June 20, 2012

Making the Most of Time

I'm always complaining about time, or more specifically, lack of time. But one thing can be said of time... it's fair. Every day we get 24 hours. It's up to us to use it in the most efficient way possible.

This week, two of my fellow bloggers referenced Laura Vanderkam and her book, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. Both Michelle Rafter and Mikaela at La Belle Dame de Merci discussed Vanderkam's thoughts on time management.

One thing I know about myself... I'm most efficient in the beginning of any day. As each hour passes, more distractions and unexpected issues arise. The more things I can accomplish before the emails start dinging and the phone starts ringing, the better.

But, similar to Mikaela's musings, I am not always at my wittiest and most inspired first thing in the morning.

What to do. What to do.

In her post What Successful Writers Do Before Breakfast, Michelle Rafter took it a step farther and interviewed successful writers to find out what they try to accomplish before breakfast. I found the answers further inspired me to buy Vanderkam's book and consider a new morning routine.

I just downloaded the book to my Kindle. As soon as I read it, I will write a post on my thoughts and share my new morning routine.

Do you ever get to the point where you know what you ARE doing isn't working, but you aren't sure what to change to make real improvements? I'm there. But I usually make things worse by trying too many new things at once.

My new focus, thanks to some excellent advice by my wonderful ROW80 friend, Kim Switzer, is to take things in small chunks. As small as ten minute increments. I hope to combine this concept with Vanderkam's morning ideas. Wish me luck.

What do you accomplish before breakfast?

For some quick guidelines from Vanderkam's book, please visit her post on Fast Company: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.


Julie Glover said...

It's interesting because if I can get my family to bed or otherwise occuped, some of my best writing is late at night. But staying up to write is a killer for the rest of our schedule. And I am NOT a morning person. Indeed, time and timing continue to be issues for us writers who juggle several demands at once. I'm eager to hear your take on the book.

Unknown said...

I usually count myself lucky if I'm dressed before breakfast. LOL I think I would like to have 500 words done by breakfast - before I get all intimidated by the genius blogs I read.

Annette Gendler said...

My traditional writing time is before breakfast. I got my MFA degree and finished a book manuscript that way. Sometimes I will also write during the day but if I manage to get up at 5, I have about 2 hours to devote to writing, provided my husband fixes breakfast for the family.

Eloise said...

In answer to the question "Do you ever get to the point..." Absolutely, and I get completely stuck. Brain dead. I'm semi-stuck at the moment, mostly blogging and that's all well and good but I need to get back to stories.

Like you, I'm best in the AM. With black coffee. The further I go into the day, the more a) tired and b) frazzled I get.

I like the ten-minute idea...

Jo Michaels said...

Wow. Before breakfast... A lot. My blog, social media, and usually around 1k words in one story or another. Excellent post today, food for thought ;) WRITE ON!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link, Tia! ;) I have to admit that the very rare mornings when I committed to get up and write before catching the train were very productive. I have also written late into the night and that was also good; but like Julie, it was killed for the next day.

We have to find our sweet space/time. Those few hours that are magic for our creativity. For me, it seems to be from 3-6pm.

Good luck and can't wait to hear your thoughts after you read Laura's book!

Tia Bach said...

Julie, I'm eager to read it. Funny, I can't seem to find the time to read a book that will help me more efficiently manage time!

Liberty, I keep saying "if I could finish" before I start writing. I need to write first (oh, and get dressed!).

Annette, Can you come to my house and kickstart (or kick my butt, rather) a routine for me?!? ;-)

Eloise, Amen! I am going to only blog 3-4 times a week in July and August and focus on writing.

Jo, You inspire me!

Mikaela, Your post inspired me to take a look at my time usage, and I'm doing better since. Thanks!