get around this? I guess I have a high tolerance for mental and physical chaos, but not really, all the “clutter” just robs me of energy, peace, and productivity.
What should I be doing? For me, starting with a short list and giving myself a deadline helps get me focused on task completion and closer to finishing a project. When I start a declutter project my kitchen, dining room, and office usually become more cluttered and can stay that way for weeks if I let it. But if I give myself a deadline to finish the project or at least box it up and get it out of sight until the next time, there’s a better chance the project will be finished.
How about you? How do you simplify your life so you can write?