Have you ever paused at the end of a long day and wondered, “Where has my time gone?”
We wake up every morning, hustle through work and life, and at the end of the day, fall into bed exhausted and bewildered at what we were able to do. Some days, it feels as if we’ve done everything. Most days, it feels as if we’ve done nothing.
Have you ever had that feeling? Yung paged ka, alam mong ang dami mong ginawa, pero parang wala ka namang na-accomplish?
Ha ha. I’ve been there, felt that.
But I’ve read this amazing book called, Get Your Shit Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do.
Such a long, long title, right? But it was a great hook for me, because like you, I’m too busy worrying about random things, so I fail to do what I need to do, and what I want to do.
Which is, of course, write my book.
“I don’t have the time,” most of us will say.
“I don’t have the energy for it anymore,” some would mourn.
“My schedule is too crazy,” others would pipe in.
But here’s what Sarah Knight says about time: We have it. We just don’t know where it goes, because we don’t take inventory of the things we do every day.
Here are a few tips based on what Sarah Knight wrote, and based on what I experienced in my quest to make time for writing my dream book.
- Take stock of all the things you do every day. All of it.
Here’s the thing. If we know where our time goes, then we’d also know how to manage it. So for the next few days, list down your day-to-day activities/tasks/habits, and record how long it actually takes you to do it. For example, here’s the a probably daily schedule of a single working professional. (PROBABLE, okay? This is just an example, so don’t hurt me for this!)
|6:00 AM||Wake up|
|6:15 AM||Get up|
|6:16 AM||Prepare and eat breakfast|
|7:00 AM||Take a bath|
|7:30 AM||Get ready for work|
|8:00 AM||Commute to work|
|10:00 AM||Work (you’re late!)|
|6:00 PM||Commute back home|
|9:00 PM||Wind down|
You could probably break down the time spent at work into smaller time fragments, taking into consideration how long you do a particular task at work. I don’t want to get too technical in the example, but the point is, when you record your activities plus the time it takes for you to do them, then it would be easier for you to a) reconsider if you could take shorter time doing it, b) realize that there might be a lot of idle time scattered throughout your day, and c) realize the many things you probably shouldn’t be doing. If you remove those things from your daily schedule, then there you have it. You found the time to do the things you need or want to do. Which gets me to the next point…
- Consider the activities that you could actually do for a shorter amount of time… or even take off your list completely.
Personally, when I took stock of my own time, I saw that I used to spend a lot of time browsing through my social networks, even in the middle of work or writing. I had to be honest with myself and write that down, in order for me to realize that, whoah, that’s a lot of browsing time that could have gone on to my book. I also realized that I kinda probably maybe slightly read too much. Hahaha. Maybe three hours too long? So I had to cut it down, either use some time for writing, or to actually sleep earlier, so I could wake up earlier and write in the morning.
You get my point, right?
- See a window in your schedule, and set it as your “sacred writing time”.
There would be a window there, if you look hard enough. Say, for example, lunch time. You can spend maybe 10 to 15 minutes eating your lunch, and use the rest of the time working on your book. Maybe you can do what I did and hack off a few precious sleeping hours, so you can write first thing in the morning. You see, when you schedule your writing time at night, you’d notice that you’d be too tired or too unfocused. That’s because you’ve already spent so much energy throughout the day, and by the time night time comes, you’re just too exhausted to do more.
Writing, in a way, is giving. It’s revealing and sharing a lot of yourself even if you’re not writing about your own story. Writing is creating, and you cannot create from nothing. You cannot give what you do not have. So maybe, try to rest earlier at night, and try to wake up earlier in the mornings. Write when you’re fully-rested. Write when you’re still full.
These are just a few time-management tips, but I hope they’d help you find some time for writing. It’s really all about being more aware of how you spend your time, and being more in command of it.
Friend, you have the time. It’s there, right there, in your day.
When you find it, then write.
Write your dream book.
Write your article.
Write your reflections.
Write your soul.
Write beautiful words,
P.S. I’d like to share more about the new things I’ve learned that would help people write and finish their books. I want to actually meet you and share these new things with you… in a casual get-together. Casual get-together meaning, it’s an informal gathering, so it’s f-r-e-e. You only have to make time. Mark your calendars, and block July 6, 2019 (Saturday) off your schedule, from 1:00PM to 3:00 PM. Meet me at Cafe I’m Here in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. But it’s a cafe, so I could only meet up with a few select people. If you’re going, then please register here so I can count you in!
P.S.2. If you’d like to learn more about how you can actually prepare a book writing timeline, and other practical tips on writing, marketing, and selling your book, in a more professional setting, then I’m inviting you to have a look at the workshop that I’m giving with one of my best friends, and my partner-in-crime in helping authors become bestsellers, Kristine Mutuc Taton. Tin and I works in the marketing department of the country’s leading inspirational publisher, and together with an amazing team, we have launched a handful of national bestselling books. We’ve traced every little thing we did right, and even the things we did wrong, and came up with a blueprint for what it takes to be a bestseller. If you want to learn more about this workshop, then click here now.